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Homebrewing: American Pale Ale (For Beginners)

[Photographs: Sarah Postma]

This extract recipe provides the basic building blocks of a tasty American Pale Ale. The 6-row pale malt provides a nice grainy character and the crystal provides some caramel sweetness and smooths out the mouthfeel. The hop schedule consists of two of the American classics and is designed to balance bitterness, flavor and aroma. This recipe is designed for the new homebrewer, and can be made with the most basic equipment setup. You can find dry light malt extract, crystal 20L malt, American 6-row malt, Cascade and Centennial hops and Safale US-05 yeast at any homebrew shop. You will need to have the grain crushed. Most homebrew stores sell pre-crushed grain or they can crush it for you on site.

I brewed this in my apartment kitchen. It fermented in a plastic bucket for 12 days at a temperature around 68°F. The finished product looks really nice in the glass. It's a cloudy pale-orange color with a dense white head, and leaves nice lacing. The nose has orangey citrus notes and a hint of caramel. The flavor follows the aroma; this is an easy-drinking pale ale with a little citrusy sweetness and a balancing bitterness.

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