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Home Brew Beer Recipes
Beer Brew 1 - Hubert's Belgium Trippel
  Beer Brew 2 - Straw Dog Kolsch

  Beer Brew 3 - Blow My Windmill Pilsner
  Beer Brew 4 - What to Wheat for Dinner
  Beer Brew 5 - Let the Oktoberfestivities Begin
  Beer Brew 6 - Belgian Battleground Ale
  Beer Brew 7 - Pablo's Kolsch
  Beer Brew 8 - Belgian Golden Ale
  Beer Brew 9 - Ichabod's Cranium Pumpkin Beer
  Beer Brew 10 - Appalachian Pale Ale (OAPA)
  Beer Brew 11 - Appalachian Pale Ale 2 (OAPA)
  Beer Brew 12 - It's Good to be American Pale Ale

About American Pale Ale (APA) Home Brew Beer

A pale ale is a beer made primarily from pale malt.  It is warm (top)-fermented beer, about 5% abv.  American Pale Ale is usually heavy on the hops - especially America's Cascade hops.  Two row malts and a cleaner yeast are used in the brew process.  But, it's the American hops that distinguish this beer from other pale ales (from Europe and Britain). 

American Pale Ale has its origins in a beer style brewed first by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company back in 1980.  They used plenty of American hops, basing their brew on English pale ale.  Credit also has to go to Bert Grant of Yakima Brewing, Jack McAuliffe of New Albion Brewing Company, and Fritz Maytag of Anchor Brewing Company for their popular, hoppy ales. 

APA's are well-carbonated and have a strong hop aroma that often presents citrus notes.  Look for a clear to slightly hazy gold or amber appearance and a thick white head.  This is a hoppy beer that comes with a certain amount of bitterness with little caramel or fruity esters.  The finish is typically smooth.

Hops Used

Bittering - Nugget.  Gives a floral, resin aroma and flavor.  Clean bitterness and delicate herbal aroma.

Flavoring - Cascade.  Adds a medium floral, citrus and grapefruit notes.  This is a typical flavoring hop for American ales, IPA's, Porters, and Pale Ales.

How Served

Serve American Pale Ale at about 40 - 45 degrees F. in a standard pint glass.  Make sure your glass is clean, without any soap residue.  Get your two fingers of head when pouring.

Food for this Home Brew


Technical Stuff


Styles of Beer
Many have said the taste of beer must be "acquired".  That may be true.  Although factors such as the brewing process and various spices, fruits, etc. play a role, the taste of beer chiefly comes from the malt and water used, esters (or lack of) from the yeast, and the hops.  And, it's the hops that people are inherently tasting when we say beer is an acquired taste... more

Choosing the Right Beer Glass

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Home Brew How To: Brewing Beer at Home

Discover the wonderful world of home brew.  If you've ever wanted to brew at home, but didn't know how to get started, this website serves to provide information on how to make home brew beer and the home brew process.  Get recipes for home brew beer, and step-by-step instructions on how to home brew beer.  No detail has been left out. 

Every new home brewer is going to need a basic set of brew equipment.  Read about all the home brew supplies available and typically used within the hobby.  Get information about home brew kits - one of the first purchases you'll make.  Find your local home brew stores and shops

You'll find that most beginners use bottles for their home brewed beer.  But, as you advance your knowledge and experience in brewing beer at home, you'll likely want to move away from bottling to kegging your beer.  Learn about the various home brew kegs and kegging systems.

Get answers about the home brew system, the best home brew kits, all the different pieces of home brew gear, and even where to obtain beer labels for your bottles!

Our Favorite Brew Supply Store
If you live in Western North Carolina, we highly recommend you visit the guys over at Asheville Brewers Supply!


Our Favorite Commercial Beers
Chimay Trappistes
Any of the Belgian Monk beers brewed within the walls of the Trappist Monastery and controlled by the International Trappist Association.  World renowned beers that are considered by us among the finest brews.

RJ Rockers
Great beer, brewed in a fashion familiar to any of us who have served with the Army/Air Force in Germany during the Cold War.  Love the new Pint Glass they sent me recently.  Ummmmmm!

BrandBrand Bier - The Brand Beer from The Netherlands.
While stationed in The Netherlands, this was the more popular beer, after Heineken.  In our opinion, it is a far better brew than the big "H" beer!  Unfortunately, Brand beer is not available in the United States.




Beer Brew 12 - It's Good to Be American Pale Ale

Ingredients for this Home Brew

1. Briess Golden Malt Extract 3.3 Pounds
2. Briess Pilsen Malt Extract 3.3 Pounds
3. Crushed Grain, Pale Blend (.5 Crystal 10, .5 Cara-pils) 1 Pound
4. Nugget Pellet Hops, AA 12.9% 1 Ounce
5. Cascade Pellet Hops, AA 6.2% 1 Ounce
6. White Labs California Ale Yeast - 1 Vial
7. Briess Dry Malt Extract, Pilsen Light - 1 cup for Priming

The ingredients for our American Pale Ale homebrew.

December 24, 2012 - After a year of brewing mostly European beers (Belgium Tripels, Oktoberfestbier, Pilsner, Kolsch, etc.) we decided it was time to have a go at a good ole American Pale Ale.  It's a very simple homebrew, with about 6 pounds of malt extract.  The Nugget hops are for bittering, followed by flavorful Cascade hops.

Step 1 - Sanitization.  As you can see from the picture below, we sanitize everything.  The sink is filled with about 3 gallons of warm water, with a mixture of 3 teaspoons of One Step sanitizer.  We then brought 3 gallons of filtered water to 155 degrees F and added the crushed grains to the brew pot.

