Rule #1: Never brew in socks.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Constantinopoly (6/23/12)

We began experimenting with non-standard IPAs last summer, when we brewed two Belgian IPAs (The Mad Hopper and Chomp Chomp). The beers were good, especially the second, but neither really lived up to our high expectations. These experiences, as well as tasting a number of commercial Belgian IPAs, led me to the belief that Belgian yeast strains and American hops are not as good together as they are separate, so we moved on to experimenting with other ingredients. We brewed an IPA (Christopher) with a quarter gram of grains of paradise, a pepper-like African spice. The beer didn't turn out quite as well as the IPA that preceded it (The Bloom—among our finest accomplishments), but I think that had more to do with the hops we used than the spice.

For this batch, we're adding the zest of one grapefruit to the beer when we dry hop it. Many great American hops have a strong grapefruit character, right back to the first American hop to draw international attention: Cascade. The most strongly grapefruit-tasting beer I've had is Firestone Walker's Double Jack, which uses Warrior, Columbus, Cascade, Centennial, Amarillo and Simcoe. While our beer is not a clone—Double Jack doesn't contain actual grapefruit and has a slightly different hop schedule—I would not at all mind if it turned out tasting like Double Jack. We're combining some classic American hops, namely Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook, with some newer proprietary varietals, namely Amarillo and Citra. All are highly aromatic hops with sweet citrus fruit flavors, with Chinook also bringing a hint of pine and spice to the mix.

Unlike our previous few IPAs, this beer does contain crystal malt, namely half a pound of Crystal 80. I have come to favor the middle range of crystal malts (40˚ to 100˚ lovibond) because they are dark enough to contribute flavor even in small amounts—large quantities of crystal malt are generally to be avoided because they lead to overly sweet beer—but light enough that they don't contain the overbearing (to my palate) burnt caramel and raisin flavors of Crystal 120 and Special B.

This beer contains five hop varietals, continuing a trend of ours of brewing with greater numbers of hop varietals. Our last IPA used four varieties of hops, as did the one before that. The previous IPA, the first we brewed in Seattle, used three varieties of hops. The outlier in this set is the very first IPA we ever made. The Magic Carpet contained around 20 varieties of hops from all over the world, because instead of hope cones or pellets, we used hop dust—the sediment that forms at the bottoms of boxes of hop pellets. It was on sale at the homebrew store, and produced a beer that we were proud of at the time. I think at this point I would put an upper limit on the number of varietals one ought to use in a beer at seven or eight.

Batch Size: 5
Boil Volume: 6 gal
Calculated OG: 1.075
Measured FG: 1.013 (?)
Estimated ABV: 7.9
Calculated IBUs (Tinseth): 106
Pitching Temperature: 68F
Yeast: Wyeast 1098 British Ale Yeast
Starter: 3 liters
Fermentation vessel: Bucket

Crystal 80 0.5 6% 34.00
Other Fermentables Amount % Max Pts.
DME 7 78% 42.00
Cane Sugar 1.5 17% 46.00
Hops/Additions Amount Time AA%
Chinook 1 60 12.0%
Horizon 1 60 16.0%
Cascade 1 15 6.8%
Centennial 1 10 7.8%
Cascade 1 0 6.8%
Centennial 1 0 7.8%

6/25/12: Added sugar (third day)
6/30/12:Dry hopped with 2 oz Amarillo, 2 oz Citra (10-12 days)
7/2/12: Added zest of one red grapefruit
7/10/12: Bottled to 2.7 volumes of CO2

No comments:

Post a Comment