Batch 24: Alpaca

This is a beer I had been wanting to brew for a while now. I have reinvented the recipe a couple times before brewing it as I changed my perception on what the beer should be.  In the end it has become a light and low-ish ABV beer with big hop character but low bitterness. It’s basically what I want to have on tap in the summer as a crowd-pleasing thirst quencher which will go with anything. It is the new-world version of Zoa, a table ale I plan to refine in 2017.


Here are the specs:alpaca-1

OG:  1.051   FG: 1.007   IBU: 50

Brewed: Sep 11, 2016   Bottled: Sep 25, 2016



7.75 lbs Maris Otter

0.50 lbs Flaked wheat

0.50 lbs  Dextrose


Hop Schedule:


0.5 oz Citra @ 60m

4 oz Citra, 1 oz Galaxy @ 200F whirlpool for 15 min

3 oz Citra, 3 oz Galaxy dry hop, 4 day contact time



1/2 tsp CaCl added to mash water

1/2 tablet of whirlfloc added at 10m


Fermentation: US-05 @ 66F for 14 days


Brew day notes: 

Brewed on my Grainfather system on the patio of the new apartment. Mashed with 4 gal of water at 150F for 75 minutes, mashed out at 168F for 10 minutes.  Sparged with 3.5 gallons of 170F water heated on the stove.  Was targeting 1.048 OG based on 70% efficiency and hit 3 points high. Whirlpooled with hop pellets direct into the grainfather, which resulted in a very slow transfer through the chiller and into the brew bucket. Took about 60 minutes to transfer, no full clogs occurred though. Accidentally turned the cooling water down too much which resulted in warm wort in the Brew Bucket, so cooled in the cellar for 4 hrs before pitching.

Thoughts for next time:  Switch to 1318 for yeast, I just had the US-05 already. Whirlpool at 180F to reduce the bitterness (perceived bitterness on the final product is easily 60-70 IBU). Give Centennial a try in place of Galaxy, though the Citra / Galaxy combo is very nice.


Tasting Notes:

Oct 4, 2016 – Juicy and very hazy. Tastes great, mild carb.

Oct 15, 2016 – Still quite opaque, not sure how or why this happened but I’m glad, it suits the beer well. Great hop character, very aromatic with citra certainly dominating. A little bit grassy and bitter which takes away a bit. Some hop chunks make it into the glass, which is certainly a likely culprit of that grassiness.

Oct 28, 2016 – Haze remains, and hop aroma and flavour have not fallen off noticeably. Very happy with this beer overall.

Nov 2, 2016 – This is the tasting that the pic above is from. Stayed densely opaque which was exactly what I wanted and not what I expected. The citra is still huge and wonderful in both aroma and flavour, and the bit of galaxy also adds further complexity.

Nov 22, 2016 – Still hanging on well after 8 weeks, I would say it’s only slightly dimished. Maybe a little sweeter now as a result, but still very enjoyable.