Thursday, September 1, 2011

Calypso Pale Ale

I haven't posted any recipes in a while, but I've been brewing a bit. For my friends Tony and Annie's recent wedding, we re-brewed a beer I was very happy with: the Belgian summer ale with lemon verbena, yarrow, and grains of paradise. The brew went off very well, and was pretty much identical to the first brew. The only thing we changed was the yarrow: it was a different varietal of yarrow (whatever is growing in our front yard, with yellow flowers), and we used the flowers as opposed to the leaves, which I think added a more floral/honey character and less of the slight aspirin bitterness that the leaves add. The beer was very well received at the wedding party, and we kicked 5 gallons pretty fast. We also bottle conditioned 5 gallons, and primed the bottles with wildflower honey. I'll do a tasting of that pretty soon for the blog.

On to yesterday's brew: We have a few new varieties of hops to play with at Cascade: Bravo, Delta, and Calypso. These are all fairly new hybrids. I wanted to do a single-hop brew with one of these, so I started by doing an aroma evaluation and checking out their information sheets. The Bravo is pretty much a high-alpha bittering hop, not much aroma going on there, so that was out. The Delta is apparently a cross between a Cascade male and a Fuggle. It has a nice, mild, pleasant aroma but it didn't seem extremely unique. I figure I'll save that for another brew, possibly an all-Delta saison or something. The Calypso is apparently a dual-purpose hop. It immediately stood out as having an intense fruity aroma, not much pine or resin, just sort of a high, almost sharp fruityness that reminded me a bit of blackberries or wine. That was definitely the type of hop that I was looking for, something with a unique character that was going to make its mark in a straightforward, hoppy pale ale.

The Calypso information claims that the hop has a "pleasant fruity aroma, with hints of pear and apple". It comes in at 12.8% Alpha Acid (which I guess would almost be considered a mid-alpha hop in today's age of many 16+% bittering varieties. The one thing that stood out was its huge cohumulone percentage: 40-42%. I don't think I have ever seen another hop this high in cohumulone, ever. It used to be widely accepted that higher cohumulone hops contributed a rougher, less refined bitterness than lower cohumulone varieties. I don't know if this is entirely true though, it seems that that theory is being challenged a bit these days. So, we'll see if this hop seems more bitter in this brew or contributes any "rough" bitter character to the brew.

Personally, I don't think assertively hopped American ales need to shy away from a slightly rough character. Grown-ups like hop flavor and bitterness. As long as there's nothing too funky or astringent in the aftertaste, I think a bit of roughness is to be expected. It's not a Czech pilsner after all, it's a hoppy American ale. In any case, I did decide to dial back by just a few IBU's just in case this hop really seemed to be more bitter than the IBU's would suggest. I also didn't fully "hop-load" the end of the boil, the time at which cohumulone doesn't have a chance to get changed into mellower compounds (don't ask me to look up what it gets changed to, if you're interested in stuff like that, check out Principals of Brewing Science, or do an online search).

Anyway, enough blabbing, here's a recipe, have at it.

Recipe: Calypso Pale Ale
Style: American Pale Ale
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 7.00 gal
OG: 1.054 SG
FG: 1.015
ABV: 5.1%
Estimated Color: 9.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 42.7 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 78.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
7 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 66.7 %
8.0 oz Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.8 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.8 %
2 lbs 8.0 oz Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 2 23.8 %
25.00 g Calypso [12.80 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 6 15.6 IBUs
28.00 g Calypso [12.80 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 8 0.0 IBUs
28.00 g Calypso [12.80 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 7 10.4 IBUs
9.00 g Calypso [12.80 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 16.7 IBUs
42.00 g Calypso Dry hop - in bags

2 gr. gypsum, 1 gr. CaCl, to mash only.
Mash: 4 gallons H20, 153 for 55 minutes (fell to 149 over that time). Raised to 168 over 10 minutes,
Sparge with 5 gallons water at 165 over 30 minutes
Collected 6.75 gallons at 1.048 = 86% efficiency.

Boil as noted, with additions of Whirlfoc & Wyeast nutrient at 10 min.
After boil: Top up to 6.25 (hot volume), Whirlpool & Rest for 15 minutes.
Chill through Heat-X, rack to carboy, and add pure oxygen for 60 seconds.
Pitched 1 qt. stirplate-starter of Wyeast 1056, a little warm at 72, came down to 70 within an hour. Ferment at 68

Keg on 9/8/11, dry hops in 2 tea bags for 3 days warm, 10 days cold.

Created with BeerSmith 2 -


Paul! said...

placing the jar of Calypso pellets next to the carboy was a really thought full touch.

Seanywonton said...

I did it all for you, Pauly.

justin quinlan said...

what sort of fridge are you using for fermentation?