Mike brewed a small batch American Pale Ale (APA) to practice a closed fermentation and transfer of his beer to his keg. We know that oxygen is the enemy of hoppy beer. To defend against it, Mike has been playing around with batch sizes and repurposing some of his equipment to do complete closed fermentation. Learn more about this APA and what he did to preserve that hops goodness.
Small Batch APA Recipe
Mike has a simple recipe for you to follow – His Pale Ale # 6
Batch size: 3 US gallons
80% Dingemans Belgian Pilsner Malt (1.6° L)
20% Light Munich Malt (~7° L)
1.5 ounces of Cascade hops at 60 minutes left in the boil
2 ounces of Cascade hops for 10 minutes left in the boil
2 ounces of Amarillo hops for 10 minutes left in the boil
1 ounce of Citra hops added as a dry hop
1 packet of LalBrew Verdant IPA yeast
Spring water treated with 1.5 grams of Calcium Chloride and 3.2 grams of Calcium Sulfate
72 ppm of Calcium
49 ppm of Chloride
100 ppm of Sulfate
0.9 ppm of Magnesium
Original Gravity: 1.048
Final Gravity: 1.010
Our Tasting Notes
The color of this beer is a hazy dark gold with a strong citrus aroma. The body was medium and the mouthfeel was soft. The flavor is a wonderful marriage between tropical and citrus flavors. The simple malt profile supported the hop flavor and we feel the lack of Crystal malt was a big part of this beer’s success.
Mike’s Closed Fermentation Process
With the small batch size (3 US gallons), Mike ferments right in his Torpedo keg. He uses a grey gas out connection with a blow off tube on it. At the end of fermentation, he transfers to another Torpedo keg that has been sanitized and purged with CO2.
He has modified his dip tube in his fermentation keg so that it sits a few inches off the top so that the trub doesn’t transfer over to the serving keg.
For this beer, he did open the fermentation keg to add his dry hops but he did it quickly. His big success is with the small amount of hops that he used. It still brought big flavor to the beer. With his process, he feels this beer will maintain its aroma and flavor profile for a long time.