Recipes

Imperial Hoptrooper Brew Day and Tasting Notes

On November 20, I brewed my biggest (and most successful in terms of numbers) beer – a double IPA.  Recipe inspiration came from MadTree’s High series, which is a series of IIPAs that are quite popular and very well rated (note: there are three “highs” that I know of, the Galaxy and Citra, which are linked in the text, and Azacca which is not… but it’s also f**king tasty! There may have also been a Mosaic High).

The recipes are similar.  I did a fair bit of ‘back of the napkin’ analysis on the two beers, looking at the percentages of grain, the AAU at each addition, etc.  I ended up with the recipe below.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5.5 gal 60 min 123.7 IBUs 5.9 SRM 1.074 1.014 7.8 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Double IPA 22 A 1.065 - 1.085 1.008 - 1.018 60 - 120 6 - 14 2.4 - 2.9 7.5 - 10 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pilsner (Hoepfner) 10.5 lbs 72.41
Vienna Malt (Briess) 2.25 lbs 15.52
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L 8 oz 3.45
Carapils (Briess) 4 oz 1.72
Corn Sugar (Dextrose) 1 lbs 6.9

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
El Dorado 1 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 15
Galena 1 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 12.5
Centennial 0.5 oz 30 min Boil Pellet 10
Mosaic (HBC 369) 0.5 oz 30 min Boil Pellet 12.3
Centennial 0.5 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 10
Mosaic (HBC 369) 0.5 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 12.3
Centennial 1 oz 15 min Aroma Pellet 10
Mosaic (HBC 369) 1 oz 15 min Aroma Pellet 12.3
Centennial 2 oz 0 min Dry Hop Pellet 10
Mosaic (HBC 369) 2 oz 0 min Dry Hop Pellet 12.3
Chinook 1.5 oz 0 min Dry Hop Pellet 13
Citra 1 oz 0 min Dry Hop Pellet 12

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 152°F 60 min

I kept closer to the size of the Citra High recipe, mostly because I am still working through efficiency issues (it’s getting better, though).  I still didn’t get MadTree’s efficiency, but to be fair, I’m targeting 75%, not 82%!

Brew Day

I’m happy to say that the only issues during brew day was how long it took and higher than expected grain absorption.  I started later in the day (around 2:30 PM) and it didn’t end until maybe 6:30PM.  There were no stuck sparges, clogged lines or chillers, boil boiled.  I ended up with about 4.5 gallons into the fermenter, which is less than the 5.5 gallons I was targeting.  However, the lower volume works better with my 7.5 – 8 gallon kettle.

Heating initial mash tun preheat water

Lots of hops!

1.070! The most this hydrometer has ever floated!

Airlock Action Shot!

1.004 (ultimately final gravity)

Throughout fermentation, the temperature (as measured on the side of the fermenter) stayed at 68, which is a nice perfect temperature.

Tasting Notes

The Beer

Aroma: Grapefruit mostly

Appearance: Copper, opaque.  White head that starts thick and persists as a thin head.

Taste: Tongue lashing bitterness with citrus tones. Some alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated, slight citrusy tartness lingers past the dry finish.

Overall Impression: I’m biased, but I love this beer. I’ve been drinking the heck out of this!

OG: 1.071
SG: 1.005
ABV: 8.7%
IBU: 124
SRM: 6

What’s Next With This Recipe?

I want to try two things – one is maybe a little less bitterness.  The other is honey instead of sugar.  I’m wondering if some Orange Blossom honey would work well with the citrus based hops.

Cheers!

Made Dark Candi Syrup

I’ve been thinking about my next homebrew being a Belgian Strong Dark Beer.  In the research process, I found two Chop & Brew Episodes, and both use dark candi syrup.  Since I’m tight (a little) and since it’s basically sugar, I decided to make my own.

Off to the interwebs, I found a post by Mad Fermentationist that mentioned a Ryan Brews post in the comments.  Looking at the Ryan Brews page, I used pickling lime and DAP (yeast nutrient, I used LD Carlson, which I had on hand).

I only scaled the recipe up, so I used:

1 pound sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp pickling lime
1 tsp yeast nutrient

I brought it to a boil and held it to around 280º – 300ºF for 40 minutes.  After that, I removed it from the heat, let it cool for a few, and added 1/3 cup of water and stirred it in to make it a syrup.

The two things I will do differently next time:

  • Dissolve the lime and dap in the water before adding it to the sugar. I had a lot of large flakes that I think (operative word!) are from the lime.
  • Use a better thermometer setup.  My grill thermometer was reading 280º for a while including in boiling water, so I hope the thermocouple isn’t ruined.  I’m letting it dry and will test it later. Edit a few days later: the thermocouple is saying 129º while sitting next to the food thermocouple reading 73º. I’ve ordered a replacement!

Cleanup of this stuff isn’t too difficult, the best way is to boil everything, even if you don’t make it to a boil, very hot water can dissolve the sugar/caramel.

Brew Day: Vampire Dust Pale Ale and a Mead

Yesterday (at the time of writing) was Mead Day.  Since I’m down to just a session wheat beer, I needed a pale ale, and I just wanted to make a mead.

