First Brew of the Year

It’s that time of year for setting goals and making resolutions. Besides eating better and exercising more, I’ve resolved to brew better beer. Practice makes perfect and consistency is what I consider mastery in this craft. Having brewed for over a year I’m confident in my process, but still in the learning stage. Take all advice with the caveat, “Your Mileage May Vary.” Now let’s talk brewing!

For the first recipe of the year I had a specific goal in mind: Brew a true session beer with some complexity. I say “true” session beer because the classification can be used loosely. Some people would consider a 5.5% to 6% beer still sessionable. While this may be acceptable with some styles, I’m trying to keep this beer around 4.5% abv. Most of the recipe was formulated with a surplus of ingredients I had.

This recipe would fall within the American Pale Ale category due to the late additions of Citra and fermenting with Wyeast 1056. Since Citra will be the focal point, any additions should compliment the grapefruit flavor and aroma. I happened to have a whole box of clementines in the fridge that would work nicely. After all… they are in season. They were incorporated after steeping for 20 minutes and mushing in a half-gallon of water. Coriander has worked for me in the past so I decided to throw some in at the end of the boil.

Since brew days can be scarce and I’m still using a five gallon system, I wanted to squeeze an extra gallon for experimenting. I took the last runnings of my batch sparge after hitting preboil volume. With the addition of some DME, crystal malt and hops I ended with about a half-gallon. I topped with distilled water to get one gallon of 1.062 wort. Yeah, I may have added too much DME!

It’s a little over a week and I’m still debating what to do. It looks like a lot of yeast is still in suspension. Maybe due to adding the clementines during primary fermentation? I’m hoping for the best and will see what’s needed. Here’s the recipes and pictures:

Cirtitine Ale
Yeast: Wyeast 1056
Starter: No
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Target Original Gravity: 1.047
IBU: 36
Efficiency: 78%
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60 minutes
Color: 6.4 SRM
Mash: Single Infusion – Batch Sparge1 at 152
Temp: 152

Grain Bill:
6 lb American Pale Ale (2 Row)
1.5 lb Munich
8 oz Carapils
6.25 oz Crystal Malt 40 L

60 min 1.25 oz Cascade (4%)
20 min 0.25 oz Citra (11.2%)
10 min 0.25 oz Citra (11.2%)
5 min 0.5 oz Citra (11.2%)
5 min 0.5 oz Coriander
0 min 0.5 oz Citra (11.2%)
8 Clementines steeped in 170F water (added to fermenter)


Experimental Batch
Yeast: Safale US-05
Starter: No
Batch Size (Gallons): 1
Target Original Gravity: ???
IBU: ???
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60 minutes
Color: 12.3 SRM

Steeped grains: Crystal 120/Carapils (2 oz each)
60 min Light DME
60 min 1/8 oz Centenial (7%)
30 min 1/8 oz Centenial (7%)