Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Juicy IPA

I took the opportunity of two weeks off from work to get some brewing done. Overall I brewed 20 gallons worth of beer over three separate batches. The first beer that I brewed was an IPA for a friend. She wanted a fruit forward IPA, which is right up my alley, so I had no problem brewing it for her. I quickly came up with a grain bill targeting a lighter SRM and a drier finish that wouldn’t conflict with the hop flavor. I knew right away that I was going to use some combination of Citra and Mosaic but I wasn’t sure how I was going to go about using them. While I enjoy Citra, it can vary from time to time and I’ve never really enjoyed Mosaic on its own. I think Mosaic is a good support hop, but not a good standalone hop. To avoid the beer becoming fruit juice like a Deschutes Fresh Squeezed, I decided to use come Cascade for bittering and underling aromatics. 

For this batch I also decided to use” hop bursting” for the first time. This technique involves adding all of your hops at flame out or just before flam out. The theory is that the hops will still impart bitterness but it will be more flavor than alpha acid pure bitterness, while preserving the aromatics better then boiling. I’ve used this in the past, but have always relied on some sort of 60 minute bittering addition out of fear that the beer will be too sweet. I’ve learned over time that the hops will still impart bitterness even if they are not “boiled,” but are at a temperature above 180oF. I did add an addition of Cascade at 20 minutes just for a little more classic IPA bitterness, but not a pallet wrecker. For the rest of the hop additions, I basically just threw it together while I was heating the mash water. I pretty much just grabbed whatever my LHBS had in stock without any real plan on how I was going to use them. My goal was to layer the flavor and aroma with a hop addition at flame out, whirlpool, and hopback. I think the best IPAs have a layered aroma and flavor that is derived from specific time additions and specific hop ratios. 

The last technique I decided to try was to add my dry hops prior to the end of fermentation. From what I have read adding the hops while the yeast are still active will, first help to prevent oxidation and second allow the yeast to do some interesting things with the hop esters. It should, if theory is correct, produce more of the fruity aromatics from the hops, rather than the grassy fresh hop aromatics from dry hopping. You want to add the hops towards the end of fermentation so that they CO2 produced by the yeast don’t blow the aromatics out of the beer. 

Beer Stats
Batch Size: 5.25 Gallons
Estimated OG: 1.064
Measured OG: 1.060 (updated)
Measured FG: 1.016
ABV: 5.8%
SRM: 7
IBU: 60.2

Grain Bill
9 lbs 2-row Pale Malt
1lb Vienna Malt
1lb Sugar
0.75 lbs Acid Malt

Hop Schedule
20 min – Cascade – .5 oz
30 min whirlpool – Citra – 1 oz
30 min whirlpool – Mosaic - .5 oz
30 min whirlpool – Cascade – 0.25 oz
30 min hopback – Citra – 1 oz
30 min hopback – Mosaic - .5 oz
30 min hopback – Cascade – 0.25 oz
Dry hop – 8 days – Citra – 2 oz
Dry hop – 8 days – Mosaic – 1 oz

Mash Schedule
148oF – Single Infusion – 60 minutes
165oF – Mash out

Conan yeast slurry stepped up to 1.5L starter


12/24/14 – Brewed with Danielle. Ended up being under gravity again but I recently learned that it might be because my refractometer needs to have a corrective calibration calculated. Apparently they routinely read under where they should be because they are calibrated using sugar water not wort. I added 2 grams of CaCl,6 grams of Gypsum, and 2 mL 88% Lactic acid to the mash. Mash pH was 5.22 (estimated 5.23), pre-boil pH 5.39 and final boil pH is 5.26. Added 60 seconds of pure O2. Beer left to ferment in my beer room in a swamp bucket. The room should be roughly 64-68oF.

12/29/14 – Dry hops added. 

1/6/15 – Placed carboy into chest freezer to cold crash. Gravity down to 1.016.

1/12/15 - First tasting. Awesome. Final pH was 4.88.  A little higher then I was expecting.

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