Cloning Dogfish’s Shelter Pale Ale…

Pale Ale

Image via Wikipedia

…And making a delicious hash of it.

A while back I found a clone recipe at for a Dogfish Head Shelter Pale Ale. I decided that it was as close as I was getting to tasting the real thing, so I brewed it three weeks ago. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the Simco hops for the flavoring at turn-off of heat; I subbed 0.5 oz of warrior hops instead (since didn’t have Simcoe–in the future I’ll try a 50/50 mix of chinook and Citra as a sub for Simcoe). I also first wort hopped (FWH) this batch. FWHing does not appear to make the beer more bitter than a 60-minute addition.

The Bader Brewing recipe calls for malt extract, but since I wanted to go all-grain, I subbed in 14 lbs of pale ale malt (using a 6.5 gallon outcome with 65% efficiency for the grain calculation). And, instead of using corn sugar for the bottle conditioning (carbonating the beer in the bottle), I tried a commercial method and used speise (unfermented wort).


This is a single-step infusion mash at 155º F (68º C) with 14 lbs. (4.9 kg) American pale ale malt grain, 6 oz. (.25 kg) crystal malt, 120°L grain, and 2 oz. (.17 g) amber malt, 35ºL (substitute dark Munich or carastan if needed). Sparge slowly with 175º F (79º C) water.

Mashing grains within a mesh grain bag

Collect approximately 6 gallons (27.3 L) of wort runoff. Add 0.5 oz of warrior hops to wort. Bring wort to boil for 60 minutes. Add yeast nutrient and whirfloc and wort-chiller (to sanitize) after 45 minutes of boiling.

Cool the wort to 75º F (24º C) and pitch English ale yeast. Aerate the wort. Cool to 64º F (20º C). Hold at that temperature until fermentation is complete. Bottle when final gravity has stabilized (around 1.014). Condition for 2 weeks, if you can wait that long.

Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.042 SG
Expected OG: 1.052 SG
Expected FG: 1.014 SG
Apparent Attenuation: 73.0 %
Expected ABV: 5.1 %
Expected ABW: 4.0 %
Expected IBU (using Tinseth): 32.0 IBU
Expected Color (using Morey): 9.6 SRM

Wort (the unfermented raw beer) in the boil kettle.

Beer fermenting in Better Bottle (TM) carboy. The 1/2″ blowoff tube drops into a bucket of water.

Sam Calagione explains the safe harbor idea of Dogfish Head’s Shelter Pale Ale


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