American Pale Ale

American Pale Ale Recipe

In a world where American IPAs get all the attention, it can be easy to overlook its more humble cousin, the American Pale Ale. But to overlook this beautiful style would be to make a grave mistake. When Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada Fame created his iconic pale ale, he not only ignited the modern craft beer movement in North America, he created a whole new beer style, and one any beer lover should brew at least once in their lifetime.

Recipe Profile

  • Method: 1 gallon BIAB (Brew-in-a-bag), single stage
  • Target OG (Original Gravity): 1.055
  • Target FG (Final Gravity): 1.013
  • Bitterness (IBUs): 47.7
  • Estimated ABV: 5.5%
  • Boil: 60 minutes


  • 2 lbs Pale Malt (2 row) US (2.0 SRM)
  • 4 oz Caramel Malt – 30L (30 SRM)
  • 2 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine
  • 0.10 oz Citra Hops at 60 minutes
  • 0.10 oz Citra Hops at 15 minutes
  • 0.15 oz Amarillo Hops at 15 minutes
  • 0.15 oz Citra Hops at 1 minute
  • 0.15 oz Amarillo Hops at 1 minute
  • American Ale (Wyeast 1056)

The Mash

  1. Bring 9 litres of water to a temperature of 159°F (66.2°C). 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 153°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 10 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 neededYou need 72 gravity points for this recipe, and 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. Do not fill the carboy higher than the one-gallon mark.
  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 only half of 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.


14 responses to “American Pale Ale”





    1. pALE mALT OF 2LBS 12 OZ = 1247 GRAMS
    2. 0.2 OZ OF HOPS = 5.6 GRAMS


    1. Wow, nice catch Nigel. Thanks so much for letting me know. I’ll update the recipe pronto!


    Sorry about the CAPS. My keyboard keeps giving all caps on the site but then changed after posting!

  3. Stephen joel

    How much yeast, as grams, do you need?

    1. Hi Stephen, I’d use one-third to one-half of the liquid yeast pack, or one-third of a dry yeast pack.

  4. CG

    AweSome site, found it while searching For Small batch recipeS. You have quite a few that are on my list!

    Few questionS for this apa:
    -Is 159F the Actual mash temp or just the strike temp?

    -You start with 2 gal for the mash. what’s the expected volumE for pre-boil & post-boil?

    -if i happen to pitch more than half of the yeast packet, how will that affect my brew?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Chad,

      Yes, 159 is the strike temp. If you download my free PDF (look for the box at the top of the page), I include steep temperatures as well (and more info, including hop alpha levels etc.) But for this one, you want to mash at 152F.

      Pre-boil volume: 2.2 gallons
      Post-boil: 1.3 gallons (I like to have extra wort at the end of my boil, just to be safe).

      If you pitch more than half the yeast, you’re fine. There has long been a debate amongst homebrewers on whether or not you can “over-pitch” a beer. You’ll find me in the camp of those who don’t think you can over-pitch a beer. I explain why here:


  5. Daniel

    Hey mate

    What volUme of grain do you use and which grainS do you use? Sorry ive only just started and really am only learning

    I started with a kit brew


    1. Hi Daniel, I specify all of that above, or in the recipe booklet PDF. Welcome to homebrewing!

      1. Jhett

        Hi, question..

        About the hops you are using, what is the AA of the amarillo? If the hops i bought has a higher aa than what you used, do I have to add less hops, thats why im asking the aa of hops you used in recipe. Thank you sir.

  6. Benton Mattingly

    Hi there, I’m not quite sure I understand this recipe. It says its a 1 gallon recipe but at the end of boiling it says we should have 1.3 gallons, are we expected to poor the extra down the drain?

    Thanks, Benton

  7. Ross Shaw

    at What sTage do YOU put the malt in?

  8. Book

    From the recipe using 1 packet of yeast, right?

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