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Small Batch APA – Closed Fermentation & Transfer

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.

Look at that American Pale Ale.

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
ABV: 4.99%

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.



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  1. Matthew Endrizzi

    Is this recipe for a 3Gal batch? Just wondering because brewfather says it’s 105 IBU based on 7%AA Cascade that I have which seems out of style for a pale ale?

  2. Hi Matthew – yes, this is for a 3 gallon batch!

  3. Andrew

    Wouldn’t that ABV be more like 6.3%?

  4. Made a mistake on the Original Gravity number – it was supposed to be 1.048. Fixed in the post.

  5. Adam

    Hey guys, nice to see you keeping up the great work and staying excited about beers well done!

    Question: What temp did Mike mash this at and how long? Maybe I missed it but I rarely see that detail in your recipes.. asking because these days I find my mash temp affects my fg more than anything. I often leave the mash a couple hours until I can get to it, so often low fg, which isn’t always bad.


  6. Hi Adam –

    Mike says he mashes at low temperatures. For this beer, he’s using the electric brewing system and he followed a step mash – 145° F for 40 minutes. Then 158° F for 10 minutes. Lastly, 168°F for 10 minutes. He was constantly recirculating during this mash schedule.

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