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.
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Mash Recipe:

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

Technique:

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.

Technique:

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.

Yeast:

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.

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