Sunday, 24 June 2012

Tasting : Epic Pale Ale clone

I'm way overdue with this post. After brewing the Epic Pale Ale clone, based on the recipe provided from the Can You Brew It podcast on The Brewing Network, I fully intended on posting tasting notes for the beer as soon as possible. I wanted a hoppy beer such as this to be tasted critically while it was still very fresh... BUT, at the same time, I was hoping to pick up the actual beer if I could. However, a trip to Maine didn't come as soon as I'd hoped (and when I finally made it there, I wasn't able to bring any Epic beers back), so I finally did a subjective tasting of my clone attempt, sans the real thing.

I'm happy to say that while I can't really tell you if the result was close to an actual Epic Pale Ale, I AM quite happy with the beer. Even 6 weeks after bottling, the beer is still very hoppy and refreshing. The calculated IBUs are also, as I suspected, a poor representation of the actual perceived-bitterness for the beer - the long whirlpool additions likely contributed more bittering units to the beer than my beer software could account for.

Appearance: Pours with a moderate-large, white fluffy head. Slowly recedes to 1/2-finger. Body is a dark, burnished gold, with very good clarity.

Aroma: Very prominent citrusy hop aroma. Even 6 weeks after bottling, the hops are really coming through. There is some sweetness coming through from the Crystal malt, but there’s no doubt this is a really hoppy pale ale. No diacetyl.

Taste: A bit of sweetness comes through right away, but is followed and dominated by the citrusy Cascade hops. Finishes fairly dry, with moderate bitterness. No diacetyl. No real flaws detected.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied, with moderate carbonation.

Overall: A really tasty APA; I’d love to have an Epic Pale to compare, especially a fresh one, but that’s pretty unlikely. Regardless of how close it is, it’s an APA I would brew again. Next time I’ll probably try the Wyeast 1272 recommended by the Epic brewer.


  1. There's nothing better than a nice, hoppy Pale Ale. I try to have one on tap at all times, though I've hit a bit of a gap in my pipeline and don't have one on currently.

    1272 is a great yeast for pretty much any American style. Over the past year, it's become my house yeast. My house Pale Ale that I'm brewing this weekend will be using a pitch of 5th generation 1272.

    1. I would have loved to be more true to the recipe and use the 1272, but NG doesn't seem to keep it regularly in stock, and I didn't have the 3-4 weeks to wait for it to be ordered, unfortunately.

      What would you say the main difference(s) is/are with it, compared to 1056 or US-05?