Wednesday, February 15, 2012

IPA Tasting and Recipe (Simcoe, Falconer's Flight, WY1968 yeast)

To preface this recipe and tasting a little bit, I'd like to talk about yeast choice. Normally, when it comes to IPA's, I am a Cali ale yeast guy, and I wouldn't think of using another yeast. But in this case, I went to the homebrew store and they were almost cleared out of yeast! I could have gone back for some Cali later, but I got a little lazy and decided to go down to a local brewery for some of their house yeast, which is the Fuller's strain (or Wyeast 1968 ESB yeast). Now, although this isn't my first choice, I had to give it consideration because the brewery is cranking out some great IPA's with it. I won't mention names, but if you were to Google-map my house on NE 57th and Failing street in Portland, it would be a fairly large and well-known brewpub about a mile from my house.

So, I talked with a friend who is one of the brewers at this brewery, and he had some interesting insights on homebrewing with the WY1968 yeast. His observation is that it does not ferment out as dry in a homebrew as it does on a professional level. I would think that the main reason for this is the high flocculation of this particular yeast. It tends to drop out fast and heavy after fermentation, leaving some residual sweetness and some diacetyl in the beer. On a pro level, in a big conical, the natural convection in the fermentation will keep this yeast up in suspension a little longer than in a carboy at home. So his (and my) solution to this problem was to mash low for fermentability, and more importantly, to start agitating the fermenter pretty heavily after primary fermentation starts to slow. I was shaking/rousing my yeast 2-3 times daily when I saw signs of it slowing, up until the day I dry hopped it. And after that, I still agitated in once a day or so.

I think this did help to reduce diacetyl to very low levels (not none, but not noticable), and also helped get a few more points of attenuation, although I think it would have finished slightly drier and even less diacetyl with Cali ale yeast, for sure. See my "overall" comments for even more thoughts on this, below. On to the tasting:

Appearnce: Slightly hazy golden-orange, I assume haze is from dry hopping and overall hop load. White head with good lacing, thanks Carapils.

Aroma: Citrus, Citrus, Citrus (mainly orange) from the hops, some evergreen, some fruity esters and alcohol, some background malt sweetness. No noticable diacetyl but it is probably there in some very small amount. Not hot, no off aromas.

Flavor: Assertive first sip of hop resins, and malt presence with some caramel and mid-palate sweetness, followed by some hop tannins, and a spicy lingering bitter finish. Moderate alcohol on the finish, not hot, just a substantially strong brew.

Mouthfeel: Moderately full body thanks to some residual sweetness and dextrins. Resiny hop bite with a slight hop astringency (green tea like), not out of balance though. slight warming finish.

Overall: Good drinkability, good balance (for an IPA). The slight sweetness, to my palate, is sometimes welcome, other times I think it gets in the way a bit of a full-on hop blast. This almost drinks like some sweeter imperial IPA's I have tried. I think with a cleaner yeast, it might be easier to go back for a second pint, but maybe I am just being a little too picky. I really wish I had done a side-by-side fermentation with Cali yeast! One additional thought, the final gravity of 1.017 is not that high, but there is definitely a perception of sweetness. I think this might be due to the difference between residual dextrins vs. residual simple sugars, which I'm sure this yeast left a little bit of. So, I think it's probable that this beer would taste different than the same beer fermented with Cali and mashed a bit higher, even if they finished at the same gravity (if that makes sense).

OK, whatever, here's the recipe:

Recipe: IPA - Flight & Simcoe

Style: American IPA
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.30 gal
Boil Size: 8.00 gal
OG: 1.069 SG
FG: 1.017
ABV: 6.9%
Estimated Color: 6.7 SRM
Estimated IBU: 84.4 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 89.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
12 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 92.6 %
8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 3.7 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 3 3.7 %
14.00 g Simcoe [13.00 %] - Dry Hop 6 Days Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
42.00 g Falconer's Flight [10.50 %] - Dry Hop 6 days Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
28.00 g Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 9 0.0 IBUs
42.00 g Falconer's Flight [10.50 %] - Boil 0.0 m Hop 8 0.0 IBUs
28.00 g Simcoe [12.40 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 7 9.4 IBUs
28.00 g Falconer's Flight [10.50 %] - Boil 10.0 Hop 6 7.9 IBUs
28.00 g Falconer's Flight [10.50 %] - Boil 30.0 Hop 5 20.2 IBUs
28.00 g Simcoe [12.40 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 4 46.9 IBUs

Mash in SS pot
4.75 gal + 2 gr Gypsum + 1 gr. CaCl
149-50 for 40 min, then raise to to 152
152 for 30 min, then sparge out

5 gal sparge, no minerals, 175 for starters but quickly fell to 168ish

Collect 7.5 gallons (held off .5 gallon of that to add later as "top-up")
Wyeast nutrient & whirlfloc at 10 min

Pitched 300 ml WY1968 slurry (78% measured viability), pretty thick stuff.
80 seconds of O2
Pitched at 69 degrees
Ferment in SS keg at 68
after 48 hours, start agitating fermener (rocking) 3x per day.
1/11/12 -1.017 Dry hopped loose in fermenter. Agitated every day or so.
1/17/12 Racked to keg

No comments: