Duff Pale Ale

Earlier this month I had to organise a bachelor party for a close friend. This friend happens to be a massive Simpson’s fan so, in honour of that, I decided to brew a Pale Ale and call it “Duff” (after the beverage of choice at Moe’s Tavern in the cartoon).

I used the Bee Cave Brewery Haus Pale Ale Recipe from HomeBrewTalk:

Grain bill:

4.7kg Pale Malt

1kg Vienna Malt

0.25kg Crystal Malt


20g Cascade (60 mins)

10g Magnum (60 mins)

10g Cascade (30 mins)

10g Cascade (15 mins)

10g Cascade (5 mins)


Safale US-05 Dry Yeast

The only change I made to recipe was to replace some of the Cascade in the original with Magnum for bittering (since I had the right amounts of each in my freezer leftover from previous brews), and to up the mashing time to 90 minutes (to test the theory of longer mashes leading to higher attenuation).

The brew went off without a hitch, and I ended up with 70% efficiency, my highest so far. My OG was 1.053 which was pretty much where I wanted it to be.

I pitched the yeast and let it do it’s thing. The only problem was, this was December in Cape Town, and it was 30C all day, everyday. Since I don’t have a fermentation chamber this meant that, pretty soon, my fermenter was sitting at between 25C and 27C. I did my best to keep it down, but it stayed at those temps for about the first 3 days of fermentation.

One positive thing about the hot temperatures is that the yeast loved it. It bubbled like crazy, and pretty much fermented out in 2 days.


Testing out the new refractometer

After 10 days in the fermenter the FG was 1.007 (the lowest any of my beers have gone), which meant I had an ABV of 6%.

Bottling was a breeze thanks to my new bench capper (never again shall I use that flipping winged capper…) and 43 bottles were soon left in the shed to condition while we went to Durban for Christmas.

Bench Capper

A bench capper makes bottling significantly less of a chore

Bottled Duff

20 of the bottles of beer on the floor…

Two weeks later we returned, and the final cherry on the top was the labels I printed for a few of the bottles:

Duff Label

Massive copyright infringements, etc, etc

These were cut out at stuck to the bottles by brushing them lightly with milk (it works surprisingly well, as long as the bottles and labels stay dry).

The end result was a nice, fruity (thanks to the hot fermentation) pale ale, with medium bitterness (about 37 IBUs). The colour was an awesome light amber. It proved very popular at the bachelor party too…

Duff Pale Ale

Amber goodness, with a small white head.

Bottle of Duff

The complete package