Lynchpin Pale, a Sessionable Ale

When I started brewing, I loved malty beers. I did not yet know that the world of hops was varied and beautiful, or what an art form it is to modulate your sugar content to produce a relatively low-alcohol, session-drinking beer.

I’ve been expanding my repertoire quite a bit – all grain, better control over color, and of course, exploring hops like a madperson. But I want a simple, go-to recipe that’s quick to brew, finishes fast, and won’t get me hammered when I drink one. Enter: Lynchpin Pale Ale, v1.0, a partial mash approach to a solid craft beer.

Mash Recipe:

  • .5# Flaked Barley
  • .5# Carastan
  • 1# Biscuit


Steep the grains (mash) in a grain bag at approximately 155 degrees for at least 25 minutes. I mashed for 60. I’m experimenting here. After the mash, remove grains and sparge to bring kettle volume up. Bring kettle to boil.

Extract Recipe:

  • 3# Golden Light DME
  • 3# Bavarian Wheat DME

I believe most any light or golden dry extracts will work fine.


To control SRM (color), I’ve been playing with the “add the sugars late” approach. So for the extract, I added half of one bag at boil, then commenced with the hopping schedule. At flameout, I added the remainder of the sugars and stirred it into the hot wort. This helps keep the sugars from caramelizing during the boil (most of my homebrew has been brown), allowing a wider spectrum of colors.

Note: Some sugars *must* be added at the start of the boil or the hops don’t process properly, from what I’ve read.

Hops Pack:

  • 1 oz Cascade – 60 min
  • 1 oz Styrian Golding – 40 min
  • 1 oz Whitbread Golding – 20 min
  • 1 oz Crystal – Flameout

Hops should be adjusted to your taste. If you prefer pine flavors, go in that direction. If you just like facefulls of bitter, there are hops for that.


I’ve been experimenting with big quantities of yeast and multiple strains. For this, I used one sachet each of Safale-04 and Safale-05. No particular reason, except that I want a nice dry, hoppy, slightly fruity end result. And because I’m curious. Do competing yeasts muddy the flavor, or clarify it? No idea. Maybe neither one. Maybe the result is neutral.

You can see in the picture at the top that it has a nice robust color, not as light as I’d hoped for but not as dark as most of my brews. I’ve had it sitting in primary for three weeks or so. I could put it into secondary or bottle it straight away. I’m leaning toward bottling. I really want a no-fuss, easy drinking beer that I can throw together simply and inexpensively. In other words, my Lynchpin recipe that I can go back to again and again.

Catching Up On Beer Blogging!

Hello world! My November has been full of interesting. My NaNoWriMo effort failed after about 12,000 words when my main character, despite my best efforts, decided that the difficult event that starts the book is eerily similar to my last major breakup. And I found that I wasn’t having fun going through that again on her behalf, so that was that.

But there’s been plenty going on with beer. Scary Monsters II: George Lucas Had No Part In This is conditioning in bottles right now. It turned out extremely light bodied with a nice, full hop flavor. I may even want to fortify the body a bit in future renditions of the recipe. Lactose? A bit more dark or chocolate malts? Something.

Hop’s End is a ridiculously beautiful carboy of beer that throws a nice ruby-amber light into my living room every morning. I don’t even want to bottle that. Can I decorate with beer?

There’s more. I’ll be back to adding content on the regular like. I’m currently experimenting with outdoor cold crashing for my pear wine. More on that in a few.


Status Report: Hop’s End


Hop’s End, guarded by the ever vigilant Harm the Bitey Cat

Hop’s End continues aging on Nelson. On warmer days, I continue to see signs of fermentation. I may move it outside for early December for an old school cold crash, but as you can see, it’s a gorgeous red color that’s cleared up beautifully. I still wish I hadn’t ended up with Pilsner malts for the secondary fermentation, but this’ll be a lovely beer.

Spiced Beef Sandwiches

I’m always looking for recipes that incorporate beer. This particular recipe takes a while but it is worth it. Great for a large crowd and the favors are well suited for football tailgating or any other fall activity.

1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 Tbsp. molasses
4 pounds boneless tied beef rib roast
12 ounces stout beer

Note: This needs several days to marinate and at least 7 hours of cooking time before serving.

Mix spices, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Stir in molasses to form a dry paste; rub all over beef. Place meat in a nonreactive container or resealable bag. Let marinate 4 to 7 days in the refrigerator, turning and rubbing beef once each day.

Place beef and stout in a wide (6- to 8-quart) pot and add water to just cover beef. Bring to a simmer; cover and cook until tender but not falling apart, about 3 hours (30 minutes more if using chuck). Remove from heat, but let beef sit in pot for 2 hours. When cool, remove beef and chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours.

Slice meat and assemble sandwiches.