Electric Pale Ale (sessionable version)

Electric Hop Candy (New England style IPA / NEIPA)

 

Testimonials

"Just poured my first glass from the keg and it was amazing! I'm very pleased with the results as this was my first beer I've made with Kals system. The extra citra hops gives it a phenomenal smell. The updated water profile definitely highlights the fruitiness from the hops." - dward4421

 

Introduction

This is a lower alcohol 'sessionable' version of our Electric Pale Ale (4.3% ABV instead of 6.0% ABV), perfect for those days when you're looking for all the flavour but don't necessarily want to feel the effects after having a few pints.

What is a session beer? According to Wikipedia, it comes from the term "session drinking":

"Session drinking is a chiefly British term that refers to drinking a large quantity of beer during a 'session' (i.e. a specific period of time) without becoming intoxicated. A session is generally a social occasion. A 'session beer', such as a session bitter, is a beer that has a moderate or relative low alcohol content. In the United States, a recent session beer definition has been proposed by beer writer Lew Bryson. His Session Beer Project blog includes a definition of 4.5% ABV or less for session beer. Followers of this definition include Notch Brewing, a session only beer brand. The Brewer Association has adopted a new category within their Great American Beer Fest competition which states a 'session beer' must not exceed 4.1% ABW (5.1% ABV)."

Like our regular Electric Pale Ale, this is an all late-addition American Pale Ale (APA) where hops are mostly only added late in the boil to give it very smooth bitterness with a massive hop flavour.

Lower alcohol beers can become harsh when over-hopped, so the hop additions that were originally added at 20 mins were cut by 50% to lower the IBU and also moved to first wort. First Wort Hopping (FWH) is a process where hops are added to the boil kettle as the wort is being sparged from the mash / lauter tun and then left to steep at 140-160F while the boil kettle is being filled. Why is this done? To quote How to Brew:

"As the boil tun fills with wort (which may take a half hour or longer), the hops steep in the hot wort and release their volatile oils and resins. The aromatic oils are normally insoluble and tend to evaporate to a large degree during the boil. By letting the hops steep in the wort prior to the boil, the oils have more time to oxidize to more soluble compounds and a greater percentage are retained during the boil. A blind tasting among professional German brewers determined that the use of FWH resulted in a more refined hop aroma, a more uniform bitterness (i.e. no harsh tones), and a more harmonious beer overall compared to an identical beer produced without FWH."

The 10 minute, end of boil, and dry hopping amounts were kept the same in order to maintain the hop flavour and aroma we enjoy in our regular Electric Pale Ale.

A large portion of the hop goodness comes from the Citra dry hops - they're essential (in our humble opinion).

To lower the alcohol while keeping most of the flavour, we reduced the amount of Domestic 2-Row (1.8-2L) and Vienna (3-4L) malts but kept the Crystal (40L) the same.

To avoid drying out the beer too much, the single infusion mash temperature was raised from 152F to 160F and we use a healthy dose of Carapils or Carafoam (1.4-2.9L). This raises both the original gravity and final gravity as this malt produces mostly unfermentable sugars. The higher mash temperature helps ensure we end up at the target gravity we want (1.012), slightly higher than the 1.010 final gravity of our normal Electric Pale Ale. Too low and the beer will taste overly thin, a common problem with lower alcohol version of beers where nothing but the amount of malt is modified. When making lower ABV versions of your favourite beers you want to re-assess the percentages used in the grist.

Brew up a batch and let us know how you like it!

 

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Electric Pale Ale (sessionable version)

Size: 12 US gallons (post-boil @ 68F)
Mash Efficiency: 95%
Attenuation: 73%
Calories: 149 kcal per 12 fl oz 
Original Gravity: 1.045 (style range: 1.045 - 1.060)
Terminal Gravity: 1.012 (style range: 1.010 - 1.015)
Colour: 5.7 SRM (style range: 5 - 10)
Alcohol: 4.3% ABV (style range: 4.5% - 6.2%)
Bitterness: 33 IBU (style range: 30 - 50)

Mash:
11.3 lb Domestic 2-Row Malt (1.8-2L) (67.7%)
2.5 lb Weyermann Vienna Malt (3-4L) (15.5%)
0.9 lb Crystal Malt (40L) (5.6%)
1.8 lb Carapils or Carafoam (1.4-2.9L) (11.2%)

Boil:
0.5 oz Centennial Hops (10.9%) - added first wort*, boiled 60 min [4.8 IBU] 
0.5 oz Amarillo Hops (8.7%) - added first wort*, boiled 60 min [3.8 IBU]
1 Whirlfloc Tablet (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 15 min
2 oz Centennial Hops (10.9%) - added during boil, boiled 10 min [13.6 IBU] 
2 oz Amarillo Hops (8.7%) - added during boil, boiled 10 min [10.9 IBU]

Post-boil:
2 oz Centennial Hops (10.9%) - added immediately after boil
2 oz Amarillo Hops (8.7%) - added immediately after boil

Yeast:
24g Fermentis Safale US-05 dry yeast** (or an appropriate starter)

Dry hop: 
2 oz Citra Hops (11.1%) - added to fermenter near end of fermentation, steeped 3-5 days

*First wort hops are added to the boil kettle at the start of sparging (before the wort is boiled). For IBU calculations, first wort hopping is said to be similar to a 20 minute addition.

