I’m a little early to brew this for IPA Day, which is coming up on Thursday, August 7, and way too late to be able to enjoy it on that day, but hopefully I can at least give any of you who weren’t aware that it was coming up a chance to prepare to enjoy it. I plan to celebrate at Dogfish Head Brewing and Eats in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
That is not what this about, though.
Today, I brewed another IPA, this one showcasing a ton of my favorite, mostly new varieties of hops that lean towards the fruitier end of the flavor and aroma spectrum. Last year, I brewed Evergreen IIPA, which was all dank, resinous, piny hops, but I’ve been enjoying the tropical hops from Australia and New Zealand this Summer. Also, to be honest, I was disappointed in my two Single Hop IPAs from earlier in the Summer.
I gave relatively positive tasting notes on the Galaxy hopped one, but after drinking more of it, my opinion has become less favorable. The main problem is that it is just too strong for the hop load. It is also a bit maltier than I expected.
For this beer, I’m taking these problems on with an even more stripped down malt bill, higher IBUs and I waited until after the mash to finalize the hop bill. My efficiency was higher than expected last time and I was not prepared with any extra hops to compensate. I was ready today with a couple extra ounces of hops on hand in case of any unexpected bumps in gravity.
It ended up not being an issue as I hit very close to the expected OG. But don’t worry, I’m sure I can find a use for these extra hops. Before I get into the hop specifics, though, I’ll describe the rest of the recipe.
I treated the grain bill more like I normally would for an Double IPA, stripping out all of the specialty grains, despite this being more in the gravity range of a single IPA. I did something a little bit different even with that, though. My normal idea for big IPAs is to use almost all American Pale Malt with a small amount of wheat to help with head retention. This time, I used a German Pilsner Malt base to lighten it up even more and then supplemented it with English Palt Malt.
The reason for the English Pale Malt, specifically is, honestly, I’ve never used it so I wanted to give it a try. My local homebrew shop carries both this standard Munton’s English Pale Malt and Maris Otter. I’ve always opted for Maris Otter because I love the distinct, biscuity character it gives to beer. I’m not looking for that now, though. Hopefully this will be somewhere between the American Pale Malt and Maris Otter that I usually use.
The yeast I decided to use is White Labs 007 – Dry English Ale. I’ve never used this before, but I’m planning to use it in my upcoming barley wine, so I’m going to build up a huge supply with this brew to re-pitch in that. This yeast is, from what I understand, somewhere between the character of American ale yeast and normal English ale yeast. It produces more esters than something like Chico but less than other English strains. It also, as the name implies, finishes very dry. This is definitely what I’m looking for in an IPA.
There are rumors that this is Stone’s house yeast. They claim that they have a proprietary strain but recommend using this in the clone recipes that they have released. I don’t think they’re lying because that seems silly, but either way, if this will give a profile similar to their beers, that sounds perfect for my beer.Okay, I guess I’ve buried the lead enough, on to the hops. I’m using Chinook, Nelson Sauvin, Amarillo, Galaxy and Mosaic in the boil and dry hopping with Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy and Mosaic. If one of those looks out of place to you, good eye. Yes, Chinook leans much more on the piny, citrusy American hop character than the others. I figured I needed to include something for a little balance because the rest are all fruit. I used Chinook for the first wort addition, which means that it will add a ton of bitterness as well as some flavor, but all the other hops later in the boil should be much more pronounced.
I have some extra Nelson Sauvin hops around because I was planning it to be the next entry in the Single Hop series, which is why I’m using it for the next earliest addition as well as being in the aroma hop load. Nelson is an extremely unique hop. I use it in Table Cat as well. It is of course fruity, but the really distinct thing that it adds is a sort of white wine character. I know of no other hop with anything close to this trait.
Amarillo is a fairly new variety, but the way new hops are coming out now, it seems like a classic compared to some of the others in this beer. I get a lot of stone fruit character from it. Peach being the thing that sticks out to me the most. That is why I used this hop heavily in Kory’s Peachy Pale Ale. I added an ounce of Amarillo close to the end of the boil, but before the huge flame out addition.
