Summer’s (almost?) here and the time is right…for brewing in the street….or at least outside. Ok, that was just awful. Warm temperatures mean BBQs and beers for thirst quenching. We have a whole bunch of recipes queued up for the upcoming days of summer. I am starting it off with a summer ale recipe.
This is an extract recipe but can be easily converted to all grain by switching out the dry malt extract with 9 pounds of American 2-row malt. You can use other pale malts, even pilsner, but when I have brewed a non-extract version of this beer, it has been with 2-row. Mashing all the grains together at 150° F for 60 minutes will give you what you need to boil
Check out the details below:
5.5 lbs Dry Extra Light Malt Extract
0.5 lbs Cara-Pils Malt
0.25 lbs Wheat Malt
0.25 lbs Munich Malt
0.5 oz of Chinook Hops pellets (boiled at 60 mins to go in the boil)
0.5 oz of Sterling Hops pellets (boiled at 15 mins left)
0.5 oz of Sterling Hops pellets (boiled at 5 mins left)
1.0 oz lemon zest (boiled at 5 mins)
0.25 oz to 0.5 oz ginger root (boiled at 5 mins)
Yeast: White Labs WLP008 East Coast Ale Yeast
Step by Step:
Steep Munich, Wheat, and Cara-Pils malt in 2 gallons of 150° F water for 45 minutes. Add to boil with Malt Extract and Chinook hops and boil for 60 minutes total.
Add first addition of Sterling hops at 15 mins. Add lemon zest (I buy 4 big lemons and use a microplane grater to get the amount of zest I need for the recipe), ginger root (Grate this as well. Try the low range of the scale presented in the recipe first), and second addition of Sterling hops with 5 minutes to go in the boil. See comments below for more instructions.
Cool wort to 70° F, pitch yeast, and ferment for two weeks, maintaining 70°F temp.
Color: 4.13 SRM
Bitterness: 35.1 IBU
Alcohol (% by volume): 5.4%
I have brewed this beer several times since I posted the summer ale recipe back in 2008. At that time, I was trying to emulate commercial summer beers that were available to us in the MA area that were basically simple ales with a few special ingredients like the ones offered from Sam Adams and Harpoon.
The most important thing to keep in mind when following this recipe is to have a good fermentation. You want this beer to finish dry and to let the ginger, lemon, and hops be the main focus in the taste and the aroma. Make sure you use a yeast strain that attenuates well and pitch a mighty starter and maintain the fermentation temperature.
As time as gone on, I have grown to like wheat beer a lot more for summer brews. Another version of this recipe would to be replace the entire grain bill with wheat malt extract, 6 pounds to be exact. I think that would showcase the tang of the lemon, the spice of the ginger, and the earthiness of the Chinook and Sterling hops
Hope this recipe serves you well since summer time is a great time for homebrew.