Sunday, August 31, 2008

IPA #2 2008

I'm brewing this right now, the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. It's going to be my entry for the Club-Only IPA competition coming up. Now, Fritz Fernow, another NYC Homebrewers Guild member, brews some great IPA's. He typically medals with them in the New York homebrew circuit. He's gotten at least one Best of Show, and a couple of brewer's choice awards too. So Fritz, this one's for you, and if I beat you as the NYCHG's club pick, then I know I made a great beer.

This beer is probably a little higher in OG and IBU's than I like my IPA's. If it attenuates down to 1.013, then you're looking at 7% ABV, and I really like them to be more sessionable than that. But it's for competition, and sometimes that little extra umph will really get you somewhere. However, the beer has to be well-brewed first and foremost.

Recipe is for 6 gallons post-boil, all grain with a little DME to compensate for a lower efficiency than planned. Boil-off was about 11% in one hour.

O.G. 1.066 F.G. 1.013 IBU's 72

10.5 lb. American 2-row malt
1.75 lb. Golden Promise
.75 lb. British crystal 30 - 37
1 lb. light DME

4 gr. Centennial pellets 9.5% FWH
24 gr. Millenium pellets 16.3% 60 min
28 gr. Centennial pellets 9.5% 10 min
28 gr. Centennial pellets 9.5% 5 min
28 gr. Centennial pellets 9.5% 0 min
28 gr. Cascade plugs 6% dry-hop

Mash: 4 gallons H2O + 1 tsp. gypsum, mash in to 150.
Rest 70 min, then heat to 170 over 20 min

Sparge with 5 gallons at 170, recirc 2 qts.

Collect 6.66 gallons at 1.053 = 75% efficiency
Added 1 lb. DME and FWH, brought to a boil
Boil 60 min, additions as noted.
Whirlfloc at 15 min, 1 tsp. Wyeast nutrient at 10 min.

Chilled to 78, whirpooled, and collected 5.25 gallons. Aerated with aquarium pump and stone for 40 minutes, in the kegerator, and managed to get it down to 68 degrees in that time.
Pitched yeast-only of a .75 gallon starter of Wyeast 1056.
Fermented at 68 for 2 weeks, letting warm to 70 at the end.
Racked to a keg on 9/12, crash cooled.
Added 1 oz. Cascade plugs in a SS tea ball to the keg.

Final Tasting results 10/18/08:
  • A little too much alcohol presence(I think due to lack of aeration from using that aquarium pump), I will switch to regular shaking in the future until I get an oxygen setup.
  • Good malt bill and color, although I might knock down the O.G. to 1.063-1.064. I don't need all that alcohol.
  • Hop bitterness was too high, and there was a harshness about it. I will probably knock it down by 5-7 IBU's, by deleting at least one late centennial addition. I think the harshness, which was described as "aspirin" by a beer judge, may have been from too much of this hop. It also may have been due to the "stainless steel" tea ball I used for dry hopping, which ended up not actually being all SS. Thanks, Northern Brewer...
  • Hop aroma was not exactly jumping out of the glass. For overall hop schedule I would decrease the late kettle hops by 1-2 oz and increase dry hopping to 1.5-2 oz, added loose to a secondary. I also might mix the finish hop a bit, going with some Amarillo or Simcoe.

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