Westside Pale Ale

Paying homage to all things West and Best in Craft Beer the Westside Pale Ale takes it's from and inspiration from the West of Centre. Firstly its a beer made famous on the West Coast of America or the Pacific North West modelled on an American Pale Ale that found its way to the West Coast of Australia and the recipe comes from a former Westgate Home Brewer of the Year and Pro-Brewer @LittleCreatures in times past - thanks Alex Troncosco.  As we all know sometimes you have to go west of centre or away from the masses and this is hopefully what this beer will achieve.  As my first all grain brew in the bag using the Christmas present from Mrs D it was with great excitement and trepidation that I set about brew day on a very balmy 32C Melbourne Saturday in what has been a long run of Pilsener or Hefe Weissbier weather here this summer and certainly this week.
Goal was a 20L batch and the ingredients below were used from good old @grainandgrape



20g EK Goldings 2011 Harvest 5.6% AA at beginning of boil
40g Cascade 2012 Harvest 7.2% AA at 65 mins of boil
40g Cascade 2012 Harvest 7.2% AA at 75 mins (close of boil)
20g Galaxy 2012 Harvest 14.9% AA at 75 mins (close of boil)


Wyeast 1056 American Ale MFG 06 Feb 13 (You could use Nor Cal Ale #1 GigaYeast or US-05 or BRY-97 )
Used my shiny new 40 L Crown Urn (tx Santa Kate) to heat up 23L of water to 75 degrees before loading in the bag of grain which instantly dropped it to 72 degrees celcius and mashed in for an hour stirring periodically and taking temperature readings.  Perhaps it was the stinking hot day but only lost 1 degree from start of mash to finish at 71 degrees 1 hour later.
Lifted the grain bag onto a ladder to strain the grain for a good 45 minutes.
After straining the grain (no lautering this time) I then pitched in 20g of East Kent Goldings and boiled that for 65 mins before adding 40g of Cascade hops and ten minutes later another 40g of Cascade and 20g of Galaxy hops.  Used Nick's trusty coil to immersion chill the wort which took about 45 mins and strained off the wort into the fermenter topping up with fresh cold water to 20L and pitched the yeast after taking a hydrometer reading of 1050.  The pitch temperature was about ambient room temperature and the fermenter has been sitting at ambient room temperature of 32C which is 10C higher than I would like but will have to do for now.
Looking forward to watching this little Westie do its thing in the fermenter over the coming 2 weeks and thinking about whether or not to do a dry hop addition post primary fermentation or just let it be the little Westie.  Brew on :-)
Brewing in a heat wave is never a good idea and the fermentation has suffered the effects as well running from Sat - Tue in the fermenter @28-32 degrees C due to a heat wave.  Bit the bullet on Tue night transfering to the new 'beer' fridge in the shed and crash chilling it down to 20C by Wed morning.  By Thu night I had to turn off the fridge as it has dropped to 12C which is too cold for an ale yeast.  By Friday I had it back up to 18C and it stayed solid around there through to Sat 17th March when I racked off the beer into a secondary fermenter took a hydrometer reading @1020 and dry hop socked it with remaining 20g of East Kent Goldings.  On Wed 20th March I turned on the fridge again for two weeks cold conditioning eventually getting the fridge down to a respectable 4C over a couple of days of playing with the fridge controls.  Having checked out Nick's kegking fridge temp controller which can dual both a fridge and heat pad I have found my next brew toy wish list post purchase of a copper cooling coil.
Like its neighbourhood this Westside Pale Ale is getting a rough treatment and it will be interesting to see what emerges from the fermenter in another 10 days time and how it conditions in bottles 2 weeks thereafter.  If it pulls through on the taste, body and flavour it will be a bit of a battered baby turned good not unlike a lot of #WeFo sibblings I suspect that rise to glory in their fields of passion.
Thu 4/4/13 turned the fridge off to let the temperature slowly rise back up ahead of bottling this weekend.  Sterilised a hop sock and injected the last 20g or 1/2 of the 40g left over Galaxy for a fast dry hop aroma benefit for final few days pre bottling. Took another reading @1020 so clearly a lot of dextrin leftover from the higher than planned mash temp.  Bottling this weekend and drinking Westside in a fortnight with my massive :-)
Did some tasting of the Westside Pale Ale vs some fine examples of the style on Sat 27th April and very pleased with how it turned out all things considered.  Certainly not lasting long in the fridge this easy drinking pale ale.

1 comment

  • Hey Mate,
    Well done … be interested in trying this one.
    A few pointers though and these are really just nit picking and not major things.
    Cascade and Galaxy hops are great. Just remember though that adding hops to the end of the boil are for aroma not for bitterness. You need temperature and time to isomerise the alpha acids.
    Also try next time to hit the water at 69 degrees and hold to around this before mashing in and it should drop you to 65-66 degrees. That way you’ll create an ideal condition for the enzymes to do their thing.
    Also if I was to add water to the wort i’d do it pre boil to ensure the boil knocks any bugs.
    Also don’t try and squeeze every last drop of the grain bag the last bit of extract recovery is low on sugar and potentially high in polyphenols and tanins. Yes it looks like beer and you want to maximse every dollar but let it go. I love you use of a spare ladder though. I use a trivet from the roasting dish but I might shift to the ladder option now.
    And I can’t really tell but it looks like you’ve opened your hops and stuck them in some blue and yellow bowls? Oxygen and temp will kill you AA’s in your bittering hops. Leave them in the fold bag and in the fridge until needed.

    Great work buddy!!
    Looking forward to trying this one.


    Ryan Vine

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