American Pale Ale

Something to Call Our Own (Sort of)

As with many style of food, beer, and, well, most everything else, the American Pale Ale's lineage can best be described as an American adaptation of a Eurpoean concept. In this case, the American Pale Ale can trace its roots back to the classic English pale/mild varieties. As is the case in recent beer history, the American Pale ale is hoppier, maltier, and just a bit more of everything compared to its ancestors across the Atlantic. As the American Pale has evolved is has gotten a bit bigger and, some would say, has really blurred the lines between the American Pale Ale and American IPA categories in many instances.
There also seems to be a trend emerging between a hoppier, less malty, 'clean' version and a more caramelly, rich version that I might call the 'classic' American Pale Ale. I would point you to a comparison of Bell's Pale Ale vs. Sierra Nevada Pale ale as an example of these two unofficial substyles.

The Beer

No discussion of the American Pale Ale style would be complete without a discussion of the prototype example of American Pale Ale - the Sierra Nevada Pale.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale typifies this style in all aspects. The hops are a citrusy, American interpretation using Cascade to provied that nice bright spicy orange blossom finish. The backbone is Magnum and Perle to bring the bitterness in at 37 IBU. The malt bill is a simple combination of American 2 Row Pale malt an various caramel/crystal malts that provide a toffee, toast, caramel, bread/biscuit type backbone. The gravity starts at a moderate 1.052, ending at about 1.013. The yeast is what has become the classic American Ale yeast - very neutral and farily well attenuated.

BJCP Style 10A - American Pale Ale
OG: 1.045 - 1.060 FG: 1.010 - 1.015 IBU: 15 - 30 SRM: 5 - 14 ABV: 4.5% - 6.2%

All Grain Recipe - Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Clone ::: 1.052/1.012 (5.5 Gal)

Grain Bill (70% Efficiency assumed)

10 lbs. - 2 Row Pale Malt
1.25 lbs. - Crystal Malt (60L)

Hop Schedule (37 IBU)

1/3 oz. - Magnum - 60 min.
1/2 oz. - Perle - 30 min.
1 oz. - Cascade - 10 min.
2 oz. - Cascade - at flameout


White Labs California Ale Yeast (WLP001) - 1250 ml starter


Mash at 153° for 60 min.
Sparge as usual
Cool and ferment at 65° to 68°

< Brew365 Home  :::   Article List  :::   Recipe List  :::   Links  :::   Contact Brew365 :::   Brew365 RSS