Homebrewing – Northern Brewer English Pale Ale

Posted on June 29, 2010 by

I hate to admit it, but it has been 2 months since the last brew. A lot has been going on and I just fell off the wagon for a few. However, my stash is diminishing quickly, especially since my Extra Pale Ale has come to be one of the best tasting beers I’ve ever made. I find myself drinking more of it than I should, nightly…

So Sunday brought another brew day. I decided, since I was enjoying my Extra Pale Ale, I would give the Northern Brewer English Pale Ale extract kit a try. In true British fashion the main difference in this beer versus the American counterpart is the hops being used. Kent Goldings hops, native to Kent, England, were used in this recipe and they have a spiciness to their aroma that has me very curious about the final product.


Northern Brewer English Pale Ale Extract KitToday was about as easy going and relaxing as it gets with homebrewing. It makes me wonder why more people don’t partake in this fine hobby. I was able to clean bottles, drink beer and watch soccer while I brewed up the Northern Brewer English Pale Ale extract kit. The extract kit was pretty run of the mill with its processes so I decided to do a couple of things differently than normal. With a Pale Ale such as this, a variety of yeast isn’t really needed. Normally I am a huge advocate of the wYeast smack packs. They are easy to use and rarely fail me. With a pale ale like this though there isn’t a lot of flavor and aroma that I’m looking for from the yeast so I decided to save a few bucks and give the Nottingham dry yeast a go. I rehydrated the yeast and pitched it into my wort.

With it being summer outside now the temperature really fluctuates inside of our house. I determined that underneath my steps would be a great place to ferment as it only moves up and down a few degrees during the day. However, I still wanted to maintain a better temperature shift than that. So I created a swamp cooler to use which is maintaining the fermentation temperature at 62 degrees F. I’m expecting a fine, crisp tasting pale ale.

Other than these two items, everything else fell right into place. I hit my OG smack on and fermentation started in about 8 hours. In a couple, 3 weeks I will have myself another set of tasty Pale Ales to enjoy before the rest of the summer dwindles away.

Commercial Examples of English Pale Ale’s: Bass Pale Ale, Boddington’s Pub Ale, 8th Street Ale

Brew Day Journal Stats

I adjusted the recipe just a hair by adding in all 6 lbs of the LME at the end. My wife likes a more bitter beer so I thought I would try and get a little more hop utilization and try to maintain a golden color by adding the LME late.

Specialty Grain

.5 lbs Simpsons Crystal


6 lbs Gold LME (Flame Out)

1 lbs Golden Light DME (60 min)


2 oz East Kent Goldings (60 min)

1 oz East Kent Goldings (1 min)


1 package Nottingham Dry Yeast


O.G. 1.050 | F.G. 1.012 | ABV: 5.0%

Brewed: 6/27/10
Bottled: 7/11/10

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  • http://freshbeereveryfriday.blogspot.com Jez

    Awesome. I've used the Nottingham once, in the Dawson's Red ale. That beer rocks! That will be one that I make again, probably end of July or August timeframe. I'm going to dry-hop it, though, to really bring out the Willamette. Hope your Englais Pale turns out good.

  • mikebiewer


    I hope it turns out as well. I'm fairly sure it will. I am curious about the spiciness I smelt in those Kent Goldings. I've never dry hopped a pale ale before, might be an interesting idea.

    Thanks for the feedback man!


  • completegeek

    It's been a while since I've brewed myself. My next purchase will definitely be the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone kit from Austin Homebrew Supply.

    How did you make your swamp cooler? Anything special, or is it like mine with just a big tub filled with water and some ice packs. I actually have an old refrigerator that I was going to convert into a fermenting chamber but I just haven't gotten around to it.

  • mikebiewer

    Yea, pretty much the same way.

    I filled up a tub with water and put a t-shirt over the top of it. The shirt wicks water up and keeps the whole fermenter even cooler. My ambient temperature is about 69 degrees F, but with the tub and t-shirt it is at about 64 degrees F.

    Works pretty good. I'll be putting together a post about it real soon.

    The fridge would totally be the way to go if you can do it. Could do some lagering as well.

    Thanks for the comment!


  • BH

    By the way, I use the Northern Brewer kits all the time and recently noticed that it's a little cheaper ($2-$5 or so) if you buy the same ingredients outside of the kit. Plus there are sometimes extra ingredients leftover (based on the unit sizes) to use for the next batch.

  • mikebiewer

    Yea, I wondered if that would be the case. Unfortunetly I don't have cool space to store extra ingredients, especially hops and LME. Its good to know though.

    I did try putting together an Oberon Clone, but after all the ingredients were in the cart I was pushing $70. Sure, I'd have some left over, but I really wish they had a $50 kit or something.

    How often do you like to brew?


  • BH

    I have been brewing every two weeks or so lately. That puts me on a good schedule to keep the kegs in the keezer filled.

  • mikebiewer

    I'm on a similar schedule right now. But I'm planning a party in September and I really want 5 beers for it. One more to brew, then its just aging and bottling time!

    Whatcha brewing now?


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