Vampire Dust Pale Ale

Strike Water Additions

Strike Water Additions

Crushed malt

Crushed malt

Redneck RIMS setup

Redneck RIMS setup

Brewing went off with mostly few hitches except slowly hitting my strike temperature due to this redneck RIMS setup (to be documented further later).

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5.5 gal 60 min 44.9 IBUs 5.2 SRM 1.059 1.011 6.3 %
Actuals 1.054 1.01 5.8 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
American Pale Ale 18 B 1.045 - 1.06 1.01 - 1.015 30 - 50 5 - 10 2.3 - 3 4.5 - 6.2 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Brewer's Malt, 2-Row, Premium (Great Western) 11 lbs 90.72
Carapils (Briess) 12 oz 6.19
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L 6 oz 3.09

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Green Bullet 0.5 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 13.5
Citra 1 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 12
Citra 1 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 12
Citra 3 oz 7 days Dry Hop Pellet 12

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Irish Moss 1.00 tsp 15 min Boil Fining

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
London Ale Yeast (1028) Wyeast Labs 75% 60°F - 72°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 148°F 60 min

My First Mead

This is the fist time I’ve attempted mead, and I tried to keep it as simple as I can:

Ingredients: 4 lb Orange Blossom Honey, water to make 1g, yeast, LD Carlson Yeast Nutrient and LD Carlson Yeast Energizer

Yeast: Lavlin 71b, 5g

Process:

Rehydrate yeast with 125 ml water and 6.25g LD Carlson Yeast Nutrient

Add all honey to fermenter, water to 1 gallon, mix well.  Pitch yeast.  Forget to add first SNA (oops).

34 Brix!

34 Brix!

2 * 2lb Orange Blossom Honey... from Ohio?

2 * 2lb Orange Blossom Honey… from Ohio?

Supplies. Putting the Mr. Beer into use.

Supplies. Putting the Mr. Beer into use.

Following morning: add first two SNA’s, mostly because I don’t have a way to measure to tenths of grams.

The SNAs should be 0.4g Nutrient and 0.2g Energizer each addition, at pitch and at each of 24, 48, and 72 hours post-pitch.

Vampire Dust Pale should be ready in 10 days or so, the mead will be a while.

Cheers!

My First Sour: a Flanders Red?

I’ve been wanting to do a few sours for a while, and recently purchased two Better Bottles for the purpose of one being a sour-only fermenter.  I’m merging two recipes, one is the on the Milk The Funk Wiki, which is the malt bill for The Rare Barrel beers.  Since it is only part of a recipe, I took the other part from the Flanders Red Solera recipe from the Bloatarian Brewing League (a Cincinnati homebrew club) – specifically the hopping, mashing schedule, and yeast.

Water

My base water is pretty close for a Flanders Red, just a tad alkaline.

Base Ranges for a Flanders Red

Base Ranges for a Flanders Red

The only adjustments are basically pH, so once I add a milliliter of Lactic Acid, it puts the water right in line with where it needs to be.

Adjusted Water

Adjusted Water

Recipe

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5.5 gal 60 min 17.1 IBUs 13.4 SRM 1.053 1.012 5.4 %
Actuals 1.046 1.01 4.7 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Flanders Red Ale 23 B 1.048 - 1.057 1.002 - 1.012 10 - 25 10 - 16 2 - 2.7 4.6 - 6.5 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pilsner (2 Row) Bel 8 lbs 71.11
Wheat Malt (Barrett Burston) 1.5 lbs 13.33
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L 8 oz 4.44
Oats, Flaked 8 oz 4.44
Vienna Malt (Briess) 8 oz 4.44
Carafa II 4 oz 2.22

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Mt. Hood 1 oz 45 min Boil Pellet 6

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Lactic Acid 1.00 ml 60 min Mash Water Agent
Oak Chips 4.40 oz 7 days Secondary Flavor

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Roselare Belgian Blend (3763) Wyeast Labs 80% 55°F - 80°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 156°F 90 min

This is still in progress, and the oak is questionable at this point.

Hopped Pickles

The garden has come along swimmingly.

So I had two cucumbers ready (maybe, they may have been a little under-ripe) and some hops.  Roughly 0.1 oz of Columbus (wet) and more Tettenang and Cascade.

The original reason for growing cucumber was hopped pickles, which my wife first heard about on The Chew TV show.  In looking it up, a good sounding recipe is here (yeah, she has blue-green hair, but she also has great taste in beer!).

I cut the recipe to 1/4 of the amounts.  I didn’t have any pickling salt, so I used sea salt (per another internet search) and I used a few sprinkles of ground mustard instead of mustard seed (and added both to the list of things to buy at the grocery store next week).  I used 0.1 oz of wet Columbus and 0.25 oz of wet Tettenang.  I used a Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA, which has a nice hoppy flavor that should go well with the recipe and add enough bitterness to be similar enough to Hopslam, as Ms. Porter used or Dogfish 90 minute IPA, which is what you can purchase commercially.  Hopslam is 70 IBU, and 90 Minute IPA is 90, Torpedo clocks in at 67 IBU.  In all three cases, there is quite a bit of hop aroma from late hops/hopstands/dry hop additions.

