#26 Continuous IPA

Better later than never. This is the last recipe from the old days (2011). With this recipe, each and every recipe up to batch #50 will be published on my blog. I know there are some tasting notes missing for some of the recipes which I try to add at some point. This recipe was all about the continuous hop addition method used by Dogfish Head Brewery in the US for their IPAs. I started writing this post in July 2012 (yes, I have a lot of unfinished posts in my draft folder) and never had any of Dogfish Head’s min IPAs at this point nor was it easy to get some Simcoe, Amarillo and Columbus hops back then. In fact, my brother and I had to travel to London in Summer of 2011 to get our hands on some of the Dogfish Head beers such as Palo Santo Maron, Indian Brown Ale and Festina Peche. All really enjoyable. We further attended the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF), visited the Meantime Brewery and Fullers and some other non-beer related sight-seeing. I really like London and it is definitely worth a visit. Enough of story telling. The recipe below is a straight forward IPA recipe to put the continuous hop addition method to a test.

Recipe: Continuous IPA
Numbers: Volume [L] 22 (5.8 gal)
Original gravity 14.6°P (1.058)
Terminal gravity 5.2°P (1.020)
Color Around 15 EBC
IBU 50 IBU
ABV 6% (v/v)
Grains: Pilsner malt (4 EBC) 5.2 kg
Cara Amber (70 EBC) 1 kg
Hops: Columbus (14.4% AA) 15 g and continuously added over 60 min
Simcoe (12.9% AA) 15 g and continuously added over 60 min
Amarillo (8.5%) 15 g and continuously added over 60 min
Amarillo (8.5%) 30 g added at flame out
Amarillo (8.5%) 30 g as dry hops
Simcoe (12.9% AA) 15 g as dry hops
Yeast: Danstar Nottingham
Water: Burgdorf Mash: 16 L (4.2 gal), sparge: 25 L (6.6 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 plastic fermenter
Secondary 14 days @20°C (68°F) in plastic fermenter with addition of dry hops (see above)
Maturation: Carbonation (CO2 vol) 3 with sugar addition
Maturation time > 3 weeks

04/16/2011: Brew day. This batch was actually brewed by my brother. We originally planned to use Wyeast’s 1187 Ringwood but the starter got contaminated and that’s why we went with a dry yeast instead. All the hops for the boil were blended and every 2 min 1.5 g of the hop blend was added to the kettle. 30 g of Amarillo went into the wort at knock out and the primary fermentation was performed at 20°C (68°F).

04/23/2011: Racked the beer into a secondary fermenter and added the dry hop additions.

05/02/2011: Bottled the beer to a carbonation level of roughly 3 vol of carbon dioxide with some fresh unfermented wort.

06/18/2011: First tasting (beer six weeks in the bottle).

Aroma: Lots of mango and slight grass character.

Appearance: Amber, white creamy head with nice bubbles rising to the top. Clear.

Flavor: Very grassy, bitter and mango notes.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, average carbonation level, finishes with a grassy bitterness and a solid malt backbone.

Overall Impression: Not bad after all. However, not only is the grassy character really not what we are looking for in an IPA nor having a solid malt structure in the finish. The maltyness in the aftertaste makes this beer rather hard to drink. On the other hand, we did not use the freshest hops since we could not buy Simcoe, Columbus nor Amarillo on a regular basis back then. Once we could get our hands on some of these hops we basically ordered a whole bunch of it and stored them in the freezer. Luckily, this changed and we can now buy Amarillo and Simcoe on a regular basis at our local homebrew stores.

Any changes on the recipe? I would go with a normal caramel malt such as Caramunich or Crystal malt instead of the Cara Amber. Second, use fresh hops and maybe increase the dry hop additions. At least double the amount. And reduce the carbonation level to 2 vol.

Is it a clone recipe for Dogfish Head’s 60 min IPA? I can’t tell as I had my first 60 min IPA in late September 2013. And the bottle I got was not the freshest example as well. We brewed various IPAs and Pale Ales since and in your opinion there are better and easier ways to get hop aroma and bitterness into a beer rather than using the continuous addition approach. First wort hopping, hop bursting or using Blichmann’s Hop Rocket (TM) incorporates the hop aroma very well in your opinion. That’s it for today.

#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.

#21P Impromptu IPA

Eureka, today’s post is about my first India Pale Ale (IPA) recipe. The story behind this recipe is quite different compared to all the other recipes. All started with the urge to brew a new batch. A quick look in the refrigerator told me to make an IPA to use the remaining hops. The grist was just some Pale Ale malt and some Crystal for color. And the brewing begun.

Recipe: Impromptu IPA
Numbers: Volume [L] 5 (1.3 gal)
Original gravity 14.5°P
Terminal gravity Not measured
Color Around 16 EBC
IBU 108 IBU
ABV N/A
Grains: Pale Malt (6.5 EBC) 1.15 kg
Crystal (120 EBC) 0.1 kg
Hops: Northern (10% AA) 20 g and boil for 60 min
Northern (10% AA) 7.0 g and boil for 15 min
Target (11.5%) 4.0 g and boil for 15 min
Goldings (6.5%) 3 g for dry hopping in secondary fermentation
Yeast: US 05
Water: Burgdorf Mash: 3.1 L (0.8 gal), sparge: 6 L (1.6 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 60 min
Fermentation: Primary 3 days @ 20°C (68°F) in a plastic bucket
Secondary 6 days @ 20°C (68°F) in a plastic bucket
Maturation: Carbonation (CO2 vol) 2.5 with table sugar
Maturation time 3 weeks

02/07/2011: Brew day. Another small batch. Iodine test was negative after resting for one hour and the hops went into the boiling wort as planned. After cooling the wort down to pitching temperature, the yeast finally could start its job.

02/10/2011: Already racked the beer into a secondary fermenter and added the hops for dry hopping.

02/16/2011: Bottled the beer with sugar and left the bottles carbonate for nearly five days. Unfortunately, I forgot to measure the terminal gravity and thus have no idea about the ABV of this brew. I planned a final gravity of about 2.8°P which would have led to an ABV of approximately 6.2%.

03/18/2011: Tasting! The beer matured for nearly four weeks at around 4°C (39°F). I am very sorry but I have no picture of this brew…

Aroma: Very hoppy aroma, hints of oranges. Very nice aroma.

Appearance: Brilliant beer, good head retention, white head, some particles are floating in there… A lot of carbonation!

Flavor: Oranges, some malt notes, very well-balanced, quite bitter but not too overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Light- medium body, lively carbonation, medium lasting bitter aftertaste.

Overall Impression: This is a bitter and hoppy beer. A very nice IPA with just the right amount of bitterness, some fruit notes as well as some maltyness. I assume the orange notes originate from the Golding hops.

This beer is more or less a very typical example of an English India Pale. Not as bitter as an American IPA. Unfortunately, the amount of bottles was very limited and it was gone after several weeks already. I would not change anything in the recipe for another batch. Maybe change the yeast strain. I intend to brew this particular recipe again in autumn of 2012 and use undried fresh East Kent Golding hops from my garden.