Ramble On

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Cascade American Ale

Last fall I bought a one gallon kit from Northern Brewer called Chinook IPA - it was a single-hop brew that came out pretty tasty.  The only problems were that it was a one gallon batch, so there wasn't much of it; also the Northern Brewer solution for carbonation in small batch is "fizz tabs" - capsules of corn sugar solution you apply directly to the bottle - this didn't yield a consistent result for me.

Still, the tasty beer made me want to experiment some more, especially with this single hop approach. I had some locally grown Cascade hops from my Luray neighbor Bill that I wanted to use, so I made a plan to adapt the extract recipe from "Chinook IPA" to "Cascade American Ale."  I brewed that on Sunday before the Super Bowl.

This particular batch is also the first time I used the BeerSmith software, which neighbor Dan had recommended.  I put my ingredient list in the software and it did some basic calculations for me, including expected ABV, and more importantly for an ale, the IBUs.

After inventorying the leaf Cascade, I found I had 3 ounces of the local ones - when I did the IBU calculation, the result was less than you want for this variety of beer.  I found two packs of Hop Union northwestern Cascade pellets, so I added those.  I got the IBU up to 55, where the threshold for ale styles is 50.

The expected ABV is around 5.4%, we'll see what we get when I bottle in about three weeks.  Meanwhile, the O.G., shown being measured in the second photo, was 1.050 at 74 degrees.


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