2015-08-29 13.20.17

I love it when I cook with beer and it leaves enough of the bottle to drink!

In the jar, I threw a cascade cone into the jar with the smashed garlic clove, 1/4 oz of peppercorn, half a fresh de-seeded and de-veined jalapeno.  Everything else was to the directions (1/2″ headspace, 15 minute process in boiling water).

2015-08-29 14.21.25

Hopped pickles!

So this was done on August 29.  The recipe says “a few days” for flavor, but I’m thinking I want to give these two weeks, which is consistent to other pickled recipes I’ve used.

Cheers!

EDIT: I tried these after a few weeks.  The strongest flavor is garlic, but the hops are in there and they are GOOD!  I may try another batch with no garlic and see what happens.

Friend of Hades IPA Recipe

So I’m starting to experiment with different malts.  I started looking into various SMaSH recipes and started seeing people use different base malts.  So I decided to base this one on Vienna malt instead of the normal 2-row malt.  I also added some carared for color, some carapils for head retention, and crystal 40 for a touch of sweetness and color.  I also kicked up the hops quite a bit since my last (extract+partial mash) IPA.  The last (also first) IPA I brewed had 7oz of hops (3 oz of Cascade, 2 oz of Citra and Galaxy).  This time, I added an extra 3 oz of hops.  I also experimented with first wort hopping and steeping (the closest I can get to hopstanding right now).

Here is the recipe.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5 gal 60 min 67.7 IBUs 11.5 SRM 1.066 1.015 6.7 %
Actuals 1.051 1.01 5.4 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
American IPA 14 B 1.056 - 1.075 1.01 - 1.018 40 - 70 6 - 15 2.2 - 2.7 5.5 - 7.5 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Vienna Malt 9 lbs 69.23
Carared 2 lbs 15.38
Cara-Pils/Dextrine 1 lbs 7.69
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L 1 lbs 7.69

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Cascade 0.5 oz 15 min First Wort Pellet 6.6
Cascade 0.5 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 6.6
Cascade 0.5 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 6.6
Citra 0.5 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 12
Galaxy 0.5 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 11
Cascade 0.5 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 6.6
Citra 0.5 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 12
Galaxy 0.5 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 11
Cascade 1 oz 15 min Aroma Pellet 6.6
Citra 1 oz 15 min Aroma Pellet 12
Galaxy 1 oz 15 min Aroma Pellet 11
Cascade 1 oz 7 days Dry Hop Pellet 6.6
Citra 1 oz 7 days Dry Hop Pellet 11
Galaxy 1 oz 7 days Dry Hop Pellet 11

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Irish Moss 0.25 tsp 15 min Boil Fining

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
American Ale (1056) Wyeast Labs 75% 60°F - 72°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 152°F 60 min

Some pics from brewday, all courtesy of Instagram and me being bored:

The flavor is just what I wanted.  A citrus hop rollercoaster.  It pours a deep copper color with a thin head.  The aroma is mostly orangey (is that a word?).  The taste is smooth, very citrusy that lasts for a while.  At 67.7 IBU, it’s at the top of the style range, which is pretty much where I wanted it (I looked up the IBU on PsycHOPathy and Truth, both are just over 70).  I love it.

2015-02-13 17.08.12

Radio Red Ale

I brewed my best beer so far – a subtly hoppy amber ale.  This is the beer I’m going to enter into the Cincinnati Malt Infusers competition.  It came out well – I can’t stop drinking it, and I can’t stop thinking about different things I want to try with the recipe.  Of course I need to brew more of this as I can’t stop grabbing it out of the fridge.

Recipe

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5 gal 60 min 36.5 IBUs 13.0 SRM 1.058 1.016 5.5 %
Actuals 1.046 1.01 4.7 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
American Amber Ale 6 B 1.045 - 1.056 1.01 - 1.015 20 - 40 11 - 18 2.3 - 2.8 4.5 - 5.7 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US 10 lbs 88.89
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L 1 lbs 8.89
Roasted Barley 4 oz 2.22

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Centennial 0.75 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 9
Centennial 1 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 9
Citra 1 oz 7 days Dry Hop Pellet 12

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
American Ale (1056) Wyeast Labs 75% 60°F - 72°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 156°F 88 min

Recipe licensed under the Creative Commons “by-nc” license.

Taste and Stuff

I love the flavor.  I love the citrus hop flavor coming through. The beer has a great head and lacing.  My only concern (from a competition standpoint) is the color is a little darker than I expected, and I think I will get dinged for it.  I am very happy with the clarity of the beer, though, as my second brew and only partial mash beer was an IPA that tasted great but was very cloudy.  This is pretty clear.

2015-01-01 21.03.54

Not the greatest picture artistically, but good to show the clarity and color. It does have a red hue.

2015-01-01 21.04.02-2

In the glass, it looks a bit dark, but even after the head dies down there is some good lacing.

Prost!