Summer Refreshment

American Pale Ale

Drink Up!

American Pale AleCitrus with pungent pine washed over my senses, refreshing my taste buds and awakening my sense of aroma. As the hop flavors faded, followed by a bready malt flavor that faded quickly with a dry finish.

Some hop flavor lingered, and as it faded, it seemed to coat my tongue almost candy-like.

My first low-alcohol beer turned out rather well. Friends commented on the fact it is a nice, light color that may not scare off people used to drinking light lagers. Members of my homebrew club, serious beer enthusiasts said they enjoy it as well.

The Vision

My attitude going into developing this recipe was to create a light, refreshing, low-alcohol ale so I could have more than one without being unable to function. No caramel/crystal malts were used, and the bulk of the hops were added at flameout to keep the hop flavor without overwhelming bitterness.

Like stepping into spring water deeper than expected, a surprising burst of refreshment to wake you up and enliven your senses. This pale ale was made to pack a lot of flavor in a light, crisp package. I hope you enjoy.

Flash Flood American Pale Ale

My system is for brewing 10 gallons. If you wish to replicate this recipe on a 5-gallon scale, you should be good to cut quantities approximately in half. My system is approximately 67% efficient. If you use brewing software, you should be able to scale the recipe as needed to match your system.

Grain Bill

4.990 kg Rahr 2-row pale malt

907 g Briess Vienna malt

1.361 kg Munich 20L malt


Centenniel 8.7% AA 28 g at 60 minutes

Centenniel 8.7% AA 14 g at 0 minutes

Chinook 11.7% AA 21 g at 0 minutes

Cascade 6% AA 21 g at 0 minutes


Safale US-05 fermented at 66 degrees F

Target Numbers

Target Volume: 12 gallons

Target OG: 1.034

Target FG: 1.008

Target ABV: 3.3%

Mash Temp: 154 F

Actual Numbers

Volume: 13.5 gallons

OG: 1.032

FG: 1.004

ABV: 3.68%

Mash Temp: 149 F for 50 minutes

Batch Sparge to reach 168 F at target volume

I ran into a few problems with this batch: I am still not used to using a ball-valve and tube to transfer to my mash tun, so I lost more heat than expected. My mash temp came in 5 degrees Fahrenheit lower than my target, but I think that helped develop a clean finish.

The other problem was the humidity prevented my normal amount of boil-off. These two mistakes resulted in a happy medium. The lower mash temp resulted in a more-fermentable wort. The extra volume allowed the gravity to stay under 4% ABV.

The End Result

I love the end result. Shortly after bottling, I wasn’t sure I cared for the flavor. The chinook hops seemed a bit harsh. However, I think it may have been a conflict with the priming sugar not being completely fermented out.

It has been three weeks and the beer is really good and very drinkable. As you can hopefully see from the picture, the head is a brilliant white color and the beer is a pale golden color. It may be slightly darker than a light American lager, but not much. I may have to pick up a container of a light beer for comparison.

This isn’t my first recipe, but it was much-needed to deal with the summer heat. What types of beer do you like to brew for summer? Let me know in the comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *