Or, UPA. Not really untitled, once you think of it.

For the first brew of 2011, I was torn on what to do. I was enjoying the session beer brewing I’d done with the last couple of batches, but I wanted to start using the mountain of leaf hops I got late last year. A hoppy pale ale was the answer, but as I was looking through the recipes, nothing caught my eye. So it was time for a new recipe.

Northern Brewer has a great deal on their stir plate, and I finally took the plunge. I used it to make a one liter starter using Midwest’s new Headwaters ale yeast. Once that was going, I went downstairs to get the recipe in order. Here‘s what I came up with. Using Vienna as a base malt was something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and honestly, the rest of it was open bags of grain I wanted to use up that happened to fit what I had in mind. For hopping, I chose a late-hop schedule of Amarillo for 30 minute bittering, Citra at 15, and Cascade at 5, then an ounce of all three at flameout. It smelled amazing and the hydrometer sample tasted not unlike pineapple-orange  juice.

I was happy to hit my projected gravity on the nose, and the yeast starter was visibly much more effective than my old method of starters (leave it on the kitchen counter and give it some stir when I am nearby). A few hours after pitching the yeast, a slight layer of krausen appeared, and by the next morning it was a full on, violent, incredibly fragrant and flocculant fermentation. A very happy fermentation.

If this one lives up to its potential, I’ll likely enter it in the Bluff Country Co-op homebrew contest. If not, I’ll just enjoy it myself. :)