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Tortuga Golden Ale

Brewed: 05/15/2016   Kegged: 05/29/2016

As I've mentioned before, when the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines came out, there were suddenly new style categories which I had not brewed. 

One of these was Category 12, Pale Commonwealth Beers. 

So, in the Spring of 2016, I decided to tackle a British Golden Ale to satisfy this Category.

I must admit that British Golden Ale was not a style of beer with which I was familiar. Not at all.

All I could do was read the guidelines and attempt to interpret them. 


Luckily, it doesn't seem that complex of a style. 

"A hop-forward, average-strength to moderately-strong pale bitter. Drinkability and a refreshing quality are critical components of the style."

Really an APA ... only with more English ingredients.

So, I used a base of Maris Otter malt. Threw in some honey malt, and then loaded it up with Fuggle hops. I just went with a good-old SafAle English Ale yeast.

A simple beer highlighting Fuggle hops. Pleasant and delicious to drink. Great for a lazy Sunday afternoon in the backyard by the grill.

As for the name I chose for this beer ... 

Tortuga is the name of the pirate haven in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. A home of pirates, privateers, prostitutes, thieves, and drunkards. 

There isn't much evidence that many of the inhabitants drink anything but rum, but it is certainly possible that the people there also had an occasional British Golden Ale.


Actually, I just sort of like the name.


For more about the Beers I'm brewing to fill out representation of the Style Guidelines, see Sheppy's Blog: BJCP Goal.

For more about this beer, see Sheppy's Blog: Tortuga.

Tortuga Golden Ale --- Batch 1

Style British Golden Ale Batch Size 5.50 gal
Type All Grain Boil Size   7.76 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   75.00   Boil Time   90 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.046 SG Estimated FG 1.012 SG
Recipe Bitterness 31.6 IBUs (Rager) Alcohol by Volume 4.6 %
BU : GU   0.680        
Recipe Color 5.1 SRM
Measured OG:   1.044    Measured FG:    1.011
ADF:   75   Measured ABV:    4.4


Amt Name Type # %/IBU
6.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 1 -
8 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 2 94.4 %
8.0 oz Honey Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 3 5.6 %
0.500 oz Crystal [3.30 %] - First Wort 90.0 min Hop 4 7.1 IBUs
0.500 oz Fuggles [5.20 %] - First Wort 90.0 min Hop 5 11.2 IBUs
0.125 oz Magnum [12.70 %] - First Wort 90.0 min Hop 6 6.8 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 7 -
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins) Other 8 -
0.500 oz Fuggles [5.20 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 9 2.0 IBUs
1.000 oz Fuggles [5.20 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 10 3.4 IBUs
0.500 oz Crystal [3.30 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 11 1.1 IBUs
1.0 pkg SafAle English Ale (DCL/Fermentis #S-04) [23.66 ml] Yeast 12 -

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 11.25 qt of water at 163.7 F 152.0 F 60 min

Batch sparge with 2 steps (2.15gal, 3.88gal) of 168.0 F water

Recipe Notes
6g gypsum in the mash water. This should bring Denver water profile (as defined by BeerSmith) to
Mash, sparge, and boil as directed.
Pitch as close to 60 F as possible. Keep temp below 65 for 2 days, then let it warm up to room temp (but lower than 72)
Ferment about 2 weeks.
Force carbonate to 2.5 volumes. Condition to taste.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:  5/15/2016 Strike Temp:   168
Mash Temps:  156ish down to 150ish
Pre-boil OG   1.038 (1.038 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   8 (7.76 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency   Pitch Temp   66 
Day 1: Bubbling nicely 64
Day 2: More Active 64  
Day 3: Strong 70  

Brewing Notes:
05/13/2016 esheppy
Bought ingredients today. Brew day this weekend 🍺
05/15/2016 esheppy
Brew day went well today. A little low on the OG, but nothing that really concerns me 1.044 is close enough.
05/16/2016 esheppy
Kraussen before the end of the day yesterday. Bubbling in nicely this morning. 64.
05/17/2016 esheppy
Even more active. 64
05/18/2016 esheppy
Still going strong. 70
05/28/2016 esheppy
Took sample today. 1.011. Extremely clear. Lots of giggle hops. A little fruity ester coming through. Seems a bit drier than I expected but really good. Now I just need a keg to put this in.
05/29/2016 esheppy
Kegged today. Still calling this 1.011. 4.4% ABV. Didn't sample today, but I do notice that my last comment mentioned lots of "giggle" hops. This should have been "fuggle" hops. An unfortunate auto-correct by my phone.
06/04/2016 esheppy
Like this beer. Fuggle hoppy. Refreshing.Clarity not there at the moment, but this is ok.
06/23/2016 esheppy
Went into Keggerator today.
07/17/2016 esheppy
Really a great session beer. Fuggle hop flavor. Firm, but not overpowering bitterness. Crystal clear. Fantastic. Probably not going to last much longer.
07/21/2016 esheppy
Had a couple while doing late night work things. Delicious.
07/21/2016 esheppy
Killed the keg. Now, I can put another beer in that spot. Hopefully the Beer Model is ok with this being out.
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