Farmhouse Edward Ale

To reproduce this recipe, I suggest following the guidelines provided by Joseph Lavoie of Beercraftr.

I wanted to try an american pale ale. This recipe is based on Beercraftr’s 1-gallon version of Hill Farmstead’s Edward Ale.  This beer should be floral and herbal, with a distinctively clean, citrus taste. My own adjustments aimed to experiment with hop substitutions that would still achieve the citrus and pine of the original recipe.

I’ve also been testing my brewing system over time, as I become more and more familiar with the idiosyncrasies of my equipment. One experiment with my Edward Ale was to mash the 1-gallon without the bag, as I normally do, to measure any difference in efficiency.

First – Beercraftr estimates the following, which serves me as a baseline:

Target OG = 1.052
Target FG = 1.012
IBUs = 87
Estimated ABV = 5.3%

That said, I employed some major substitutions, starting with the grain bill. This is partly just due to what I happened to have lying around. For my 1-gallon recipe I used:

950g Marris Otter
42.5g Caramel Munich Special B (120L)
42.5g Biscuit Malt
85g Czech Pilsen Malt

Among my hop substitutions were my backyard hops, which visually look like a variety of centennial hops (not tested). The hops had been hidden from view, growing up the side of the garage for most a summer two years ago before I noticed them.

Brew day (April 3, 2018)

  • 7 litres (L) water heated on stovetop to 157F using stock pot.
  • Grain added and steeped at ~152F for 75 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Temperature raised to 168F for mash out
  • Wort drained using bag and 2L water at 168F used for sparge
  • 3L wort re-circulated through grain bag
  • Post-mash gravity is 1.033

Now, my gravity was much lower than anticipated post-mash. In past recipes I’ve compensated by adding a measure of DME directly to the boil, but I had resolved to see this recipe through without it.

  • As soon as I reached my boil temperature, I added 4 grams (g) northern brewer hops
  • 30 minutes into the boil, I added 4g backyard hops
  • At the end of the boil, I added 10g Saaz and 10g Galaxy hops
  • 20-minute ice bath to reach room temperature
  • Post-boil gravity is 1.039

All right, so at the end of this boil day, I was miffed. I had suspected that my brew bag was to blame for poor mash efficiency, however the extended mash time and mashing without the bag had not helped; in fact, it might even be worse. So the problem apparently wasn’t the bag. While disappointing, it’s thanks to this experiment that I realized the problem was actually my kitchen scale. Through testing, I discovered that my kitchen scale was off by 25-30%. So, for example, while I thought I was using 950g of Maris Otter, I actually only had ~670g.

  • Pitched yeast – American Ale Safale US-05

April 15, 2018

I’d sorted out the scale issue at this point. While I was anticipating a lower ABV, my biggest concern was actually with the hop content. If I was right about the scale, then my measurements for the hops that went in the boil were also off.

  • Dry-hopped 10g Northern Brewer hops and 1 tsp irish moss

Bottling Day (April 19, 2018)

  • Final gravity: 1.009
  • Priming solution: 17g corn sugar dissolved in 100 ml water

I was very happy with the clean, crisp taste of this one out of the fermenter. The hops had done their work and the beer had a nice, citrus finish that stuck to the tongue.

The estimated ABV (3.94%) on this one is lower than I had hoped for, but still reasonable given some of the challenges I encountered at the outset.


I sat out on the deck this afternoon and popped open a bottle. Conditioning went well, the carbonation bringing out some of that clean hoppy taste to advantage. Almost no head. The color is a bit darker than expected, but overall I’m happy with how this one turned out. A future attempt with a more accurate scale should correct some of the errors I made in this batch and make for an even finer brew.

Definitely satisfying and refreshing for a hot summer afternoon.


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