Sunny Dove – Missing Brother American Pale Ale Split Batch

Brewed on 04/28/2012

Another great brewing session under JenEric’s belt that produced what we think (know) will be an amazing American Pale Ale.

This brew day was really awesome because my brother Morgen came down from the L.A. area to do a collaboration brew with us. It was suppose to be a Brothers collaboration brew day with the twins Rian and Morgen. Rian unfortunately couldn’t make it down for the brew session but he was involved in several parts of the collaboration pre and post brewing.

After several phone meetings we ended up choosing the APA style because we are all hop heads and we wanted to make a session type ale so we decided to make a APA instead of an IPA. We formulated the recipe to be a very low alcohol beer around 5 – 5.5% with a well-balanced malt and hop bill. We are going heavier on the dry hops to get that strong floral/citrus hop aroma we all LOVE.

Morgen works for a water department based in the San Gabriel Mountain area and he has access to an amazing spring that produces some of the most delicious water I’ve tasted. This spring is located down a 400-foot tunnel that was blasted into the mountain years ago and is filtered by thousands of feet of San Gabriel Mountains above.
Prior to brew day Morgen climbed back into the 400 foot tunnel and hand filled water containers with 20 gallons of this pristine water we used to make this beer.

Brew Day

We started setting up the brewery about 10AM and Morgen arrived not to long after we began. We unloaded all the water and the carboy that Rian sent down for their portion (Missing Brother as it was named later in the day) of the collaboration wort. 

The brew session went off without a hitch.  Morgen milled the grain strait away and then filled the mashtun and hot liquor tank with water.   We mashed in at  158 and quickly dropped down to 146 so we had to directly heat the mashtun and bring the temperature up to 150.

We did a single infusion mash for 60 minutes, recurculated for 15 minutes and then began filling the boil kettle. We had three hop additions (triple hop brewed), a 60 minute, 30 minute and 0 minute. At 15 minutes left in the boil we always add whorlfloc to help clarify the beer.

During the entire brew session there was a dove that was hanging out with us and was cooing along with the music that was playing in the background. It was a beautiful sunny San Diego day, so as we were thinking of names for our brew to be we knew that dove was going to be part of the name and since it was such an amazing day we went with Sunny Dove. Talking more and drinking more over the 60 minute boil we realized we needed a name for the five gallons Morgen was going to take home as Jen and my five gallons were dubbed the Sunny Dove.  Wasn’t too long and Morgen came up with “Missing Brother” because Rian wasn’t able to brew with us even though he’s a big part of the collaboration.

After the 60 minute boil we recurculated for 15 minutes and then began to chill the wort. It took about a half hour and we began racking into our fermentation carboys. We moved the carboys into a water bath, applied some oxygen and pitched Cal Ale Yeast (WLP001) into both carboys. 

The next morning Morgen buckled up the Missing Brother in his truck and headed home. We both let our primary fermentations go two weeks and then we both dry hopped for one week with different hop combinations. JenEric is keg conditioning the Sunny Dove while Morgen and Rian are bottle conditioning the Missing Brother portion. It worked out that Missing Brother held true to its name. Morgen ended up going out of town for the weekend the bottling needed to be completed, so Rian bottled alone while missing his brother. We’re all really excited to try out our creations and to taste, smell and see the differences between the two batches.


Check out the recipe for Sunny Dove here.


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This post is written by Eric
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