Session Ale Brew on Labor Day

On September 3, 2011, in Homebrew Gadgets, Homebrewing, Recipes, by Mark Ranes
San Diego Dark Session Ale

Alesmith's San Diego Dark Session Ale

Anyone who knows me would laugh if I told them I was going to brew a session ale.  For me, life starts at 1.060 OG and goes up from there!

As a part of our schwag for NHC 2011, we were given a commemorative bomber of San Diego Dark Session Ale, brewed by Alesmith in San Diego (the picture of the bottle on Beer Advocate is mine:)  The ale was incredibly drinkable – sessionable even – but with enough lightly roasted hoppy flavor to meet my needs.  The recipe was published in the May/June 2011 issue of Zymurgy as a 5 gallon recipe.  I threw the ingredients into Beer Tools for a 10 gallon batch, adjusted the OG for my system’s efficiency, and I plan on brewing this on Labor Day.  A starter of the new White Labs WLP090 San Diego Super Yeast is bubbling away on the stir plate as I type this entry.  This is the second batch of ale that will be run through my new  fermenter.

The weather here has been so hot I just haven’t wanted to brew and Monday is the coolest projected day for this weekend.  Additionally, the 26 month old Sears refrigerator that I use for a fermentation vessel crapped out last week.  Thankfully, it is now up and running again after a $139 repair bill.  It’s time to brew!

Here’s the recipe I’ll be brewing on Monday:

Central Valley Dark Session Ale
11-A Mild
Author: Mark Ranes
Date: 9/5/11

Size: 10.08 gal
Efficiency: 75.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 194.62 kcal per 16.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.044 (1.030 – 1.038)
Terminal Gravity: 1.011 (1.008 – 1.013)
Color: 17.4 (12.0 – 25.0)
Alcohol: 4.32% (2.8% – 4.5%)
Bitterness: 31.5 (10.0 – 25.0)

12.0 lb Maris Otter
1.2 lb Crystal 45
0.6 lb Biscuit Malt
0.6 lb Crystal 120
0.6 lb Crystal 75
0.6 lb Melanoidin Malt
0.25 lb American Chocolate Malt
1.0 lb Cara-Pils® Malt
0.4 oz Simcoe® (13.0%) – added during boil, boiled 60.0 min
0.4 oz Warrior® (16.0%) – added during boil, boiled 60.0 min
0.5 oz Simcoe® (13.0%) – added during boil, boiled 15.0 min
2.0 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) – added during boil, boiled 10.0 min
2.0 ea Servomyces – added during boil, boiled 10.0 min
0.5 oz Amarillo® (8.5%) – added during boil, boiled 10.0 min
0.5 oz Cascade (5.5%) – added during boil, boiled 5.0 min
1.0 oz Cascade (5.5%) – added dry to primary fermenter
0.5 oz Amarillo® (8.5%) – added dry to primary fermenter
0.5 oz Simcoe® (13.0%) – added dry to primary fermenter
2000.0 mL Starter White Labs WLP090 San Diego Super Yeast

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3 Responses to Session Ale Brew on Labor Day

  1. reinkster says:

    how’d it turn out?

    My only concern is the SD Super Yeast has pretty high attenuation, it could be very thin when finished. The recipe posted by the AHA used English Ale yeast.

    I brewed a version of the West Coast Bitter and really enjoyed it.


  2. Mark Ranes says:

    Hey Adam – just kegged this up yesterday afternoon after six days on dry hops. The hydrometer sample tasted lovely – just a light hint of roastiness from the dark malts and a decent enough level of bittering to make it worth drinking:) It wasn’t as dark as I had envisioned, so next time I think I’ll bump up the SRM a bit with some darker de-bittered malt.

    It started with an OG of 1.041 and finished at 1.010, for a 4.1% ABV. It didn’t drop as far as I thought it might with the WLP090, but then I added some Carapils to the original recipe and I think the Melanoidin malt is also a bit less fermentable. It didn’t seem too thin in the mouth, but I really like to judge the mouthfeel once it is cooled and carbed. The WLP090 seems to be a very neutral yeast and didn’t impart much character into the ale.

    Once I have a couple proper pints in a couple weeks, I’ll post my take on it again:)

  3. Mark Ranes says:

    This turned out to be the most uninteresting ale I’ve ever brewed! Technically, it tastes fine – a clean, well brewed beer, but there’s just nothing amazing about it. It’s easy drinking, low ABV at 4.1%, but just not exciting. Maybe a more estery yeast would make it more interesting, or some additional dry hops…

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