SMASH Pale Ale
The simplest recipe concept that we've ever come across is the SMASH Ale. SMASH is an acronym for Single Malt And Single Hop. By using just one malt and one hop, you'll be able to zero in on the exact flavor contribution provided by each ingredient. We recommend starting with English Maris Otter malt and a classic American hop for a bready body and citrus zing, but the beauty here is how easy it is to experiment and compare ingredients.
Batch Size: 5 Gallons
Boil Size: 6 Gallons (After losses for sediment and evaporation, you'll get 5 gallons of fermented beer)
8 lbs Maris Otter Liquid Malt Extract
1 oz Cascade pellets (6.3% AA) boiled for 60 minutes
1.5 oz Cascade pellets (6.3% AA) boiled for 10 minutes
1.5 oz Cascade pellets (6.3% AA) boiled for 1 minute
Wyeast 1056 American Ale Yeast or White Labs WLP 001 California Ale Yeast
Heat six gallons of water, and as it approaches the boil, add the malt extract. Once boiling add your first hop charge. After 50 minutes add your second hop charge and after 9 more minutes add your third hop charge, boiling for one more minute. Chill to 68º F and pitch your yeast. Allow a week to ten days for fermentation. Check your final gravity. If it has reached 1.013 (or is at least within a few points) proceed to bottling or kegging your beer.
Use 12 lbs of Munich malt in place of the extract and mash at 150F.
Experiment by swapping out any one ingredient at a time. For example, make one batch with American Cascade hops and another with English Kent Golding and you'll get a great example of how the aggressive grapefruit and pine notes of the Cascade hop differ from the mellower floral, herbal aromas of the Kent Golding. Or keep the malt and the hops constant to see what kind of flavors an English Yeast brings to the party. There really are no limits here.