Galaxy is a very new Australian hop variety. I already mentioned my all Galaxy IPA earlier and in previous posts about that beer I noted that I get a lot of pineapple flavor from this hop. I’m including Galaxy in the flameout hop load as well as dry hopping with it.
FInally, Mosaic is the last variety in Fruit Spectrum IPA. I previously used this hop in Dawn of the Red. Mosaic is another of my favorite new hops. It has a lot of stone fruit character, leaning more towards mango than Amarillo. It also has some of the citrusy character usually associated with American hops. I find that it leans more on the fruity side, but there is a fine balance.
Just about all of these hops are in high demand and trying to brew this beer commercially would be nearly impossible for a small brewery. Another of the great things about homebrewing today is that it is easy to go buy a couple ounces of just about any hop you want while breweries have to contract years in advance and the newer and smaller ones are still not likely to be about to get ahold of the hot new hops for the first few years.
That about covers the recipe, now for the actual brew day. I got off work at six o’clock this morning, my last day of night shift and my last day before vacation. After going for a run, I came home and filtered enough water for the beer. I went the extra step of adding some Campden Tablets as well. I don’t normally do this but I have had a lot of issues with water quality when brewing IPAs in the past and I figured it couldn’t hurt. Then I went to bed for a few hours.
When I got up, I started heating the pre-measured mash liquor. Once it was ready, I poured it into my cooler mash tun and gave it a few minutes to heat the cooler and normalize the temperature, then added my grain and started the mash.
I was planning on mashing at about 150º, but I overshot somehow and ended up at 152º. I debated adding some cold water, but ultimately decided that it would be close enough. This Dry English Ale yeast is supposed to tear through just about anything you throw at it and 152º is still low enough that this should be a very fermentable wort, so I think everything will be just fine.
Close to the end of the ninety minute mash, I added an ounce of Chinook hops to the brew kettle. Once the time was up, I drained the mash tun on top of them and then added the sparge water to the cooler and gave it a good stir. I let it rest for a few minutes and then drained it again and started the boil.
I boiled for ninety minutes because of all the Pilsner Malt. I keep mentioning flame out hop additions, but that isn’t quite accurate. With how hot it is, it takes me a lot longer than would be ideal to chill the wort. I waited until I got it down under 180º to add the aroma hops. I chilled to that point with my copper coil submersion chiller, then after the hops had a few minutes, I added frozen and sanitized two liter bottles to speed up the process more.
The big bottles worked out better than the small water bottles I used last time and I was able to get the temperature down under 75º fairly quickly. After racking the beer to the carboy and pitching the yeast, I covered the carboy with a brown paper bag. I’ve never done this before, but I’ve seen other people do it and with all the evidence of light struck skunkiness ruining hoppy beers, I decided to give it a try. My recipe is below.Style: American IPA
Brew Date: August 5, 2014
Serve Date: September, 2014
Original Gravity: 1.065
Expected Final Gravity: 1.012
Approximate ABV: 6.9%
IBUs: 70 IBUs
68% German Pilsner Malt
32% English Pale Malt
1 oz Chinook @ First Wort (90 min boil)
1 oz Nelson Sauvin @ 30 min
1 oz Amarillo @ 15 min
1 oz each Galaxy, Nelson Sauvin and Mosaic during chill when wort dips below 180º
1 oz each Galaxy, Nelson Sauvin and Mosaic dry hop for five days each, staggered additions three days apart
White Labs 007: Dry English Ale Yeast
24 quarts of water @ 162º added to grains to achieve 150º (ended up 152º) mash temperature
Mash for 90 minutes, stirring halfway through
Drain mash, batch sparge with 14 quarts of water @ 180º
Collect about 7 gallons
Boil for 90 minutes
Chill below 75º and ferment at room temperature
Rack once fermentation has completed and hold for one week, then begin dry hopping
Dry hop for twelve days and then bottle