Monday, October 3, 2011

Clone Brew: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Sierra Nevada happens to be one of my favorite breweries and their Pale Ale is one of my favorite beers.  I found a clone recipe in an issue of Brew your own magazine about a year ago and brewed it up.  It was very close if not spot on.  So I decided I wanted to re-brew this awesome and surprisingly simple pale ale.  After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!  Their site gives a vague recipe for their pale ale showing 2 malts (2-Row & Caramel) and 3 hops (Magnum, Perle & Cascade).  Which falls right in line from the clone recipe that I have:

          10.0 lb 2-Row Brewers Malt
          1 lb Crystal Malt 60°L
          0.5 oz Magnum (14.5%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
          0.5 oz Perle (8.3%) - added during boil, boiled 30 min
          1.0 oz Cascade (5.5%) - added during boil, boiled 10 min
          2.0 oz Cascade (5.5%) - steeped after boil
          1.0 oz Cascade (5.5%) - added dry to secondary fermenter

I started this brew after work.  So I didn't get started even collecting the brew water until 5:00.  Which is why it was dark before I even started the boil.  Even so this brew-day was about 5-5.5 hours long.  My strike temp was 170*F to hit a target mash temp of 153*F for a 90 min mash.
Left to Right: First runnings from the mash, Spent Grains
My strike temp was too high.  So when I added the grains I had to add about a pint of cold water to cool it down to my target temp of 153.  From there it held fairly steady for the full 90 mins.  I ended up getting around 75% brew house efficiency on this brew.
Starting the boil and cooling
I collected 8.25 gals of wort from the grains and boiled for 75 mins to end up with 5.25 gals (leaving behind 0.25 gals of trub).  My OG reading was 1.058.  I pitched 2 packs of US-05 re-hydrated dry yeast and placed the fermenter in the fermentation chamber at 65*F.  I'll let primary fermentation go for about a week then transfer to a secondary and add the dry hops. 
Adding oxygen through a aquarium pump and a diffusion stone. 
Active fermentation started within 12 hours after pitching the yeast.

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