According to Ray Daniels' "Designing Great Beers" (a very useful resource which I recommend to every home brewer, whether all grain or otherwise), American Pale Ales have the following characteristics:
- OG: 1.044 - 1.056
- IBU: 20 - 40
- Hop Flavour and Aroma: medium to high
- Colour (SRM): 4 - 12
- Apparent Extract: 70 - 80%
- ABV: 4.5 - 5.5%
- Esters: low
- Diacetyl: low OK
Admittedly Daniels' takes this data from the American Homebrewers Association.
Before deciding what specialty grains will be used to augment the base malt, or malt extract, depending on your choice of all grain or extract with grains, we will decide on which hops will be going into the brew. In some ways I was glad that APA won the poll because we get to play with some high alpha acid hops like Chinook, not to mention hops like Amarillo and Cascade with their signature grapefruit aromas.