Tag Archive: IPA

IPA Brew Day – Make IPA Great Again!

It was a dark and stormy brew day.

No, actually, it was cold and cloudy.  I was inside though.  I started the brew day at 7:30 AM by getting both kettles going with water – the BK had the mash tun heat up water and the HLT had my strike water (which I measured the prior night and filled the HLT to let the chlorine dissipate.  I put a lid on the BK and then went upstairs to make breakfast for the family.

Backstory

I decided that since I now have two medals in styles that I like (but not love), I am going to try to medal in styles that I love – which basically means IPA. Maybe APA. Probably also British Bitter. Possibly dunkelweisen too (we’ll see). This is the first of that – I want to make an IPA that hits all the marks in the right spot. While I have been really enjoying some NEIPAs (specifically those from Listermann Brewing), this one will be clear, bitter, and aromatic. I want only some malt sweetness, and I definitely want it to take a backseat to the hops.

Brew Day

Brewery view. The BK is the larger one, the HLT is the smaller.

Upon returning to the basement brewery, I pulled the lid giving myself a nice steam burn on my left arm.  I realized the element was at the max despite being set to ‘5’.  I think the SSR is melted. I pulled the plug on the BK and drained the water into the mash tun to preheat while I added 5 ml of acid to the HLT for the mash water.  Once the mash tun was mostly empty, I dumped the rest and dumped the grain into it.  I shut the element off on the HLT and doughed in, hitting a mash temp of 154ºF, which only dropped to 152ºF over the hour rest. Mash pH was good, at about 5.3.  After the hour, I recirculated and lautered for more sweet wort than I’ve ever received for first runnings – it was around 3.1 gallons, I was shooting for 3.5 gallons.  Looks like the union I installed into the mash tun helped! I began the batch sparge and 10 minute rest and then dumped the first runnings into the BK.  After the rest, I recirculated and lautered for just under 3.5 gallons for the second runnings and added the second runnings to the first in the boil kettle.  I stirred and pulled a sample and then began boil.

And what a boil it was.  Since the SSR was melted, it’s like using a propane burner on max.  I started with around 6.5 gallons, and my final volume was around 5 before chilling caused me to lose some more (maybe 0.5 gallons, I ended up with 4.5 in the fermenter). When adding my 15 minute hop addition, I rigged the plate chiller and started recirculating boiling wort through it without running anything in the cold side.  15 minutes later, I shut off the element and turned on the cold water to begin chilling.  At some point my pump failed, as it wasn’t pumping anything.  My response to this was to use gravity to chill to my bottling bucket, and then drain the bottling bucket through the plate chiller and into the fermenter.  This worked (I got down to 72ºF or so), but it was a pain and subjected the wort to some oxygen when it is most vulnerable to oxidization.

I pitched the yeast, I decided to use Denny’s Favorite, which appears to be from North Coast Brewing (the people that make Old Rasputin). The Fermentation temperature reached 75ºF around 24 hours post-pitch, and around 40 hours post-pitch was down to 70-72ºF.

Recipe will be shared as soon as I figure out why beerxml isn’t working.

Serving

After conversing with some fellow homebrewers on Reddit, I decided to give this a week to 10 days in the fermenter, crash it, rack it to a keg with an added hop sock of the dry hops and slow carbonate it over a week or so.

Notes

2017-11-11: Brewed
(this will be updated as necessary)

Cheers!

 

 

IPA Bottled… God, I Hate Bottling. And Mold.

I had this IPA sitting in the fermenter a week longer than I anticipated.  It had to be bottled this week, though – next week is likely going to be busy (I’m volunteering with the Cincinnati Queen Bee Half Marathon for part of Saturday, and Sunday will likely be busy with family).  This is a somewhat fitting end to a great weekend… well, the lovely citrus hop aromas was a fitting end, the rest, not so much.

Friday kicked off with Pint Night courtesy of my wife asking for Woodchuck Harvest Cider.  The featured brewery was 5 Rabbit Cerveceria, and in attendance was Randy Mosher (partner and creative director at 5 Rabbit).  I got to talk to Randy for a few minutes, which was awesome since I’ve read two of his books.  I found out he went to the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) “when it was just DAA, before the P”.  I told him I went there for urban planning, in DAAP, after they added the P.  It was a true beer geek moment, and I was savoring it with their Yodo con Leche, which is among the best beers I’ve tasted!

Saturday, my wife arranged for her parents to babysit the kids and we went to Rivertown Brewery and Barrelhouse.  We arrived just behind a bus full of beer geeks.  Initially I was concerned that getting a flight and a seat would be an issue, but fortunately neither was an issue, and we ended up having a nice conversation with a couple that were on the bus.

Sunday began with a little bit of NFL from London and me beginning bottling.

2015-10-04 11.44.20

Insert an F-bomb here.

Things were a little more difficult this time because of mold.  Part of me wants to blame HBF or AHA or something because one of them tweeted out something about it, but it’s really not their fault.  And all this was on the outside.  To add to the mold problem, I didn’t have enough corn sugar, so I decided to use math and use a partial batch of corn sugar and sucrose.

