Author Topic: Mild APA - can it be done?  (Read 1732 times)

Offline gmac

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Mild APA - can it be done?
« on: November 04, 2013, 08:44:58 PM »
I'm drinking too much. There I've said it. Well maybe not too much as too high ABV beer. I find after a few on a Friday I'm getting too buzzed. Plus I've been dieting for a few months so they seem to be hitting me a lot harder.
So I'm wondering if a decent. 3.5 % APA can be achieved?  Brewed a batch of 60/- today at 1.038 and I have a lot of WLP001 yeast ready so does anyone have any thoughts on a low ABV but still somewhat hoppy beer?

I'm thinking a high amount of Munich as the base with a bit of crystal 40 and mash high with only late hop additions.
Thoughts?

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Mild APA - can it be done?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2013, 09:16:06 PM »
I think yes you can. In fact, like pink is the new black, session may become the new IPA. What I mean is that I think 3-4% beers are going to make a come back. They add to the challenge too. Hard to hide faults in little beers. Next week actually I'm brewing a couple sub 4% brews. Giving my taste buds a bit of a break.

Offline phunhog

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Re: Mild APA - can it be done?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2013, 09:22:33 PM »
I have been brewing a Session IPA that everyone loves. It comes in at 4.3% but it could get a little lower.  I use 2-row, Munich, C-20, and Wheat. The key is to get the mouthfeel right so that the beer doesn't come across as thin.  I mash high(157-158) to really increase the mouthfeel and to support the high level of hopping.  I keep a 1:1 BU/GU ratio with a FWH addition and then all late addition/dry hops.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Mild APA - can it be done?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2013, 09:27:26 PM »
I've dabbled in low gravity hoppy beers, and something just seems to miss the mark for me when I just try to brew a sessionized version of an APA/IPA recipe. I think there's just not enough malt character to hold up to the hopping level I'm shooting for. The next time I make a run at this style, I think I'm going to come at it from the American Brown Ale direction - something with a bit more malt backbone inherent to the style.

Obviously, it won't work with WLP001, but something like a Bitter or Belgian Pale Ale is another solid choice, since the yeast brings a bit more character to the party.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Mild APA - can it be done?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2013, 09:27:54 PM »
I had a great session ale from a brewer who specializes in cask style brews, it was 3.2%. It had like 20% crystal malt and 10% cane sugar. the balance worked amazingly well. The crystal malt lent body and the sugar made sure it was quaffable and not to cloying.
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Offline thebigbaker

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Re: Mild APA - can it be done?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2013, 09:30:29 PM »
Sounds like a great plan w/ the Munich, higher mash and late hop additions.  +1 to dry hopping.  Not sure what you are using for your base, but maybe try a base of half 2-row and half MO or go all MO for a little more maltiness.   
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Online dzlater

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Re: Mild APA - can it be done?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2013, 03:46:26 AM »
Couldn't one just take a an English Bitter recipe and Americanize the hops and yeast?
Dan S. from NJ

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Re: Mild APA - can it be done?
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2013, 04:37:37 AM »
Couldn't one just take a an English Bitter recipe and Americanize the hops and yeast?
Well most(all?) American styles are a variation of an English style, right? Of course the American bitter would have to have more alcohol. ;)

Offline gmac

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Re: Mild APA - can it be done?
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2013, 05:19:33 AM »
Sounds like a great plan w/ the Munich, higher mash and late hop additions.  +1 to dry hopping.  Not sure what you are using for your base, but maybe try a base of half 2-row and half MO or go all MO for a little more maltiness.
The base was all Munich. I've done regular strength APAs with a Munich base ala Morticaixavier and they were great.
I wasn't going to dry hop but i could. I don't usually dry hop my APAs. IPAs I do.

Offline alestateyall

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Re: Mild APA - can it be done?
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2013, 05:59:10 AM »
I use Beersmith to shrink recipes to my target OG a lot. I shrunk Northern Brewer's Chinook IPA to 1040. It was awesome. I moved the hops to all late hops and balanced the hops.

The next time I tried that recipe I replaced the Chinook hops with Citra. It was awesome too. My brew club friends still talk about those 2 beers 2 years later.

I lost the Chinook version recipe. For the Citra version I did

1 oz Citra @ 15 min
0.5 oz @ 0 min
0.5 oz dry hop 1 week

PS. I understand about lowering the alcohol. Getting a buzz is something I don't like. I try to limit myself 1-2 beers per day. Session beers are even better.
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Offline Mark G

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Re: Mild APA - can it be done?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2013, 06:21:48 AM »
Couldn't one just take a an English Bitter recipe and Americanize the hops and yeast?
This approach works really well, but I only Americanize the hops. Use a lower attenuating English yeast, but run it a little cooler than normal to have it come out a little cleaner.
Mark Gres

Offline AmandaK

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Re: Mild APA - can it be done?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2013, 06:31:07 AM »
I like Kelsey McNair's West Coast Bitter for this type of beer.

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Offline amh0001

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Re: Mild APA - can it be done?
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2013, 09:55:37 PM »

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Mild APA - can it be done?
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2013, 09:04:20 AM »
I'd also look at starting with a bitter recipe and swap out the hops for American hops. It seems like you really need to pay attention to the water profile and mash ph to construct a beer that isn't thin and watery.
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Offline ccfoo242

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Re: Mild APA - can it be done?
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2013, 11:08:00 AM »
I've been playing with a recipe that goes like this:
RO water with sulphate to chloride ratio of around 2
8lbs Maris otter
8oz c40 or c60 or c80
Mash at 158F to 160F
hop addition at 20 minutes of 1oz simcoe and 1oz centennial
(This assumes you don't whirlpool)
Ferment at 64F with WLP041 pacific ale yeast
Dry hop with same hops

Comes out at between 3.5 and 4.0% abv

It's probably too hoppy but for my and my wife's tastes it's good.


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