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Single Hop Pale Ale Brewing

I am planning on brewing up a handful of quasi-pale ales using only a single hop varietal per batch. The goal is to get a feel for the bittering, flavor ,and aroma of some varieties I want to understand better. I was thinking of a schedule like this:

60min -35 IBU
20min -15 IBU
5min -5 IBU
Dry Hop- (1oz)

I’ll figure the IBUs base upon the Alpha content of each variety I plan to use, which is why I didn’t list it in ounces. Except for the dry hop, which will really contirbute no IBUs and why the 5min is so low in IBUs.

I plan to shoot for a 1.048-1.052 OG beer brewed with 90% 2-row, 5% Crystal 60L, and 5% Victory malt. Of course, American ale yeast to keep it clean and simple.

Here are the questions:
Should I drop the 5 minute and just go with more dryhop?
And should I change the time on the flavor addition?

I was thinking of using these hops:

Nugget, Cascade, Columbus, Citra and Amarillo


Belgian Pale Ale Recipe


Hop Bines Progress


  1. JW

    Single hop beers are a great way to explore the different hop varieties. We are in the process of doing our second Single Hop Beer Experiment with our homebrew club (everyone does a different variety and we taste them all together).

    In our experience, you want to load the beer with a sizable amount of late additions so the character of the hop is well represented. Make sure that the weight of late additions (15min, 1min, dry hop) are the same for each of the beers – if you try to normalize each of these additions by IBU, you will be short changing the amount of hop oils and resins that really give the hop its taste, aroma, and character (i.e. a 15% AA hop might have 1/3 the amount of essence oils provided by the late hop additions than a hop that was 5% AA). Instead, only adjust your 60 minute addition to get the target IBU for the beer.

    Use any of the beer recipe software (i.e. BeerSmith, ProMash) to determine your 60 minute addition. However, to make this simpler, we created a series of look-up charts for our homebrew club so anyone could do it. All a brewer needs to do was look up their hop’s alpha acid to the chart and it provides the correct weight for the hop addition – no programs or math needed. If you are interested, everything can be found here:


    Lastly, consider splitting a batch so you can get two beers out of a single brew session and use a different single hop for each split batch. If you are All-Grain, mash and sparge as normal to get 7-10 gallons, and then split the total volume into two batches (which can be boiled side-by-side if you have the equipment, or one after another – just store the second half of the batch in another container until the first one is either cooling or racked into the carboy). For extract brewers, its even easier as you can measure out the DME and steeping grains just as easily for two batches.

    Best of luck – let us know how it turns out!


  2. Christian C

    Sounds like a great plan, I migh try the same and take JW’s advice from the previous post by making a series of 1 gallon mini batches out of one mashing session. I’ll probably go with Cascade, Fuggles, Golding, Liberty & Willamette since I tend to use all low alpha hops for both bittering and finishing. Since I’m a hop-head, I’ll probably do an IPA for the series using Maris Otter as the base.

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