Reviewing my Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Clone…

This batch of beer has been a long time coming. I had planned on brewing it a few months back when I wrote my original post, but haven’t been able to pull it together. I finally kegged and carbonated it a few days ago and I’m ready to sample the goods!

This was the first time I successfully used a liquid yeast strain after a few bad shipments in the middle of summer from a Toronto area home brew shop. I made a starter a few days before with a smack pack of Wyeast #1056 & hit my target starting gravity of 1.053. I wasn’t 100% sure if I should pitch the entire contents of the starter. It was still fermenting when it came time to pitch it, so I assumed that most of the yeast was still in suspension. I first decanted the liquid, but then noticed at the bottom was a nice slurry of yeast, so I  pitched that as well. It ended up lowering my original gravity by 0.003 points which was a drag, but it wasn’t the end of the world. I’ve since done some more research on using starters and have a better handle on what to do next time. (I’ll post about that in the coming weeks) Regardless, the fermentation took off like a rocket, and looked very healthy. I’ve kept the yeast and rinsed it properly for use in some future batches.

So let’s get to the beer…

the results:

Original Sierra Nevada Pale Ale:

  • poured a nice fluffy white head
  • very floral and fruity hop aroma
  • very clean

Hoptomology’s Sierra Nevada Pale Ale:

  • foam not as fluffy or large
  • hop aroma was slightly less aromatic but had the same aroma profile
  • colour was a few points darker
  • the bitterness from the hops was slightly higher than the original (I added 0.5 grams of gypsum per gallon to my water which I think accentuated the bitterness. Next time I will leave the water as is)

BREWING NOTE:  Some of my base malt and hops are pushing on in age and I’m starting to notice that their quality is diminishing. Fortunately, I have very little left and I’ve got a new supply coming in a week or two. I used a generic, domestic 2 row in this batch, but I would like to try it again with a fresher, higher quality base malt. Sierra Nevada is known for their intense dedication to quality, so as someone who wants to brew outstanding beer, I should do the same. I also used hop pellets where Sierra Nevada uses only whole hop cones, another possible area for improvement.

CONCLUSION: I think by adjusting the colour, omitting the gypsum and by using fresher ingredients, this recipe will be spot on. I will definitely be brewing this again. It’s a great go-to beer to have in stock at all times. Thank goodness I can make it, because we still can’t get Sierra Nevada up here in Canada!!

Here’s the revised recipe:

Hoptomology’s Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Clone- All Grain

Hoptomology’s Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Clone- Extract

Cheers!

 

7 Responses to Reviewing my Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Clone…

  1. It’s a great recipe and one I will be making over and over. Glad you enjoyed it! I used Crystal 110 (42L) and think I got the colour pretty close.

    • Yes, with a couple minor tweaks, I’ll definitely be brewing this one again. Like we’ve always said, a great beer to just always have in stock.
      I switched it over to Crystal 45L to help with the colour, which, like you said, should nail it.
      Cheers!!

  2. Pingback: Brewing a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale… | Hoptomology

  3. It’s funny, I had SNPA on tap when I was in Florida last month and was quite underwhelmed. It was tasty don’t get me wrong, but following it up with a DFH 60min. was like night and day.

    • I’m sure it was. But to be fair, you’re talking a 60 IBU IPA vs an 37 IBU pale ale. Different category. I try and take that into consideration as best I can, but you’re right, the DFH I’m sure packed way more of a punch. I find the more I drink hoppier beers, the less thrilled I am with ones that aren’t. I’m still yet to get my hands on one of those 60 mins IPA’s!

  4. Good-looking recipe. I’ve seen a few over the last couple of years, and this looks like it’s definitely along those lines.
    Did you get to try the Torpedo IPA while away? Fantastic beer. Sierra Nevada has made that recipe available before as well… I brewed it a year or so ago. It’s still been one of my favorite homebrews I’ve done yet. Let me know if you ever want the recipe…

    • Thanks. I’ll definitely be keeping a decent stock of that beer as a go-to pale ale. I love it. Too bad we can’t get any up here. I never tried the torpedo for some reason and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t. You’ve got a recipe for it? I’d love to give it a go! you can get me at brew@hoptomology.com thanks!

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