155 Pale Ale

My attempt at a Mirror Pond clone. Mmm, that's some tasty beer....Named after the 155 bus route. (Seems I've got some themes going: stouts get named after parks, pale ales after bus routes. Boy, I'm interesting.)


Target gravity: 1.052

Batch size: 5 gallons or so

Target mash temp: 148-150 F / 64-65 C

Grain bill:

  • 7.5 lb Gambrinus ESB
  • 1 lb Munich 10
  • 4 oz Crystal 60


  • 0.8 oz Centennial (10.25%) @ 60 min. (will probably just call it 1 oz)
  • 0.5 oz Cascade (7%) @ 15 min.
  • 0.5 oz Cascade (7%) @ 5 min.

Yeast: Wyeast 1968


March 17, 2010: Yeast starter: 6 oz/175g (roughly) liquid malt extract (0.5 cups by volume) in 2.5 litres of water; gravity came to about 1.027, I think, which is low...man, I can see why people do this with DME. Just wish my LHBS carried it. Yeast added from smack pack; shaken irregularly.

Brew Day

March 21, 2010: Brought 7 gallons of water to 162 F/72 C, then added to cooler. The temp settled at 155 F/68 C; I left it there for half an hour then added some cold water and stirred it a bit to bring the temp down to 150 F/66 C. It dropped to 145 F/ 63 C a few hours later. (I was doing this while taking care of the kids, so it was an all-day affair.)

The starter had been put in the fridge for a few hours, since I'd thought the brewday would be cancelled, but I brought it out again.

Not sure about the quality of the Centennial hops -- there were a lot of stems and leaves, and sort of a cheesey kind of smell. I don't have any other options, though so in they go.

OG settled at 1.048; yield was 5.25 gallons with the starter.


Fermentation took off after about 12 hours. The temperature varied between 18 - 20 C; I'm only cooling this with a wet t-shirt.


April 5, 2010: 5 gallon yield; FG 1.011, so 4.5% ABV. No notes on how much dextrose I added, but I'm pretty sure it would've been 100g.


April 18, 2010: Tried one bottle that had been in the fridge for maybe a week, and eh -- flat! I know, surprise. Another bottle I put in the fridge just for a few hours: not bad, not bad at all. Lots of potential.

May 18, 2010: This has changed a lot. I find it a bit overcarbonated, but it does make for a nice head that sticks around for a bit. Rich golden colour -- not very clear, but that's okay. Aroma is citrusy and pleasant, with none of hte nastiness I thought I'd get from the Centennial. Not the most strongly flavoured beer, and there's a thinness to it that doesn't go away. Some maltiness. Not bad at all, but not great.

August 22, 2010: Last bottle. A little warmer than usual, as I was impatient to drink it. This had two consequences:

  • Lots of carbonation; I had to pour one 650ml bottle into three glasses
  • A little more flavour than before.

Nice aroma from the Centennial and malt. And the flavour, though still subtle, is (I think) a little closer to Mirror Pond than it was before...so is that age (the beer) or poor memory? But it's still good, and I'm definitely happier with this than I was before. I really need to leave my beers alone for longer.