#42 Cheshire Cat IPA

Eureka, time for another recipe story. The following recipe could be a Russian River’s Pliny the Elder clone recipe. The original recipe can be found here as a pdf.

Not only am I interested in brewing beer, but tasting commercial examples is something I really enjoy as well. There are countries well known for their brewing like Belgium, Germany, England and the Czech Republic. But there are many more these days. One in particular is the USA. I am fortunate enough to get at least some of the beers made there and therefore get an idea what is going on in the US craft beer scene. But there are beers I would like to try but have no chance to get them. One of them is Russian River’s Pliny the Elder. Because I heard so much about Pliny the Elder and Russian River as a brewery, the only way to get an idea about those beers is to make them myself. That’s a standard technique for me to get beers I can’t buy. Other beers that fall into this category are two Dogfish beers like Raison d’être and the 60 min IPA. My recipes for these two beers can be found in the recipe section. So I can’t tell if this recipe below is a clone recipe or not. But that is not that important to me anyway. These clone recipes are often very close to the original anyway and that is enough for me to get at least an idea how the original beer might taste like.

The amount of hops made me think of the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland. I assume the Cheshire cat needs no further introduction. The hop amount is in some way a bit mad… much like the Cheshire cat. Lets go through the recipe.

Recipe: Cheshire Cat IPA
Numbers: Volume [L] 18 (4.8 gal)
Original gravity 17.5°P
Terminal gravity 4.4°P
Color Around 11 EBC
IBU >90 IBU (measured)
ABV 7.8%
Grains: Pale Malt (6.5 EBC) 5 kg
Cara Munich 2 (120 EBC) 0.23 kg
Carapils (4 EBC) 0.23 kg
Table sugar (0 EBC) 0.18 kg added after the boil
Hops: Columbus (15% AA) 92.7 g and boil for 90 min
Columbus (15% AA) 19.5 g and boil for 45 min
Simcoe (14%) 24.6 g and boil for 30 min
Simcoe (14%) 23.3 g and boil for 0 min (whirlpool hops)
Centennial (9.6%) 62.4 g and boil for 0 min (whirlpool hops)
Columbus (15% AA) 28 g and dry hop for 14 days
Simcoe (14%) 28 g and dry hop for 14 days
Centennial (9.6%) 28 g and dry hop for 14 days
Columbus (15% AA) 7 g and dry hop for 5 days
Simcoe (14%) 7 g and dry hop for 5 days
Centennial (9.6%) 7 g and dry hop for 5 days
Yeast: #1056 American Ale
Water: Burgdorf Mash: 14 L (3.7 gal), sparge: 23 L (6.1 gal) @78°C (172°F)
Rest: Mash in @66°C (151°F), 60 min @ 66°C (151°F), 10 min @ 78°C (172°F).
Boil: Total 90 min
Fermentation: Primary 7 days @ 20°C (68°F) in a plastic bucket
Secondary 14 days @ 18°C (64°F) in a plastic bucket and added the dry hops
Maturation: Carbonation (CO2 vol) 1.5 vol by adding sucrose
Maturation time 3 weeks

Fig 1: Hop debris after the whirlpool

02/01/12: Brew day. All went according to the protocol above. Then added the hops as mentioned in the recipe and transferred the beer into a fermenter. I have never ever added so many hops to one batch of beer before. That is roughly 220 g for 20 L. It is therefore no surprise how much hops debris there was after the whirlpool (Fig 1). The cooling went very fast since it was still snowing outside, the water from the tap was pretty cool. I then added the #1056 American Ale yeast which originates from my yeast library.

02/08/12: Transferred the beer into the secondary fermentation vessel after seven days of fermentation. And added the first amount of dry hops (Simcoe, Columbus and Centennial).

02/18/12: Added the second part of the dry hops (Simcoe, Columbus and Centennial).

02/28/12: Gravity was at 4.4°P. So I bottled half of the batch into bottles and the other part into a 9 L keg (2.4 gal). The beer matured at 18°C (64°F) for one weeks and went into the refrigerator after that. The beer will be ready to taste by the end of March 2012. And I will post the tasting in a separate post in the future. Please let me know if some of you out there has brewed this recipe already. Stay tuned.