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Cloning Georgetown Manny's Pale Ale

The real Manny's Pale Ale from
Georgetown Brewing in Seattle
One of my relatives spent time in Seattle and fell in love with Georgetown Brewing's Manny's Pale Ale. Now that he is here in Central Ohio, he can't get the beer anymore. I thought it would be nice to try to brew a clone of the beer for him.

I started with a visit to the Georgetown web site, which yielded the following information:
  • 2-row Pale malt and Caramel malt are used
  • Summit and Cascade hops are used
  • Original gravity is 1.051 SG
  • Final gravity is 1.009 SG
  • ABV is 5.4%
  • IBU rating is: 38
  • English Ale yeast is used
For the next step, I formulated a tentative recipe based on the image of the beer on their web site and the above information. I asked the brewery by email if the brewers would offer any advice.  All I learned was that they recommended using the Wyeast 1275 Thames Valley ale yeast.

Searching on the web, there are various forum posts out there that suggest possible clone recipes which include:
  • 80% 2-row Pale, 10% Caramel 60L, and 10% Cara-Pils - with a 20% hopping of Summit at 25 minutes, 40% Cascade at 10 minutes, 40% Cascade at 0 min, and dry hopping with Cascade
  • 76% 2-row Pale, 8% Cara-pils, 8% Caramel 40L, and 8% Caramel 20L - with all hopping in the last 20 minutes of the boil
  • 75% 2-row Pale, 17% Caramel 40L, 8% Cara-Pils - with Summit used as a first wort hop and Cascade added at 15, 5, and 2 minutes
  • 86% 2-row Pale, 5% Cara-pils, 10% Caramel 60L - with Summit at 60 minutes and Cascade at 15 and 5 minutes, plus Cascade as a dry hop
  • 85% 2-row Pale, 9% British Crystal 55L, 6% Cara-pils - with Magnum at 60 minutes, Cascade at 15 minutes and 1 minute, plus Cascade as a dry hop
  • 91% 2-row, 7% Caramel 40L, and 2% Cara-pils - with Cascade hops at 15 and 5 minutes
Assuming that these are in the ballpark of the actual recipe, we get a grain bill something like this:
  • 75-91% 2-row Pale Malt
  • 7-16% Caramel Malt, some combination of 20L, 40L, 55L, and/or 60L
  • 2-10% Cara-Pils (although it looks like Georgetown may have used this in the past, they probably do not today since it's not listed as an ingredient now)
On the hops side, the consensus seems to be that Summit or Magnum hops was either used at the start of the boil or at the 25 minute mark, with Cascade used later in the boil and for dry-hopping.

With this analysis as the basis, I formulated my first-guess recipe.


4.5 pounds of 2-row Pale Ale Malt (86% of the grist)
12 ounces of Caramel 60L Malt (14% of the grist)
0.45 ounces of Summit @ 16.7% AA (25 minutes)
0.30 ounces of Cascade @ 5.3% AA (15 minutes)
0.30 ounces of Cascade @ 5.3% AA (5 minutes)
1.00 ounces of Cascade dry-hopping for 3-4 days
1 packet of Wyeast 1275 Thames Valley yeast
3 gallons plus 16 ounces of starting water
1/2 tsp. Gypsum in the starting water

The Zymatic recipe crafter suggests that the finished beer will have these qualities:
  • Original gravity: 1.056 SG (vs. 1.051 for the real beer)
  • Final gravity: 1.015 SG (vs. 1.009 for the real beer)
  • SRM: 12 (slightly outside the BJCP guidelines of 7-10 SRM)
  • ABV: 5.4% (same as the real beer)
  • IBUs: 38 (same as the real beer)
  • Volume: 2.5 gallons
  • High efficiency mash profile
I decided to add the Summit late in the boil so that I could increase its flavor contribution without overshooting the target bitterness level.  Adding gypsum should also help to punch up the hops flavor.  

Brew Day Notes

I measured the ingredients and loaded them into the Zymatic, then powered it on and got it started brewing. About 5 minutes into the process, our Internet connection inexplicably dropped. When it did, the Zymatic shut down and waited for me to tell it that the Internet was back.  I found this rather annoying. It should have downloaded and held the brewing program, so it should have been able to tolerate a missing Internet connection for a few minutes. I would have been fine with losing the temperature data and status information it collects - but not so happy losing a batch of ingredients.

After resolving the Internet connection and restarting the brew process on the Zymatic, it continued with the Dough In process.

Near the end of the boil, the machine made some slurping noises that seemed to indicate a clog. I ran several rinse cycles after the brew, which pushed out bits of "gunk" that probably were associated with the clog. After that, it seemed to behave fine.

The original gravity measured 13.0 Brix, which (after adjustment) works out to 1.054 SG. That's within two points of the estimated 1.056 SG that the recipe software predicted.  The wort was chilled to yeast-safe temps, treated with Clarity Ferm, and the yeast pitched into it.  Since there was enough yeast to consider doing a second beer, I brewed my ESB after that so I could split the yeast between the two beers.

02/28/2018:  After a couple of evenings of the airlock on the fermenter appearing totally still, tonight there is some bubbling from the airlock.  When you place just over 2 gallons in a 7.5 gallon fermenter, it takes a while for the yeast to generate enough CO2 to cause airlock activity.

03/02/2018:  I've kept the beer in a cooler part of the basement in lieu of temperature control. The thermometer has shown it staying down in the lower 60's despite airlock activity being visible now. A sample pulled from the fermenter was a little sulfury and a bit sweet, implying that the yeast still has a bit of work to do.

03/11/2018:  Today, my wife and I bottled the beer using Cooper's Carbonation Drops for priming sugar to ensure a consistent level of carbonation across the batch. The beer already has a decent flavor, though if I had dry-hopped it as I originally intended, I think it could be better still.  Unfortunately, life got in the way and I didn't have a chance to drop in the dry hops until fermentation had finished - which runs the risk of oxidation.  The refractometer registered a final gravity of 6.1 Brix, which BeerSmith says is a final gravity of 1.005 SG and an alcohol content of 5.7%.  The beer should be ready for taste testing on March 18.

03/15/2018:  Taking a bottle of the beer out of the hot box and chilling it, I was disappointed to discover that despite the recipe creator showing a color comparable to pictures of the real Manny's Pale Ale, this beer is considerably darker - a deep brown in fact. It's nothing like a pale ale.  Although drinkable and pleasant, I consider the recipe a failure and will be brewing a 2.0 version ASAP.

As you can see below, it's almost a dark copper color. Flavor is fairly caramel-forward with hops in the background - nothing like a pale ale should be.  It's a drinkable beer, for sure, but not a good one.

This is definitely NOT a pale ale


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