Yup, I are engineer.

Yup, I are engineer.

Once I boiled the sugar solution (upstairs in the kitchen) and moved it downstairs (to the brewery), I decided to wash all the bottles I was going to use.  Normally I don’t because I wash all bottles before taking them into the basement, I decided a change was in order because one of my cats has taken up residence in the basement.  I really don’t want cathair in my IPA.  Then I had to sanitize the bottles.  I don’t own a bottle tree, so dealing with bottles is a painful process of draining bottles on a dish drainer and then setting them on a towel.

Cascade cones from my garden out back!

Cascade cones from my garden out back!

I believe I was able to open the fermenter without getting any mold into the beer.  This was an AWESOME smelling beer!  As soon as I opened the fermenter I was greeted with citrus aromas from the citra, galaxy, and cascade hops I used.  Bottling was without incident, and I now have 39 bottles of green capped goodness conditioning in my basement.

2015-10-04 13.11.12

Green Capped Goodness!

The stats:

78 IBU, 6.3%ABV, OG 1.056, FG 1.008.

Of course, this was not the end of bottling day.  The mold was not only on my fermenter lid, but also in the freezer.  I had to spend some time cleaning it out with antibacterial cleaner.  I decided to remove the thermocouple and go with another solution.  I also decided that making lagers wasn’t as important to me as not bottling anymore, and I decided I’m going to move towards kegging.  I spent a large part of the afternoon on Facebook messenger pelleting a friend of mine with questions.

Cheers until next week!

 

Another IPA Brew Day

So I decided later than usual on a Saturday to brew.  This is a brew that I wanted to do the prior weekend, but my home AC was on the fritz and adding a bunch of humidity to it would not have been a very smart move.

This was an interesting brew day for two reasons.  A large portion of the brew day was spent thinking that I would be preparing to brew the following day.  I built an electric panel to fix the dangerous setup I had previously.

It's almost done.

It’s almost done.  The blank spot is for a switch.

The thing is, I didn’t have the plug on the cord from the boiler ready.  Once I did that, I added water and started things up.  Then I went to work on preparing the mash tun.  In my last post, I had the stuck sparge from Hell.  I did NOT want that happening again.  I added some plumbing solder in some strategic places and scrubbed down the copper.  At that point (and after messing up and fixing solder joints twice, and since leaks don’t really matter here the mess ups were pretty important to fix), I decided to go ‘all in’ and start mashing.

I love problems that fix themselves!

This brew day had one minor mess up – for my IPA, I have hops at first wort (in the kettle), 15, 5, knockout, and dry.  I did first wort, 15, 10, and knockout.  Oops.  It also had one issue that I thought would be a huge problem – my sparge water kept heating even after the PID said things were off.  I didn’t notice until the water hit 205º F, and the heat was still on despite the output light on the PID controller not being on.  So I unplugged the boiler to keep the water from boiling and let it cool.  Later, when it was time to heat the water back up to sparge temperatures, I plugged the boiler back in and let it heat back up.  And it worked correctly.  And it worked correctly through the entire boil, too.  I love problems that fix themselves!

They leak

Chilling had been an issue in the past, and I still reign supreme at having the most fucked up chilling schemes.  This one isn’t much different.  I bought a plate chiller on Amazon a few weeks ago.  The water inlets and outlets were standard hose fittings.  My house is six years old, and the cheap washing machine lines were something that was on the list of things to replace.  I decided to purchase new stainless steel lines for the washing machine and use the old lines for the plate chiller.

They leak.  Somehow in the process of unhooking them from the back of the washing machine and the wall and putting them on the plate chiller, they decided to leak.  And these weren’t leaks that could be fixed by torquing down the connectors or using pipe tape (which is unnecessary on these connectors).  And I made sure the O-rings were in the hose connectors.

So I did what any sane person would do.  Since I didn’t have enough hose to set the plate chiller in the sink (that would have been optimal), I put the chiller in a bucket.  Which started to fill.  So to avoid flooding part of my basement, I used a small hose to siphon the leaking water out of the main bucket into another so I could dump water without moving the plate chiller around.

This is nuts.

This is nuts. But it worked.

So on the shopping list is two new hoses.  Because had I had not-leaking hoses, the plate chiller would have worked very well.  And even allowing a lot of the trub go through was okay (I use pellet hops).  I’m not sure what temperature I got things down to. Put the ale pail into the fermentation chamber and set it to chill at about 6:30.  I ended up pitching the yeast at midnight or so.

The Recipe

The recipe has changed a little.  I wanted it a little less malty and a little more crisp.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5 gal 60 min 71.4 IBUs 5.4 SRM 1.070 1.013 7.6 %
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 %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US 7 lbs 50
Vienna Malt 6 lbs 42.86
Cara-Pils/Dextrine 1 lbs 7.14

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Cascade 2 oz 15 min First Wort 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 148°F 60 min

Now the wait.  One week (as of time of writing) to add dry hops, and one week to absorb.  Then bottling and another week to two weeks to wait.  I WISH IT WAS DONE ALREADY.

Cheers!

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