March Pale Ale

Encouraged by mia_mcdavid and carpe_noctum_93, and by discovering that there are two other brewers in my Irish class, I started another batch of beer.


2 cups pale malt
6 cups crystal malt
6 lbs of gold malt extract
3 oz. Nugget hops, from the vine in our garden
Scottish ale yeast

The lazy man’s mash: I added the crystal and pale malt to a pot with about 1.5 gallons of water that I had heated on the stove. The temperature came to about 120oF. I put it in a 170oF oven and left it there overnight. 10 AM the next morning: 160oF. So it had slowly gone through the magic zone of 145oF-155oF, allowing lots of conversion of starch to sugar, and indeed it was sweet.

I sparged out the grains and added 6 lbs of gold malt extract and 1 oz. of frozen Nugget hops from our garden. I raised this to a boil. In fact, I was a little careless and got a massive boil over. But I saved the brew, cleaned up the kitchen (in that order), and continued. After 30 minutes I added a second oz. of hops. After 60 minutes I turned the heat off and added the final oz. of hops.

I cooled the wort on the back porch for a couple hours (this is winter in Minnesota). I put it into my primary fermenter and added water for a total volume of 5.5 gallons. Initial gravity 1.047. I pitched the yeast, a “smack pack” which I had smacked the night before, and closed up the fermenter.

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