The Not So Pale Ale

As mentioned 10 days ago, I brewed a pale ale for my mother-in-law’s birthday. I followed a not-so-specific recipe from an old beer book from 1971 for a pale ale. After pitching the yeast, I set the fermenter in it’s usual place, but summer is here and it’s been very hot in the house. According to the book, this recipe was supposed to ferment and be ready for bottling in approx 2-4 days. After 2 days I took a gravity reading and it hadn’t dropped from its original 1.043 reading. I also noticed that the pale ale wasn’t so pale. It was more like an amber ale. The later most likely due to the large amount of roast barley. The color doesn’t bother me so much, but I was very sad that it wasn’t fermenting. I had realized though, that because it’s summer, the temperature in the fermenter was too hot, so to offset this, I stuffed the cupboard with ice packs to cool it down. After all it was only 5? too warm. With the ice packs, I brought the temp down to 74? which I figured would be ok for fermentation. Two days later there was still no activity. My plan then was to order another bottle of yeast to pitch in the pale ale and then brew a half batch of Hefeweizen just in case the pale ale failed.


Since pitching the new yeast, there has been some activity. It hasn’t been a heck of a lot, but at least there is some. There is hope. It’s been 10 days now since brewing. Tonight I will check the gravity of both the pale ale and the hefeweizen. The hefeweizen should be about ready for bottling. If I get a reading of 1.01 or less, I will bottle tomorrow. As for the pale ale, we’ll see.

To be continued…

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