**If you prefer to use liquid yeast, Wyeast 1056 American Ale or White Labs WLP001 California Ale are excellent choices as they are the same clean fermenting Chico strain as US-05. You'll need to use 3 packs/vials or make an appropriate starter.

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Notes / Process

  • Add 500mg potassium metabisulphite to 20 gallons water to remove chlorine / chloramine (if required).
  • Water treated with brewing salts to our Hoppy flavour profile: Ca=110, Mg=18, Na=16, Cl=50, SO4=275 (Basically Randy Mosher's ideal Pale Ale numbers with slightly less Sulphate). For complete details on how to adjust your water, refer to our step by step Water Adjustment guide.
  • 1.25 qt/lb mash thickness.
  • Single infusion mash at 160F for 90 mins.
  • Raise to 168F mashout temperature and hold for 10 mins.
  • ~90 min fly sparge with ~5.6-5.8 pH water (measured at mash temperature). Collect 13.9 gallons.
  • Boil for 60 minutes, adding Whirlfloc and hops per schedule. Lid on after post-boil hops are added, start chilling immediately.
  • Cool the wort quickly to 66F (we use a one-pass convoluted counterflow chiller to quickly lock in hop flavour and aroma) and transfer to fermenter.
  • Aerate well. Pure oxygen from a tank may be used at a rate of 1 litre per minute for 60 seconds per 5 gallons.
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 66-68F (wort temperature). We use modified stainless fermenting buckets in wine fridges.
  • Add dry hops once fermentation is nearing completion (i.e. 5 points from terminal gravity) and raise the temperature to 70-72F. In our case we simply turn off the fermenting fridges and allow the beer to naturally rise to room temperature. Steep hops for 3-5 days while fermentation finishes. Assume fermentation is done if the gravity does not change over ~3 days.
  • Before packaging you may optionally rack to a brite tank (we use 5 gallon glass carboys) that has been purged with CO2 to avoid oxygen pickup, add 1 tsp of unflavoured gelatin dissolved in a cup of hot distilled water per 5 gallons of beer, and allow to clear for 2-3 days. Gelatin may "round off" some hop flavour / aroma so we tend to skip this step with hop forward beers like this.
  • Package as you would normally. We rack to kegs that have first been purged with CO2, and then carbonate on the low side (around 2 volumes of CO2) to minimize carbonic bite and let the hop and malt flavours shine through. We chill the kegs to near freezing while carbonating at the same time in a 6-keg conditioning fridge. After ~1-2 weeks at serving pressure the kegs will be carbonated and ready to serve. Like all hop forward beers this Pale Ale is best consumed fresh so feel free to raise the CO2 pressure temporarily to 30-40 PSI to carbonate fast over a 24 period, and then turn back down to serving pressure. Some hop bits will have invariably made their way into the keg during transfer so we use a Hop Stopper Keg Edition filter to ensure that hops do not clog the dip tube and/or end up in the glass. Force carbonating at high pressure and using a Hop Stopper filter allows us to serve this beer 24 hours after kegging. There's no need to wait a few days for any hop bits that made their way into the keg to first settle out.

For detailed brewing instructions, see our Brew Day Step by Step guide.

Enjoy!

Questions? Visit our Electric Pale Ale (sessionable version) forum thread

 

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Pictures / Videos

Interested in seeing what we're brewing right now? Follow us on Instagram for pictures and videos of our brewing activities as they happen.

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First wort #hops added to the boil kettle at the start of the #sparge to give a really smooth bitterness. How's that work? To quote How To Brew: "As the boil tun fills with wort (which may take a half hour or longer), the hops steep in the hot wort and release their volatile oils and resins. The aromatic oils are normally insoluble and tend to evaporate to a large degree during the boil. By letting the hops steep in the wort prior to the boil, the oils have more time to oxidize to more soluble compounds and a greater percentage are retained during the boil. A blind tasting among professional German brewers determined that the use of FWH resulted in a more refined hop aroma, a more uniform bitterness (i.e. no harsh tones), and a more harmonious beer overall compared to an identical beer produced without FWH." Delicious! TheElectricBrewery.com ... A step by step guide to building your own brewery #TheElectricBrewery #electricbrewery #electricbrewing #homebrewing #homebrew #brewing #craftbeer

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For more pictures and videos of our Electric Pale Ale (sessionable version) search Instagram for #ElectricPaleAle.