Here is our home brew sink filled with all the tools of the trade, getting sanitized.   The filtered water in the brew kettle is brought to 155 degrees F and the crushed grains are added.

The grains remained in the brew pot for about 50 minutes, and were then removed.  We let the grain bag rest on a strainer so as to collect the remaining juices for addition to mid-boil.  The temperature of the brew was increased to a near boil.  At that point we added the malt extract and the Nugget hops (for bittering).

We removed the crushed grain bag from the brew kettle after 50 minutes of steeping at 155 degrees F.   Adding malt extract to the home brew kettle.

We added the malt extract to the home brew kettle and brought the temperature to a boil again.   In go the bittering hops.  These Nugget hops were added at the beginning of the boil.

The temperature was increased again, bringing the brew to a full, rolling boil.  Total boil time was 60 minutes.  At mid boil (30 minutes into the boil) we added the remaining juices from the grain bag.

Here we are adding the remaining crushed grain bag juice to the homebrew wort.

About 15 minutes prior to end of boil, we added 1 teaspoon of Irish Moss.  This helps coagulate the particles so they will fall to the bottom of the fermentor. 

A closeup of a bottle of Irish Moss.  This is a homebrewer's secret for clarifying large particles out of the brew.   Irish Moss is added to the home brew 15 minutes before the end of boil.

5 minutes before end boil, the Cascade flavoring hops were added.

   Here we are adding the Cascade flavoring hops to the home brew.

After 60 minutes of boiling, we removed the brew from the heat and placed it into a cold bath in the sink.  This helps take away some of the immediate heat.  Cooling to 74 degrees F is the goal.  This lessens the time available for bacteria to enter the brew.

Chilling the wort in a sink bath.  

We then siphoned the chilled 3 gallons of water from the carboy into the brew pot, resulting in a rapid reduction of wort temperature.  We then siphoned the wort back into the carboy and discovered our temperature had dropped to 76 F.

December 24, 2012 - 6pm:  About 30 minutes later, the temperature was perfect for yeast-pitching (74 degrees F.)  So, after doing so, we added the air-lock and placed a dark towel around the brew.  In the image below, this beer is in the carboy to the right.  We brewed two batches of beer today.  The one on the left is our Original Appalachian Pale Ale 2.  It's important to note that each beer in the photo below (and all beers we ferment in a carboy) are covered with a dark towel entirely throughout the fermentation.

Our American Pale Ale in the fermentor, after yeast has been added.  The air locks keep bacteria out, while letting the CO2 escape safely.

December 25, 2012: Fermentation began around 9am this morning... or about 18 hours after yeast was pitched.  Temperature is steady at 71 degrees F.  At 8pm this evening, the air-lock is bubbling about every two seconds.  I noticed the Irish Moss is doing its job as much of the solids are coagulated. 

December 26, 2012:  Temperature is steady, at 70 degrees F.  Fermentation is still going at about 1 1/2 to 2 plops per second. 

December 27, 2012:  During the late afternoon I noticed fermentation has slowed to about 1 plop of the air-lock every 5 seconds.  Temperature is at 69 F.

December 28, 2012:  Early afternoon, the air-lock is plopping every ten seconds.  Fermentation is slowing.  But, there is still an active movement of particles in the brew.  Temperature is at 69 F.

January 1, 2013: Happy New Year!  Fermentation has ceased.  Hopefully find time to bottle in the next week.

January 3, 2013:  Moved brew to a secondary fermenter.

January 8, 2013:  So, after five days in the secondary and with no activity for 4 days, we decided to keg this beer.  In fact, this represents our first shot at kegging one of our homebrews.  We used a standard 5-gallon Corny keg setup.  After thorough cleansing and sanitizing all equipment, we used the auto-siphon to move the brew from the secondary carboy into the keg.  We actually ended up with almost 6 gallons of brew, so keeping any trub/sediment from transferring was easy.  In fact, we had perhaps enough remaining beer for 4 or 5 12-ounce bottles, but we were very short on time and broke the brewer's code of conduct by tossing it (ugggggh!).

The pressure was set to 30 psi and the beer was placed outside.  The day temps were about 40 and the evening tempers were about 35, for the two days.  After that we moved the keg and CO2 container into a small dorm fridge.  It took some experimenting to get the temperature correct (and mainly to keep the lines from freezing), but after a couple of tweeks, we had the brew steady at about 38 - 40 degrees F. 

Tried on after a day in the keg and it was ok, but not carbonated enough.  Day two, and the beer was much better.  But, something amazing happened on day three!  The beer was super clear and very tasty.  Carbonation was perfect, with the little bubbles being born at the bottom of the tall pilsner glass and gently making their way to the top, where the head was nice and frothy.  Nice two fingers of head lasted several minutes and the lacing was more than noticeable.  In fact, it was a thing of beauty! 

We had accomplished something we set out to do, and that was to create an American style ale that actually tasted good.  Going into this, we figured it would come out like a big name, watered-down beer.  But, it was completely opposite.  We had just brewed our first American Ale, and conditioned it via keg.  Between the two of us, 5 gallons was gone in two days!  Will definitely be brewing this one again and again.  Even our neighbor enjoyed a few glasses and spoke highly of it. 

For Americans, this is definitely a beer you should use first as an example of home brewing, when sharing with your neighbors.  Don't make the mistake we made.  Early on, we gave a few friends and neighbors a strong, full-bodied, Belgian Tripel.  They just don't know how to appreciate that style of beer.  Needless to say, we didn't get much of a positive response in feedback from them.  This American Ale, however is probably right up their alley, and should impress them.



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