Sunday, March 30, 2008

IPA #1 2008

I was going to brew an IPA today, and after a nice Sunday brunch, walked into the house and cranked up the stove. The water was already in the mash tun and ready to go. The second thing I did was check out the Wyeast 1056 starter I made on Thursday. It was sitting on top of the fridge in a 1 gallon Carlo Rossi jug. Luckily, I noticed the unhealthy looking slimy film on top of the wort. (This was the same jug I made the starter for the Berlinner Weisse in so even though I thought I had cleaned and sanitized it really well, I guess I wasn't quite thorough enough.)

"Shit," I thought, "no brewing for me today."

But then I called in a favor. Ray had a mason jar of Cali yeast in his fridge from the last IPA he brewed. He was spending the afternoon in his backyard doing his first full-wort boil on his new propane stove.

I mashed in, stuck my brewpot in my pre-warmed oven to keep it warm, and hopped on my bike to buzz on down to Ray's. He hooked me up with the yeast, which was sanitary and fresh, but had a ton of hop junk in it. Ray is still brewing partial mash , so he just dumps everything into the primary including the hops. So when it came time to pitch the yeast for this batch, it was really just guesswork as to how much I pitched. I ended up going with a 1 1/2 cup slurry, hops and all. This seems to have been the right amount, as there was an occasional bubble four hours after pitching, and it was chugging along well by 7:00 a.m. on Monday.

This recipe uses Golden Promise malt, because that's what I got from the Sixpoint brewery last time I was down there, but I suspect any British pale malt would do just fine. I also got about 6 ounces of Centennial, my favorite American hop. Before anyone cries bloody murder for me not supporting my local NYC homebrew store, THERE ISN'T ONE! The bittering hop, Millenium, is a high-alpha American bittering hop which I won a bunch of at a homebrew comp. It's pretty decent for delivering a ton of AAU's if that's what you are looking for.

Here we go:
American IPA: 6 gallons post boil, all grain.
O.G. 1.062 F.G. 1.016 IBU's 68

11.5 lb. Golden Promise malt
1 lb. crystal 35
.5 lb. DME (to make up for my low efficiency)

19 gr. Millenium pellets 16.3% AA 60 min
28 gr. Centennial pellets, 9.5% AA at 15, 10, 5 and 0 minutes (4 ounces total)

Mash in 3.75 gallons to 151 (a little high, so I added some ice cubes to take it down to 149.)
Rest 60 minutes at 149, then add bottom to reach 170 over 15 minutes.
Sparge: 4.8 gallons at 170
Collect 6.5 gallons at 1.053 = 75% efficiency (This is really low for me. It may be something to do with the Golden Promise, as the only other batch I did with it was also 75%)

Added .5 lb. DME and 1 qt. water to reach my target pre-boil numbers
Boil 60 minutes, hop additions as noted
1 Whirlfloc tab at 15 min
1/2 tsp. Wyeast nutrient at 10 min

Chilled to 62, whirlpooled, and collected 5+ gallons at 1.062
Aerated for 30 minutes with my normal setup: aquarium pump and diffusion stone
Pitched 1 1/2 cups of hoppy slurry when the beer was at 66.

I fermented this beer in the mid-low sixties for 8 days. I didn't have a fermometer on the carboy so I had to guess, a bit. I tried to err on the low side of the optimal fermentation temp, as it's better to ferment a few degrees too cool than a few degrees too hot. It must have been low because it still had a rich thick krausen after 7 days. I removed it from the water bath to warm up to room temp, and the krausen fell within a day or 2.

One problem I notice with this beer is that after fermentation it really is still very murky looking in the fermentor. I noticed this on the last IPA I brewed, and I've never noticed this until I switched from Marris Otter to Golden Promise. When I think of this in relation to the much lower yield I got from this grain, I think it may not have been fully converted in the mash. Last time though, I just kegged the IPA and it came out very clear after a few weeks of conditioning. I may need to extend the mash time to alleviate this. The other thing that makes me think that it is a conversion problem is that I used Golden Promise as the base for the Kentucky sour too,which was mashed for 15 minutes longer than this beer, and had a slightly better efficiency, even though I used rye.

5/13/08 I kegged this beer about 3 weeks ago, and it's pretty good, but the residual sweetness detracts from the hop flavor and aroma. I need to dry this out more. Reduce crystal by half and possibly a slightly longer mash time.


Chillindamos said...

That wort chiller is intense! Did you make it? My chiller takes very long when the weather is warmer (tap water is above 70'F) and I need a better solution. I'm considering making a chiller similar to yours and taking my old chiller for a pre-chill bath.

Seanywonton said...

I think I made that chiller back in Ohio, back when 50 feet of copper coil was only $20! Those were the good old days.

I made it big because it's really meant to cool a 10 gallon batch when necessary. I also do a pre-chiller for everything except for ales in the winter.

I was thinking about getting a pump though, for circulating ice water through after the initial chilling. That way you could essentially do lagers, pitching at the ideal 45-50 degrees immediately.