Home > Brew session > Citra Pale

Citra Pale

Saturday afternoon found me sweltering out on the back deck in the name of beer once again. A few months back I ordered a pound of Citra hops from Puterbaugh Farms and have been eager to try them out in a pale ale to get a feel for their character. Saturday was the perfect opportunity, so I once again fired up the propane burner and got to work. The recipe was pretty straightforward and somewhat similar to how I formulate all my pale ales – a couple pounds of light crystal and specialty malts, and the balance a base 2-row. I have had some british Golden Promise sitting and waiting in the basement for a while, and opted to use a good chunck of it on this beer. Even though Golden Promise is typically used in scottish / english beers, I didn’t think it would overly influence the American flavor profile I was after.

I hit all my mash targets, got a very good rolling boil going, and the proteins seemed to break out quite nicely, although the real proof will be when the beer chills down – If I have a significant haze, then the malt might be getting past its prime. That still shouldn’t negatively impact my ability to characterize the Citra hops’ contribution. Just look at that gorgeous color…. My mouth waters just thinking about it.

The day wrapped up pretty uneventfully – Since our groundwater temperature is coming out at around 80 degrees, I only managed to cool the wort down to about 82 before running it off into the fermenters. A trip to the basement, a couple of wet towels and 2 hours later (while I took the kids to the YMCA outdoor pool to cool off), I returned to find them at a temperate 73 degrees and pitched the WLP001 yeast starter. At that point I only had a moderate amount of janitorial / cleanup work remaining as well.

This batch is kind of a precursor to a bigger 20 gallon batch of IPA or I2PA I want to brew later in the summer with my friend Brian. I’ve got tons of Citra, Columbus, Centennial, Summit, Simcoe, and Amarillo hops just waiting to assault someone’s palate, and once I know how this hop will fit in with the others, we should be able to formulate something big, bold and juicy.

Finally I must once again state how much I love my brew gear. Anyone who doesn’t use a false bottom and whole hops, let me show you why you may wish to consider…. The hops form a filter bed and almost completely trap the hot & cold break in the kettle as you drain it. This means less funk in your fermenters, a cleaner tasting beer, and a fantastic opportunity to re-pitch your yeast slurry into the next batch without fear of what is going with it. Whole hops + false bottom = AWESOME.

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Categories: Brew session
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