One of my favorite beer styles is American Pale Ale or APA for short. I like it so much that I have a well-developed house recipe I brew often. When I find a new hop or a hop variety I haven’t used in a homebrew, I like to make single-hopped APAs to find out what flavor and aroma they contribute. Recently, I got my hands on some Falconer’s Flight hops. Not really knowing what they are all about, I decided to brew up an APA with them. This blog post summarizes the brew day of the Falconer’s Flight APA. Largely, in this post, recipe design and brew day glory are discussed. Additionally, the recipe is included at the end of the post. Look for fermentation and packaging updates. Cheers, and happy brewing!
Starting off, hop heads everywhere will point out that Falconer’s Flight hops are not a single hop strain, but a hop blend. Created by Hop Union, Falconer’s Flight hops are a proprietary hop blend designed for APAs and IPAs to celebrate homebrewer Glen Falconer who passed in 2002. The Falconer’s Flight “hop” is exclusively blended via pelletizing and comprises of Pacific Northwest hop varieties as well as experimental hops. Hop Union doesn’t list the specific hop strains, but the final blend has ~10% alpha acids and creates aromas and flavors in the fruity spectrum, dominant in tropical, floral, lemon and grapefruit.
In general, recipe design for single hop APAs is fairly straight forward, both for all-grain and extract brewers. A typical grist will consists of a pale malt or extract with a touch of crystal malt (your choice). For extract brewers, 6 lbs of ultralight extract works great with about 8-12 oz of crystal malt, depending on your palette and desired final SRM. For all-grain brewers, 8-10 lbs of a pale malt with 8-12 oz of crystal malt works well, and can be adjusted to your system efficiency. For this recipe grist, I’m using the grist from a recently brewed a Session IPA, which was made of a 2-Row/Wheat/Pilsner malt blend with a touch of medium crystal. I really liked the results, so for this brew, I decided to stick with the same grist, just to try it out again. Lastly, since this is an American Pale Ale, I’m using US-05, my go to hop enhancing yeast strain. Alternate American yeast strains Wyeast 1272, 1450 would also work well in this recipe.
Without going into all-grain brewing techniques (that’s another post), the Falconer’s Flight APA is a fairly simple brew day. For my set-up pictured above, I used 2.5 gallon of water to mash in the ~8 lb grist. I mashed for an hour at 151 F, then rose the mash via the stove top to 170 F, and mashed out for 10 minutes. To keep the mash at temperature, I put the mash tun in the oven, and used the warm setting to keep the mash at temp! Since I have a small, 4 gallon mash tun, I need to do 2, 1.5 gallon batch sparges to get my 85% efficiency, and as a result, I watch the wort pH closely.
The boil was pretty simple as well. Bring the wort up to a gentle boil, add Falconer’s Flight hop throughout the boil. I added 1 oz at 60 min, 1 oz at 15 min, and 2 oz at flameout, then did a 10 minute hop stand to infuse the flameout addition. This should get around 50 IBUs. For apartment-based chilling, I use a water/ice bath combo, each with 5 gallons of water. Through this, I’m able to chill 5 gallons of wort from boil to 68 F in 40 minutes, and I’m happy with that. Pitch 1 packet of US-05, shake the carboy, and you’re done. In my case, I washed US-05 from the Passion Fruit Wheat I recently brewed, and pitched 100 mL of slurry into the wort, an equivalent yeast pitch rate as 1 packet. I’m currently fermenting this one at 68 F in my fermentation chamber. I will update this post when fermentation visibly slows.
Recipe: Falconer’s Flight APA
5 Gallon Batch, All-grain
Stats: OG 1.048 FG 1.010 ABV 5% IBU: ~45, 85% mash efficiency
6 lbs 2-Row
1 lb White Wheat
1 lb Pilsner Malt
5 oz Crystal 75L
Single-infusion mash at 152 F 60 min, mashout at 170 F 10 min
Late boil additions of Falconer’s Flight to get you to ~50 IBUs (I did 60, 15, 0 min additions)
1 packet of US-05, pitched and fermented at 68 F
Added 1 tsp gypsum to nice clean soft water