There’s been a rise of a new pseudo-style in Australia: the XPA (Extra Pale Ale). I thought it would be a fun twist to brew a beer that looks like an American Light Lager, but with the hop presence of a stronger Pale Ale / Session IPA.

General perceptions of a light coloured beers are that they’re going to be crisp and devoid of any significant hop flavour and aroma.

Batch Details

Batch SizeBoilSRMEst. OGEst. FGEst. ABV
25L60min2.61.0461.0085%

Water

I went slightly heavier on the Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) to accentuate the bitterness/crispness opposed to my regular balanced water profile.

Fermentables

NameAmount%
Light Lager Malt (Gladfield) – 1.4SRM4kg74.1%
Flaked Rice0.9kg16.7%
Flaked Corn/Maize0.5kg9.3%

I sourced the lightest coloured malt available to me (1.4SRM) for use as the base malt. I then padded out the grain bill with both flaked rice and corn in quantities typical for an American style adjunct lager.

Mash

Single infusion mash @ 65C for 60min.

Hops

HopTimeAmountAA%IBU
Simcoe30min6.5g13%7.1IBU
Simcoe Whirlpool – 15min @ 80C50g13% ??
CitraWhirlpool – 15min @ 80C25g13%??
Vic SecretDry Hop (Day 6)125g15.5%??
Simcoe Dry Hop (Day 6) 50g13%??

Vic Secret has become one of my favourite dry hops of late. The current crop is exceptionally fruity, whereas in the past I’ve had it express a lot of dank/pine type of aromas. Although as previously mentioned, I almost exclusively use it as a dry hop due to its cohumulone content.

This was one of the first brews I put through my new 65L BrewZilla. Although the system is an overall step-down in quality from the Grainfather, it allows me to easily brew 50L+ of moderate gravity wort.

The unit itself worked flawlessly during the brew (although I do have a few tips for usage I’ll share in a future post), and the bottom screen filtered out a huge amount trub from getting into the fermenter.

Trub Filter

Fermentation

I wanted a clean fermentation, so naturally opted for US-05. I pitched the yeast into 18C wort and placed in my fermentation fridge. After 72 hours of vigorous fermentation I ramped the temp to 22C (my typical ale schedule for beers I want to turn around in a decent time).

As I was brewing a double batch (50L), I used my pressurised Kegmenter. 6 days into fermentation I dry hopped the beer with Vic Secret and Citra.

On day 10 I set my fermentation fridge to -1C and let the beer cold crash. The first sample I poured from the fermenter at about 48 hours into the cold crash revealed something interesting; the beer was incredibly hazy. Although the beer had a reasonably high dry hop I wasn’t expecting it to be as cloudy as it was.

I had planned to using fining agents to make the beer as bright as possible (to accentuate the lightness), but thought this was a perfect example to demonstrate the effects of Biofine.

The photo below shows the beer 48 hours after cold crashing, and the beer 36 hours after a moderate addition of Biofine:

Biofine Effect

Tasting Notes

XPA

Smell: This beer smells wonderful – vibrant tropical fruits, some citrus, and a hint of supporting pine.

Appearance: A pale straw with reasonable clarity. Looks great in the glass.

Taste: Punches well above it’s weight due to the whirlpool and dry hop quantities, approximating to a much stronger Pale Ale or Session IPA type of balance. It was a very active ferment so presents very clean.

Mouthfeel: Finishes quite dry (more than you’d expect), which is probably due to use of adjuncts and the elevated Sulfate balance. Keeps you coming back for another sip.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *