Monday, February 16, 2009

American IPA #1 2009

This weekend was supposed to be my first day interning at Sixpoint Craft Ales, but unfortunately they are closed for brewery renovations, and next week they will be in Boston for the Extreme Beer Fest. So my first working day with them will be February 28th, and I have a couple more weekends to brew. If these beers are ready, and tasty, I might even be able to get them bottled for NHC regionals in April.

As promised, I'm going to get back to some of my old recipes and refine them. The last IPA I brewed had a serious problem, in that it had some hot alcohols which I believe were due to aerating with one of these. I've sworn off using the aquarium pump setup, preferring the time-honored carboy rocking method until I can decide which oxygenation setup to buy. Also, I really prefer IPA's on the lighter alcohol end, like 6%, just clean and relatively quaffable. Right now my favorite is Blind Pig IPA from Russian River, which I have only had once or twice. So I'm trying for a light bodied beer with just a hint of sweetness, a clean, lasting bitterness, and plenty of hop aroma jumping out of the glass.

Recipe is for 6 gallons in the kettle post boil volume.
Before a slight dilution: O.G. 1.066 IBU's 69
After dilution: O.G. 1.063 F. G. 1.014 ABV 6.5% IBU's 66

11.5 lb. Rahr 2-row pale malt
10 oz. Munich malt
.5 lb. Crystal 15
.5 lb. Crystal 35
.5 lb. wheat malt

30 gr. Chinook whole hops 13% 60 min
28 gr. Columbus pellets 12.2% 15 min
28 gr. Amarillo pellets 8.2% 10 min
28 gr. Cascade pellets 6% 0 min
28 gr. Amarillo pellet dry hop
28 gr. Columbus pellets dry hop

Mash: 4 gallons water + 2.5 tsp gypsum heated to 160
Mash in to 150, rest 60 minutes (took a pH reading at 30 minutes with my new Colorphast strips, it looked like 5-5.1)
Raised to 160 for 5 minutes, then mashed out to 170.
Total mash time = 85 minutes

Sparged with 5 gallons water at 170

Collected 6.8 gallons at 1.059. thats 84% efficiency! WAY higher than my recent IPA's, and I think the fact that I used a little more gypsum must have acidified the mash slightly and helped with the better efficiency.

Added .25 gallons top-up water to the boil kettle, and 3 drops of foam control.
Boiled 60 minutes, with hop additions as noted.
1 whirlfloc tab at 15 min
1/2 tsp. Wyeast nutrient at 10 min

Chilled to 64 degrees, whirlpooled and settled for about 45 minutes.
Collected 5 gallons in the fermenter at 1.066.
Aerated by hand for 8 minutes, pitched an appropriate sized starter of Cali 001 yeast.
About an hour later I added a quart of pre-boiled water to bring down the O.G. to 1.063.
Some light airlock bubbling was visible within 3 hours. Fermenting at 68 degrees, and it was about to blow off at 24 hours. So I dropped in a few drops of foam control and shook it around a bit, which worked great.

Fermented for 2 weeks at 68, warming to 72 during the last 2 days to finish it up more quickly.
Racked to keg on 2/28/09.
Dry hopped on 3/9/09 using tea bags.
Chilled and carbonated on 3/18/09 with the hops still in.

Damn, I ran out of this beer before I did an official tasting. I guess that's a good sign. Just a quick review of this recipe then: Great color and aroma. great hop profile, but somewhat impeded by the crystal malt. A little too much crystal made it not exactly sweet, but a little too "balanced" for an American IPA. I would only make 1 change: take out the .5 lb. of crystal 15 and substitute with .5 lb. of carafoam instead.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

"Warning! This Blog contains graphic descriptions of hot Yeast on Malt action. There may even be some intense three-ways with yeast, malt, and bacteria! Please be advised: Mature viewers only!!!"

Nice... Just the way I like it.

(BNArmy Sarg.)