Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Search for the perfect Session Pale Ale.....

Most people that know me say I have a combination of OCD and ADD.  So starting projects around the house are hard for me to finish.  1- I get bored and 2- I need to do it right and that takes time with a 2 year old running around.  So I started with my Justice Pale Ale Project about a year ago.  And I got close to the "Ever elusive perfect pale ale".  But I didn't get it right.  Honestly, that pissed me off.  But with the new year coming close I am going to try it again.  But this time with a new rule.  Under 5 % ABV.  This is going to be a pale ale "Sessionized" I have 2 under my belt with the Fargo Lane Pale, and the revise Fargo Lane Pale #2.  So I am going to use those recipe(s) and brew 3 more.

This time I am going to brew, ferment and then taste before brewing the next one.  I think that was the problem with the Justice Pale Ale Project.  I brewed 4 beers over a 2 week time period.  This didn't give me the opportunity to revise the recipe properly.  This time around I am going to brew one and finish the keg before taking on the next batch.

Pale Ale Take #1:  Brewed Nov 18th

Fargo Lane Pale

Coming in at 4.6% this was a great session beer that everyone loved.  I even got my Wife's Corona drinking Family to want more of this beer.

The beer poured crystal clear with a snow white top.  This is the lightest colored beer I've brewed.  I would say it came in around a 4sh SRM.  

The aroma of pineapple was overpowering.  This was my 1st attempt at Dry-Hopping with Citra.  As I swirled the glass I could make out the pine tree likes of Amarillo.  

The low amounts of alcohol were covered up by with a soothing sweet taste of tropical fruit.  I could not taste any harsh bitterness that is common in a low ABV beer.   Keeping this with a lower Co2 level let the maltyness shine.  Which, honestly is hard to do in this style.  

My increasing addiction to late hopping/aroma hopping is starting to develop into great sessionable beers.  Including my IPA's.  Would I change anything on this beer?  No, not right now.  But for the sake of this experiment I am going to brew this again with a different dry hopping schedule and the addition of Flaked Barley.

Fargo Lane Pale #2

The changes on this batch from the 1st attempt is the addition of flaked barley to the boil.  It was a total of 1#.  I used it in the hop sock.  The kettle hops are the same as the 1st attempt.  For the dry hops I changed the recipe and omitted the citra.   This was a big mistake.  This beer ended up dry and plain. 

Fargo Lane Pale #3

I went back to the original on this recipe.  Yesterday I kegged the beer and right now I am waiting for space in the keggor to serve it.  From the initial tastes, this beer will be another great one. 


  1. This sounds like a good idea. I'm looking forward to read about how you tweak the recipe as it goes.

    I have been doing something similar, but I revise my recipe each year. My Best Bitter and Dark Mild are finally getting close to what I want.

    For a recent party I just dry-hopped 2.5 gal of my Best Bitter (4%) with an ounce of Citra and everyone went pretty crazy for it. I'm not a huge hop fan, but the flavors from some of these new American and New Zealand hops are amazing.

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  3. Hey Lewy, nice work. I don't why the hell this thing won't post who I am...


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