We're best known for brewing aggressive, big-character beers, but we love a great sessionable ale as much as anyone. Most beers at the less-weighty end of the spectrum lack flavor and depth as much as they lack high ABVs, but not Stone Levitation Ale! This deep amber brew has a rich maltiness, big hoppy character, citrus overtones, and an impressively modest alcohol content for a beer with so much flavor packed into it.The beer was first released in September 2002. It's listed at 4.4% alcohol by volume and 45 IBUs.
The official recipe works out to the following for a 5-gallon batch.
Stone Levitation Amber Ale
Starting Gravity: 1.048 (12 Plato)
Final Gravity: 1.013 (3.2 Plato)
Fermentation Temperature: 72 Degrees Fahrenheit
8.5 pounds of crushed American two-row pale malt
14.4 ounces of crushed Crystal malt 75L
8.3 ounces of crushed Crystal malt 150L
1.3 ounces of crushed black malt
8 gallons and 96 ounces (12 cups) water
0.28 ounces of Columbus hops (12.9% alpha acid)
1/2 teaspoon Irish moss
0.9 ounces of Amarillo hops (8.5% alpha acid)
0.26 ounces of Crystal hops (13.0% alpha acid)
1 tube White Labs WLP007 Dry English Ale Yeast (or WLP002 English Ale yeast)
0.77 ounces of Amarillo hops (8.5% alpha acid)
1 cup plus 3 tbsp Light DME (dry malt extract)
- In a 10-gallon insulated container, combine the malts with 3 gallons plus two cups of 173 degrees Fahrenheit water.
- Hold the mash at 157 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Add a gallon plus 12 cups of 182 degree water. The mixture should increase to 165 degrees.
- When the liquid is below the level of the grain, sprinkle 3 gallons plus 14 cups of 168 degree water over the grain to start the sparge and continue sparging.
- Put the wort in the brewing kettle and add water if needed to get it to the 6-gallon level. Then add another 12 cups.
- Bring the wort to a rolling boil. Set the boil timer for 90 minutes.
- Add a bag containing the Columbus hops to the kettle. If a layer of foam or scum appears on top of the kettle, skim this off and discard it.
- When the timer indicates that 15 minutes are left in the boil, add the Irish Moss.
- With 10 minutes left in the boil, add a bag containing the 0.9 ounce portion of Amarillo hops.
- When the boil is over, add a bag containing the Crystal and Simcoe hops into the kettle and begin chilling the wort to 72 degrees.
Pitching and Fermentation
- At pitching temperature, discard all the hops and check the gravity of the wort to ensure it's at or near the target of 1.048 (12 Plato).
- Transfer the wort to your fermenter. Pitch the yeast or yeast starter.
- Try to keep the wort at the 72 degree fermentation temperature throughout fermentation.
- Transfer the beer to the secondary fermenter and then dry hop it.
- In the secondary fermenter, place a bag with 0.77 ounces of Amarillo hops.
- Ferment at 72 degrees for one week.
- Remove the hops bag and discard the hops.
- Check the gravity of the beer. If it's at the target of 1.013 (3.2 Plato), it's ready to bottle. If not, continue to ferment until the target is reached.
- Sanitize the bottles, caps, and bottling equipment.
- Put the 1 cup plus 3 tbsp of DME in just enough water to dissolve it. Bring it to a boil over high heat to sterilize it.
- Remove from the heat, cover, and let it cool slightly.
- Add it to the bottling bucket along with the beer.
- Fill and cap the bottles.