Brew #6 - Juicy Fruit Pale Ale (Mosaic and Simcoe)
Updated: Dec 19, 2020
A Mosaic and Simcoe pale ale which we aptly called our Juicy Fruit Pale ale after its incredibly rich and fruity aroma!
Mosaic: A unique, fairly complex hop profile noted for fruity flavours such as blueberry. Often also noted for mango, stone fruit, tropical, floral and piney flavours. It has relatively high alpha acids making it suitable for bittering, flavouring and aroma additions.
Simcoe: A high alpha acid hop variety known for citrus flavour with grapefruit and pine notes. Used both for bittering and flavouring beer. We have already used this hop to make a simple single malt single hop IPA. Check it out here.
I decided to give recipe planning a go on this brew and read multiple articles about how to design and brew the perfect pale ale, the best hop combinations and hop boil timings. I finally decided on the Mosaic and Simcoe combination and designed a pale ale recipe using the Brewfather app. I wanted something tasty that was a bit more hoppy than the other beers that we have brewed so far. So I moved the flavour and aroma hop additions from 30, 20 and 10 mins left in the boil to later at 15 and 0 mins, then dry hopped for 3 days as per usual. However, to keep the bitterness low, fitting the expectation of a pale ale we added less hops than we usually add to our IPA recipes.
Method: All-grain BIAB
Batch size: 10 litres
Estimated OG: 1.054
Estimated FG: 1.012
Estimated ABV: 5.5%
Estimated IBU (Tinseth): 57
Estimated EBC: 20
2.35 kg Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner (4 EBC)
277 g Simpson Crystal Light (104 EBC)
139 g Crisp Wheat Pale (3.5 EBC)
Hops: 90 min hop boil
60 mins, 12 g Magnum whole leaf (11% AA)
15 mins, 6 g Mosaic pellets (11.4% AA)
15 mins, 6 g Simcoe pellets (13.3% AA)
0 mins, 6 g Mosaic pellets (11.4% AA)
0 mins, 6 g Simcoe pellets (13.3% AA)
Dry hop for 3 days, 17 g Mosaic pellets (11.4% AA)
Dry hop for 3 days, 17 g Simcoe pellets (13.3% AA)
Fermentis US-05 Safale American (1 pkg)
1/2 tsp Irish Moss at 15 mins remaining of the hop boil
Mash at 65°C, mash out to 75°C
Fermentation 14 days - 20°C
Carbonation - 2.4 CO2-vol
Brew day - 13/06/20
Of course you can't brew without having a brew and my brew day beer of choice was Shipyard American IPA. I love a good IPA that can be picked up at Tesco.
This brew required 3 malts; pilsner malt, crystal light and wheat. We always order our malts crushed because we don't have the means to do it ourselves. Sadly, the wheat malt that we ordered was not crushed, despite what the packaging said. So we gave it a good whizz in our food processor. Not ideal but better than nothing. Our grain supplier, malt miller don't normally make mistakes like this but as it was only 5% of our grain bill, it was not the worst thing to happen.
Crystal light malt made up 10% of the grain bill. This one actually came crushed! #winning. It also smelt amazing!
We used pilsner malt as the base malt (85% of the grain bill) because 2-row was basically impossible to find. We needed something to provide a base but not too much biscuity flavour, hence our usual go to of malt otter was off the cards.
We mashed our grains at 66°C for 1 hour, then did a mash out to 76°C, before batch sparging in 8 litres of water and bringing the wort to a vigorous boil. It made a bit of a mess to say the least.
This boil only had 3 hop additions. Magnum at 60 mins for clean simple bittering. 15 mins Mosaic and Simcoe addition for flavouring and the same addition at flameout (0 min) for aroma.
The OG initially came in at 1.066 with approximately 10.5 litres. After the addition of 1.3 litres we got it down to 1.056. This wort was sweet! I think it was the caramel flavour from the crystal light malt in the grain bill that gave it that extra kick.
This was our first time using dried yeast. We were unsure about how much to pitch or whether to rehydrate it or not. The internet had a lot of mixed view points, so we decided to play it safe and just sprinkle the whole yeast package in.
We left the beer in the fermentor for 14 days. I really enjoyed this fermentation as this was the first time our airlock ever bubbled vigorously like all the videos I have seen on instagram! Finally! One of the major issues we had with this brew was temperature control. We had a mini heatwave in London which was fantastic for our lives but terrible for our beer. This brew temperature was constantly switching from 23 to 26°C.
Bottling day - 24/06/20
I absolutely love the colour of this beer. I feel like we really nailed the colour expectations of a pale ale. The smell from this beer was so inciting and tropical.
The FG was at 1.012, meaning we had a solid 5.8% beer on our hands! So we bottled away and ended up with 25 x 330-335 ml bottles of this bad boy!
Beer day - 11/07/20
We honestly could not have been more excited for this brew. This was probably the most excited we have been to try any of our brews to date. The deep orange colour was amazing and we had such high hopes given the incredible fruity smell we noted on bottling day. It was this fruity smell that led us to call this beer our juicy fruit pale ale. Sadly, I think we had too high expectations of this beer and we probably judged it a bit harshly on the first try. It still smelt amazing, full of tropical fruity aromas, but the first taste was so blah. On the first sip I honestly got nothing, but as it warmed up I noticed there was some fruity flavours coming through. The mouthfeel on this brew was thin.
Saying all this, when we shared this one with a friend the next day we completely changed our tune. I actually think this is a really good brew full of flavour especially at the beginning, it just lacks fullness at the end. It is very refreshing and definitely a summer beer. So I can still feel smug about designing a beer recipe completely from scratch, as the hop combination was great and we nailed the colour.
There were a number of potential improvements:
The temperature control was all over the shop. The amazing heat we were having in London was terribly detrimental to brewing an amazing tipple. One of our major issues was temperature control but without the space for a specific temperature controlled brewing fridge, we will need to figure out some crude approaches to tackling temperature fluctuations.
We lowered the quantity of hop to fit within the pale ale style guidelines. We only used 3 hop additions of 12 g each in the boil, rather than the usual 4 additions of 14 g so we could boost this by adding more hops either in the boil or the dry hop.
Colour: Orange amber appearance
Clarity: Fairly clear, no sediment
Carbonation: Very light carbonation with light but maintained head.
Taste: Fruity and tropical flavour. Thin mouthfeel.
Alcohol level: 5.8%
Perceived alcohol level: Not too alcoholic
Would I pay money for it?: Yes
Rating: 2.75/5 on day 1 but rose to 3.5/5 the next day
Have you ever brewed a Pale Ale? Any tips?
Check out our other homebrewed beers: