Hodgepodge “Pale Ale”

Every once in a while I feel like getting weird…actually I like getting weird all the time. However, this beer may have surpassed them all in that I decided to brew a beer not planning the recipe or entering any numbers into a program ahead of time. Comfortable about it? No. Still enjoyed it? Yes.

All I knew going into this was that I wanted to brew a pale ale. There were a few things I knew ahead of time without having to use my shitty memory too much. For one, I knew from past brew days that about 2 lbs of 2-row yielded about a 1.050 gravity. I also knew that about .5 oz worth hops (depending on alpha acid percent) in my boils or steeping yielded about 30 IBUs. I decided to use a hop shot as well, and when I did used it the one other time, 2 milliliters for a 2 gallon batch was about 50 IBUs worth, so I figured 1 milliliter for this. From there it was a bit of guess work for the rest.

My mash water I attempted from memory, and basic calculation. The standard calculation of lbs of grist per gallon of water was used. I went with 1 gallon of water for 2 lbs of grain, which was 2 qts per lbs of grain—the range being 1.25 – 2.4 qts. For the mash water temp, I had to guess a little. I went with what I remembered in the past, which has been if I get my water to 157F-ish, I hit my mash temp at 150F-ish.

The salts I think I had used in the past on this size batch was about 1 gram of gypsum and .5 gram of calcium chloride in distilled water. For lactic acid, usually 1.5-ish milliliters of lactic acid just using 2-row, with the salts, gave me about 5.2 on the pH.

From there it was a little prayer and some hope.

Let’s get weird.

Brew day video:


Batch Size: 1 Gallon
OG: 1.053
SRM: 5
Est ABV: 5%-ish
IBU: 77
Boil Time: 45 Min

Grain profile:
2 lbs (100%) – 2-Row

60 Min @ 146F


2 mil (42 IBUs) Hop Shot @ 45 Min (could be more IBUs)
(25 IBUs) Bru 1 (15.7% AA) @ 20 min steep
(10 IBUs) Huell Melon (6% AA) @ 20 min steep

Dry hops:

I don’t know. .75 oz of BRU 1 and Huell Melon combined?


Here’s what went down:

Brewed 7/21/18

Added salts to 1 gallon of mash water and got it to 157F. Mashed in and the temp was at 146F. I should have gone a few degrees higher, which I usually do as the temp drops some during transfer. I planned on using a Sous Vide temp controller for this, so cranked that up and got the mash to 150F after about 15 minutes.

Took a pH reading and was at 5.6. Added more lactic acid for a total of 1.3 milliliters to get me to 5.4. That’s usually what I add for my 2 gallon batches, so I found that odd. Looking back, there’s a chance I used my pH storage solution accidentally. Just don’t tell anyone.

As a way to avoid figuring out sparge water, I went with the room temp fly sparge, which I have employed in the past when my mash has been on the thin side.

Collected 1.5 gallons at 1.036 pre-boil.

Accidentally added 2 mil wroth of Hop Shot @ 45 Min, and 2 oz each of BRU 1 and Huell Melon for a 20 minute steep.

Got 1 gallon at 1.053. Cooled it down to 67F and pitched the yeast (just eyeballed the amount).

The result as you can see from the recipe above, was a 77 IBU “pale ale” which ended up being an IPA. This happened as I accidentally put 2 milliliters of the hop shot in. Efforting.

After the brew day the Bru’n Water program read my salts as 55 calcium, 74 sulfate, and 42 chloride. That’s almost exactly what I was going for. Less efforting.

7/31/18: Transferred to a keg and added some dry hops. I didn’t document what or how much I added like a dum dum. I want to say it was about .75 oz worth of BRU 1 and Huell Melon.

8/18/18 tasting:

Leave a Reply