Recipe: San Diego Pale Ale (by way of Bend)

Time for another recipe. This one doesn’t actually have a name yet, but I brewed in the style of an Imperial IPA—also informally known as a San Diego Pale Ale—for my brother, who lives in San Diego and whom we’re visiting later this month. (And taking most of it with us.)

So, here’s my take on a San Diego Pale Ale style. Extract-based recipe with a few grains, brewed to a five gallon batch.


  • 7 pounds light malt extract syrup
  • 1 pound amber dried malt extract
  • 1 pound dried wheat extract (from Briess)
  • 1 pound Turbinado sugar (organic brown sugar, basically)
  • 8 ounces 10°L Crystal malt
  • 4 ounces 20°L Crystal malt
  • 1 teaspoon gypsum
  • 2 ounces Chinook hops (13% AA)
  • 2 ounces Cascade hops (7.2% AA)
  • 1 ounce Galena hops (14.2% AA)
  • 1 ounce Crystal hops (dryhopping, 4.6% AA)
  • 2 teaspoons Irish moss
  • Wyeast 1272 American Ale II

The grains were steeped in the water as it heated to a boil, and removed before adding malts and sugars. The boil was for 60 minutes, and the hop schedule looked like this:

  • 1 ounce of Chinook for 60 min
  • 1 ounce of Galena for 45 min
  • 1 ounce of Cascade for 45 min
  • 1 ounce of Chinook for 30 min
  • 1 ounce of Cascade for 5 min (aroma)
  • 1 ounce Crystal dryhopping in secondary

In sat in the primary for 14 days, then in the secondary for 27 days. I bottled with ¾ cup of corn sugar for priming.

Original gravity was 1.084, final gravity 1.014—giving an estimated alcohol by volume of 9.19%(!). A rough estimate of IBUs is 126.

I tasted it at bottling time (of course!) and I really liked it. I’m anxious to see how a finished bottle turns out, and get my brother’s Professional San Diego Drinker’s opinion of it. Not to be too self-congratulatory, but based on the preliminary tasting I think it’s a big winner.