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BJCP characteristic ingredients: "Neutral pale malt. American or New World hops. Neutral to lightly fruity American or English ale yeast. Small amounts of various specialty malts."
The base malt is typically American two-row (Briess, Rahr, etc.), although sometimes British pale ale malt can be all or part of the grain bill. Light to medium crystal malts (20 or 60L) are typically around 5 to 7%, up to 10%. Darker crystal malts makes the results more like an American Amber Ale. Munich, Vienna, Victory, and Biscuit malt are possibilities. Professional opinions on these kilned malts are divided, with some favoring grain bill complexity while others favor a simple malt bill. Use restraint by keeping the total of specialty malts under 15%. Small amounts of wheat malt are sometimes used to enhance foam.
The hops are standard American varieties that have pine and citrus qualities. Cascade was critical for establishing this style. The other "C-hops" (Centennial, Columbus, and Chinook) are standards. More recently, Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe, and others have gained popularity. Hop flavor and aroma comes from late boil and dry hop additions. Dry hopping is used in half of the reviewed recipes.
Neutral American ale strains are the usual yeast choice.
2021 BJCP 18B - American pale ale style
Beer-analytics.com American pale ale
Colby, C. (2006, March-April). Oh, say can you "C"? A guide to brewing American Pale Ales. BYO, 32-39.
Strong, G. (2009, January-February). American pale ale: The test of a brewer's skill. BYO, 19-23.
Zainasheff, J. (2013, January-Feburary). American pale ale: Crisp and hoppy. BYO, 19-23.
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