American Pale Ale II

American Pale Ale Beer Recipe

In the vein of simplifying an already tasty recipe, I tweaked my original APA recipe by reducing the grain bill to two grains, swapping out Amarillo for Perle, adjusting the hop schedule, and trying a different yeast strain. The changes were worth it—this version is superior to the original. It has become my new go-to APA recipe, so I thought I’d offer it here for your consideration. As a fun experiment, brew the two APA recipes back-to-back and compare. One can never have too many APAs in the house!

Recipe Profile

  • Method: 1 gallon BIAB (Brew-in-a-bag), single stage
  • Target OG (Original Gravity): 1.052
  • Target FG (Final Gravity): 1.014
  • Bitterness (IBUs): 36
  • Estimated ABV: 5.1%
  • Boil: 60 minutes


  • 2 lbs Pale Malt
  • 4 oz Crystal Malt 60L
  • 0.10 oz Perle Hops at 60 minutes
  • 0.20 oz Cascade Hops at 45 minutes
  • 0.30 oz Cascade Hops at the end of the boil
  • California Ale Yeast (WLP001)

The Mash

  1. Bring 9 litres of water to a temperature of 162°F. Add your grains and give everything a good stir until the whole thing looks a bit like oatmeal. Shut off the heat, cover with a lid, and let it steep at 156°F for 60 minutes.
  2. Then you need to “mash out.” You put the heat back on, and raise the temperature to 168°F (75.6°C) and keep stirring for 7 minutes.
  3. Remove the grains and prepare for the boil. If you’re using a bag, just pull it out and let it drip near-dry above the pot. If you’re using a colander, strain to remove the grains, preserving the wort, which you’ll add back to the pot.
  4. Check that your gravity is on track and correct it if needed. You need 68 gravity points for this recipe, as our target post-boil volume is 1.3 gallons.

The Boil

  1. Start the boil by bringing your wort up to a boil. Once boiling, start your timer. Add your bittering hops, as prescribed above.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare your sanitizer solution.
  3. Just before the boil is complete, make an ice bath in your kitchen sink. Load it up with as much ice and cold water as you can. Once the boil is over, transfer your pot to the sink to cool your wort to pitching temperature, as prescribed on the yeast pack. Remember to sanitize your thermometer every time you check the temperature.
  4. Meanwhile, thoroughly clean and sanitize your carboy, screw cap, airlock, funnel, and strainer/colander. You want everything to be ready to go once the wort is at the right temperature.
  5. Once the wort is at pitching temperature, transfer it to the carboy by passing it through a strainer overtop the funnel.
  6. Aerate the wort.  Cover the fermenter with a screw cap and gently rock the carboy back and forth for a few minutes to mix in some air.
  7. Pitch the yeast! Use sanitized scissors to cut open the package and pour in the yeast.
  8. Seal the carboy by filling the airlock with sanitizer. Fit it in the screw cap. Move the carboy to a dark spot, free of the home’s daily commotion for at least 14 days (but ideally not more than 21).

Bottling Day

  1. Move the carboy to the countertop, if it wasn’t already there. If the wort got lots of movement during transfer, let it sit so that any stirred-up yeast has a chance to re-settle.
  2. Sanitize everything that will come in contact with the beer: bottling bucket, auto-siphon, tubing, filler, bottles, and bottle caps.
  3. Dissolve 0.59 oz (17g) corn sugar in enough boiling water to dissolve it. Add the dissolved sugar solution to your sanitized bottling bucket.
  4. Fill your auto-siphon and hose with sanitizer before submerging in the carboy. Transfer the solution to a spare container until the beer has completely replaced all the sanitizer in the tubes. Now you can place the end with the bottle filler in the bottling bucket, which should also be on the floor and gently transfer the beer from the carboy to the bucket.
  5. Transfer all the liquid up and the point where it reaches the sediment. Leave the sediment in the carboy.
  6. Now, move the bottling bucket to the counter and siphon the beer quietly into each bottle. When the liquid gets to the very top of the bottle, remove the bottle filler, which will leave the perfect amount of headspace at the top of the bottle.
  7. Cover each bottle with the sanitized caps and cap them into place, or secure your sanitized swing-top caps if using those.
  8. Store the bottles upright in a quiet, dark corner at 65F (18.5C) or so.
  9. Wait 30 days, if you can. If you’re way too curious (I can’t blame you!) try and hold out for 14 days. If you absolutely can’t wait, you can try after 7 days, but the beer really needs at least 14 days to condition.


11 responses to “American Pale Ale II”

  1. Neil O’Rourke

    Simplify even more:
    Cascade hops the whole way.
    I’ve brewed it and it tastes great.

  2. Randall

    Do you add your malt extracts or powerder at the boIl?

  3. jhett raven

    can I use cascade with AA of 12-14% ?instead of 7% cascade hops?

  4. mon

    hi i am new to homebrewing. How much yeast (in grams or ounce) to pitch in a 1-gallon recipe?

    1. Anne M Formanek

      I Had this same question. I’m also a new brewer with just one kit-brew under my belt. Now want to make beer from scratch but it is confusing. IF YOU’RE LIKE ME, YOU PROBABLY THOUGHT THAT THERE WAS SOMETHING CALLED “BREWERS YEAST” THAT YOU COULD BUY A BAG OF AND USE FOR MONTHS (LIKE BAKER’S YEAST) LOL . SEEMS THERE ARE A ZILLION DIFFERENT YEASTS out there and they come in packets. what’s in a packet is NOT MEASURED BY WEIGHT OR VOLUME–IT’S MORE TO DO WITH THE NUMBER OF CELLS IN THERE. ONE PACKET IS MEANT FOR A LARGER BATCH SO YOU DON’T NEED IT ALL. I read Joe’s manual for beginners which was very helpful. I recommend downloading it if you haven’t already. in his manual he says use half a packet in your one gallon batch. on other forums I’ve looked at people have said that as little as a quarter packet is enough for a gallon batch, but they also say that adding (sorry pitching) too much yeast is no big deal. –so i’m going to go with the 1/2 packet that Joe recommends. (FYI he also says to throw out the rest of the packet and not use on another batch)

      1. Thanks for writing in Anne. Indeed, dry years are much more affordable, and the selection of dry yeasts has improved significantly since I launched this site, and even that guide. I intend to update to recommend using dry yeast more often as it saves a lot of time and money, especially if you’re not interested in managing liquid yeast.

        1. Anne Formanek


  5. joey

    Hey joseph,
    thanks for the wonderful site! i use a lot of your well written and friendly tips and am now on my 6th beer – all have been very successful so far. i can tell you put a lot of effort into your guides and want to let you know it has made a huge and positive difference for me.
    joey (london, uk)

    1. Thanks so much Joey. I appreciate the kind words. And on a separate note, London is one of my favourite cities on earth. I hope I can visit again once Covid passes….

  6. jason Becker

    Brewed this one over the weekend, The Original gravity came out as 1.040, and the post boil volume seemed high (about 1.75 Gal). ALso, I had trouble cooling the wort in my sink with ice, It took over 45 mins to cool to 75 degrees. This is only the second recipe I’ve brewed.

    Is the high gravity due to my boil off not being as much as yours? Next time should I start with Less water?

    Thanks!! Sorry for the All caps.

  7. Paulius

    I can’t seem to find California Ale Yeast anywhere in my countrie’s brew shops. can i use SafAle US-05 with similar results or is there any other yeast you would advise to substitute with?

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