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Batch 42 : “What The Fruit” Pale Ale

I moved to a new city in May of 2012.  This really put a kink in my brewing schedule for the better part of 6 months.  I wasn’t able to have anything in the fermenter or secondary when I left town, and it took some time before I was settled in to the new city before I was ready to try a new batch.  Once I was finally ready, I opted to make a batch using supplies on hand and some basic grains.  It’s fairly random, but I had some honey I wanted to use, some crystal grains, and various hop leftovers.

When it was all said and done, I had a boring batch of beer, but a good one to get me back in to the swing of brewing.  The brew day and batch of beer turned out just fine, but I still felt like I needed to play with things.  I’d come across a bottle of Apricot extract at a homebrew shop.  The use of homegrown hops meant that this Pale had fallen a little flat, and it wasn’t an interesting beer.  When it came time to keg, I decided to make things interesting, adding in some Apricot flavoring…. and “What the Fruit” was born.

Ingredients: What the Fruit?

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All-Grain Recipe

  • 10 lbs. – American 2-row
  • 16 oz. – Carapils
  • 8 oz. – Crystal Malt 60°L
  • 4 oz. – Crystal Malt 80°L
  • 33 oz. – Honey
  • Whirlfloc Tablet – added during boil, boiled 15 min

Hop Additions

 

  • .9 oz. – Cluster (6.8%) – added during boil, boiled 60 min
  • 1 oz. – Cascade (6.4%) – added during boil, boiled 30 min
  • what-the-fruit-02.5 oz. – Cluster (6.8%) – added during boil, boiled 15 min
  • .5 oz. – Cascade (6.4%) – added during boil, boiled 10 min
  • .7 oz. – Centennial (10%) – added during boil, boiled 10 min
  • .5 oz. – Cascade (6.4%) – added end of boil

Yeast

  • Safale S-05 Dry Yeast

Additional Details / Notes

  • OG 1.061 / TG 1.006
  • 7.22% ABV | Color: 11.23 °SRM | 62 IBU’s
  • Brewed 06/03/12, Secondary 06/16/12, Kegged 06/30/12
  • Mash Temp: ~152°, Thickness: 1.35 qt/g, Efficiency 62%

Brewing “What the Fruit” Pale Ale

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My first batch in a new city.  Fortunately, the water in PDX is said to be great for brewing, so I’m done goofing with water (at least for a while).  The first time brewing in a new location is an undertaking of it’s own.  It was a challenge to find everything, and another challenge to figure out how to use everything in the confines of my new space, but things went well enough.

The Mash.  Used about 3.5 gallons of stike water at 164°.  It ended up a little warm, so stirred until it was 151°.  1 hour Mash, then recirculate 3 gallons of wort and Sparge with 5 gallons of water at 170° for ~1 hour.  Drain off about 6 gallons in to the boil pot.  Generally do more, but didn’t have enough hot sparge water to pull 6.5 gallons.

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The Boil.  Nothing too exciting here.  I used a mix of store bought hops, and some that I had grown myself.  The Cascade and Centennial additions are mostly from my garden.  Tossed in Whirlfloc and the Wort Chillers with 15 minutes to go.

Cooling.  Summertime ground water is warm.  This took about an hour.

 

Fermenting.  Straining the wort in to the fermenter went poorly.  Too many whole cone hops, which held on to a lot of the liquid.  I ended up having to top off with about 1/2 gallon of water.

what-the-fruit-01Racking to Secondary & Kegging.  Upon racking to the secondary, I was unexcited about this batch.  Combine that with my inability to ever leave well enough alone, and I decided to add some fruit flavor to the batch.  I had picked up lemon extract and some Apricot flavoring.  I used about a cap of the lemon and about 2.5 oz of the Apricot stuff (half the bottle).  More on this decision below…  After a couple of weeks in the secondary, I kegged this whole batch.  One less step to worry about.

Drinking the Fruit Pale Ale

Fruit might have been a cute idea, but I went way too far with it.  The apricot dominated, while the lemon wasn’t really a factor.  I don’t know that the batch would have been very good to begin with, but it wasn’t great with the added flavor, either.  The fruit was pretty obnoxious.   The base beer was smooth and easy drinking, so in the end all 5 gallons were consumed.

Though not a winner, this was the second batch in a row without any contamination (with many successes to follow), so at least there is that!

 

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