Just Wingin’ It English CDA

Well this one is coming into being sort of completely by accident.  I had bought a supply of ingredients to last a couple months, mainly to save shipping.  During that time I was using DME out of one of the bags to make yeast starters.  Turns out I didn’t calculate correctly and I’ve actually been using DME from a recipe I originally intended to be an English style mild.

Yeah, I wasn’t that sure about that one in the first place, and now I’m definitely totally unsure.  Plus I’ve been experimenting with making a bit less wort in order to facilitate a complete (or near complete) boil.

Anyway, I used quite a bit of the DME I had intended for the original recipe making starters, and now I’ve got to improvise in order to use it up.  These rather strange circumstances have led me to…
Just Wingin’ It English CDA

Yeah I think there are multiple contradictions just in the title, which may be an oxymoron of sorts in and of itself.

What I’ve decided on is to make an English IPA of sorts.  However, the specialty grains (partial mash) I’ve chosen will make the SRM pretty dark.  So it’s sort of an English IPA mixed with a Black IPA, or Cascadian Dark Ale.  Or an English CDA.  Or something.  But that’s what I’m naming it, and this is what it will contain…

**NOTE: 4 gallon batch**

  • Briess Pilsen (Extra) Light Dry Extract  2 lbs, 8 oz
    Crisp Pale Ale  3 lbs, 8 oz
    Crisp Crystal Malt 77L  0 lbs, 8 oz
    Crisp Pale Chocolate Malt  0 lbs, 3 oz
    Crisp Black Malt  0 lbs, 2 oz
    Chinook Pellets  0.5 oz @ 60 mins
    Northern Brewer Pellets  1 oz @ 15 mins
    Chinook Pellets 0.5 oz @ 10 mins
    Northern Brewer Pellets  1 oz @ 5 mins
    Bramling Cross Pellets     1 oz @ 0 mins
    Northern Brewer Pellets  2 oz @ Dry
    Wyeast Labs London Ale III

Now I have made one English-ish IPA in the past, and it came out really good.  So this recipe is hereby morphed into something somewhat English-IPA like, but with some dark specialty malts.

This will be a partial mash brew.  I haven’t quite decided on the exact mash technique, but it will be stovetop and batch sparged.

UPDATE: I wound up doing a mini-mash in a pot on the stove.  I kept the temperature at 155F by carefully monitoring and adding a little heat when needed, keeping in mind thermal inertia and adding it VERY CAREFULLY.  I only had to add heat twice, and not very much.  I was able to keep it within about 3 degrees of my target temp for one hour.  Then I used a strainer to remove the grains, just poured it all into a big strainer basically.  Then I “sparged” with 170F water by carefully rinsing the grains a couple times.  Probably not optimal technique, but it worked, as the beer came out good!


OG: 1.058     FG:  1.016     IBU: 59.2     SRM: 19.40     ABV: 5.50


  1. prepare checklist
  2. lay out ingredients and equipment
  3. bring 1.5 gallon spring water to 165 F
  4. add grains
  5. mash for 60 minutes at 155F
  6. Sparge and strain**
  7. In separate pot, pre-boil 2.5 gallons spring water
  8. when grains are finished mashing, combine wort into boiling pot with pre-heated spring water and bring to boil
  9. add bittering hops, 0.5 oz chinook at 60 minute mark
  10. add the wort chiller at 30 minutes.  make sure wort chiller is pre-filled with hot water
  11. add the DME incrementally during the last 30 minutes of the boil
  12. add 1 oz northern brewer at 15 minute mark
  13. add 1/4 tsp Irish moss powder at 15 minute mark
  14. begin sanitation procedures on spoon, thermometer, bucket, wine thief
  15. add 0.5 oz chinook at 10 minute mark
  16. add 1 oz northern brewer at 5 minute mark
  17. add 1 oz bramling cross at FO
  18. hop rest 20 minutes
  19. begin cooling with wort chiller
  20. stir occasionally with sanitized stainless spoon during hop rest and during cooling
  21. ensure bucket, wine thief, thermometer, spoon are sanitized
  22. when wort gets to about 75F, add to fermentation bucket
  23. top to 4 gallons with chilled spring water (if necessary)
  24. take OG reading with sanitized wine thief
  25. thoroughly aerate wort with sanitized stainless steel spoon
  26. ensure wort is 75F or a little less before pitching yeast
  27. pitch yeast
  28. gently stir using sanitized stainless steel spoon
  29. install sanitized bucket lid and airlock
  30. ferment in closet for 7-9 days at 67F ambient air temp.
  31. after 7-9 days, add 2 oz northern brewer for dry hopping
  32. take FG sample and bottle (after a minimum of 14 days)
  33. use 4 oz corn sugar at bottling

Actual OG: 1.052

FG: 1.012


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  • alcaponejunior  On August 10, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    A note on the yeast: I had trouble breaking the inner smack pack on the wyeast. I thought it was broke, and it did swell, but I guess it was from warming up because the inner smack pack wasn’t broken when I made the starter. So I sanitized and then just cut the inner nutrient pack open and added the yeast and nutrient to my starter wort. Don’t know what will happen with this, but I suspect I’ll have plenty of viable, usable yeast after the starter has a chance to get going. Live and learn…

  • alcaponejunior  On August 12, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Well, I kinda f’d this one up a little (i.e. big time), but it’s easily savable… check out this link


  • alcaponejunior  On August 22, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Been real busy so dry hopped a couple days later than I planned, but it should get at least 4-5 days dry hopping time before I need to bottle it. Ah heck, it’ll turn out fine!

  • alcaponejunior  On August 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Bottled on the 25th of Aug. Smelled and tasted pretty good. Used 114g corn sugar at bottling.

  • alcaponejunior  On August 31, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Just tried the first test bottle… well carbonated, tasty, dry, very English-y on the yeast, moderately hoppy and aroma is great. Quite pleased!

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