Colorado pale ale (or is it an IPA?)

My first beer of 2014 is what I call a Colorado style pale ale. To me this is defined by Dale’s Pale Ale from Oskar Blues in Longmont and Colorado Kind Ale from Mountain Sun in Boulder. It’s an amber to red American pale ale that could be considered an IPA. I don’t know what the recipes of those two excellent beers are, but with my most recent brew I tried to create something in that style.

I went for a simple set of grain and hops. I’m using mostly 2-row barley malt, with dark crystal malt for color and some flavor. And I’m using only Cascade hops, the essential American hop. I used mostly flavor and aroma additions with just enough bittering hops to keep it in the style range for an IPA. I also plan to dry hop for 1 – 2 weeks before bottling. Hopefully I’ll have a nicely colored hop forward beer with a good malt balance. I’ll find out in 6 – 8 weeks.

The recipe

Once again this is specific to my patio setup. I get 75% extraction efficiency, and aim for 5 gallon batches at the end of the entire brewing process. But I target 6 gallons of wort in the kettle at the end of the boil. Why? Because I lose about half a gallon in the kettle, and I want to get 5.5 gallons in the primary fermenter if I can. Then I can be confident in a final batch size of 5 gallons. Maybe if I had less waste I could buy less grain.




Mash (Single infusion, 152F)


Measurement Expected Actual Reference (IPA) Reference(APA)
Efficiency 75% 76% N/A N/A
OG 1.059 1.060 1.056 – 1.075 1.045 – 1.060
FG 1.012 1.008 1.010 – 1.018 1.010 – 1.015
ABV 6.1% 6.8% 5.5% – 7.5% 4.5% – 6.2%
IBUs 44 44 40 – 70 30 – 45
Color (SRM) 15 Deep Amber 6 – 15 5 – 14

— Steve

Posted on 27 January 2014