Regarding American Pales


Breaking the horizon like a shinning beacon of relief from the cold of winter……….it’s nearly time for #NCBSaltaire2013

What seems to have become the 3rd annual Northern Craft Brewers meeting and competiton at the Saltaire Brewery in Shipley, West Yorkshire is, in my eyes, a highlight of the homebrew calendar. This years brewers are tasked with brewing their best American Pale Ale recipe.

This obviously got me thinking as I would like to improve on my result (7th highly commended) from last years English hopped IPA competition. APAs on the surface seem like a pretty straight forward style to brew. US hops in the fore with a pale malt profile bringing up the rear, bound together with a neutral fermentation character.


As a gateway into craft beer for a lot of people, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale epitomises the simplicities of a well put together US pale. Other examples can be more complicated however, and it is this fine balance between simple and clean against complex and interesting that I think is the key to a great beer.

So, I’ve been trailing through the internet, bookshelf etc to find anything and everything I could on brewing the perfect US Pale Ale.

The Brewing Network archived are positively brimming with excellent resources. From the Jamil show on APA to the CYBI episodes for numerous pale ales! With all this info processed I decided to brew a test batch. I recon there is enough time to get a test brew done, sample it, make any tweaks, and then rebrew for the comp!

I’m going to keep the exact weights and measures to my self for now! Hey, it is a competition! 😉


Lager malt
Munich I
Cara red


A mix of chinook, cascade, mosaic, and el dorado


NHB west coast style ale

some pics from the brewday

HLT warming up for a 64oC mash temp

A few fresh ingredients from The Malt Miller

Pretty pale grist


Mash temp spot on


Colour just what I wanted


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