Archive for the Recipe Formulation Category

Recipe Formulation – IIPA

Posted in Hoppy, Jake, Recipe Formulation with tags , on April 4, 2011 by gluttonybrewing

While on the drive to Boston for EBF, Brez, Phil, and I discussed what we wanted our next brew to be. Phil suggested we try a Double IPA, and Brez agreed…who am I to object? Double/Imperial IPA is probably my favorite style of beer and as such I am very picky about the examples I enjoy. Two of the best, in my opinion, are Russian River’s Pliny the Elder and Bell’s Hopslam.

The keys to the style are a massive hop aroma and flavor, aggressive bitterness, and almost no malt character. I believe that IIPAs that are on the sweeter side (Hopslam) can be done, but require extreme restraint. For my first attempt at the style I didn’t want to walk what I consider to be a very delicate line, and try for a beer with some residual sweetness. In order to dry the beer out, adding simple sugar is paramount. They are 100% fermentable by the yeast and when used to replace some of the base malt they can result in a lower final gravity beer.

In addition to the sugar, I decided to use Briess Light Golden extract. My initial iteration of the recipe included some Carapils malt, until I was reminded by a member of Beer Advocate that the extract already contained some. This was a good catch because all of the Crystal/Caramel type malts contribute mostly unfermentable sugar. The grain bill is very simple, with only extract and a small amount of Crystal 40 for some color and a tiny bit of underlying sweetness.

The real star of this beer is obviously the hops. I wanted to shoot for ~50% of my bitterness from the 60 minute hop addition and the rest from late hops. I chose to use Warrior for its clean bittering properties and high alpha acids. I wanted to hit almost all cylinders of the hop world. I immediately thought of Amarillo for its slight citrus and big peach/apricot character, Columbus for its light spiciness and herbal flavors, and Simcoe for some nice grapefruit and pine to round things out. Unfortunately when it came time to order the ingredients, Simcoe hops were sold out almost everywhere due to a shortage from the 2010 crop. Somewhat angered I decided on adding Citra in its place – not as a replacement but for its incredible fruity characteristics. A half ounce of each at 20, 10, 0 minutes, and dry hop seemed to be about right. Here is the final recipe that we brewed this weekend:

  • 6lbs. Briess Golden Light LME – 85.7%
  • 4oz Briess Crystal 40 – 3.6%
  • 12oz Corn Sugar – 10.7%
  • 1oz Warrior @ 60 min
  • 0.5oz Citra, 0.5oz Amarillo, 0.5oz Columbus @ 20 min
  • 0.5oz Citra, 0.5oz Amarillo, 0.5oz Columbus @ 10 min
  • 0.5oz Citra, 0.5oz Amarillo, 0.5oz Columbus @ 0 min
  • 0.5oz Citra, 0.5oz Amarillo, 0.5oz Columbus Dry Hop
  • OG – 1.084     FG – 1.012 (Hopefully)
  • IBU – 178.7
  • ABV – 9.5%

We came right in where we were supposed to at 1.083 OG. We bought an immersion chiller specifically for this beer (we were going to get one sooner or later anyway) which helped us cool the wort from boiling to 100F in less than 5 minutes to keep all of those delicious smelling hop oils in the beer rather than the air. We’ll know how this turns out in a few weeks. Stay tuned.

Recipe Formulation – American Stout

Posted in Jake, Recipe Formulation with tags , , on February 4, 2011 by gluttonybrewing

All of the beers that we’ve brewed in the past have been on the lighter side (color wise) – Special Bitter, American IPA, Belgian Pale Ale, India Brown Ale, and currently Blonde Ale.  The only one to use roasted grains of any type was our Hop Feast IBA, and that was with a very delicate hand.  I love stouts, so it’s kind of odd that we haven’t brewed anything close to one yet.  It is now time to remedy that situation.

My favorite example of the style would have to be Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout.  The beer is pitch black with a beautiful light brown head.  I personally don’t get any of the brewer’s licorice that they add, but what I do get is a rich, chocolate and coffee flavor/aroma with plenty of American hop character to back it up.  Although it’s not included in the list of examples in the BJCP style guidelines, it hits all of the characteristics that a good American Stout should have.  As a final note before we get into the recipe, I like to think of this style as a ‘mini Russian Imperial Stout.’  Much like a RIS, the malt bill is almost entirely balanced with hop bitterness, with a bitterness to gravity ratio of about 1 (also called BU:GU, it is the ratio of the IBUs in a beer to the original gravity points of a beer).In my opinion, one of the key differences between this style and a Russian Imperial Stout is hop flavor and aroma, in addition to a large disparity in original gravity/IBUs.  While an RIS has a high amount of bitterness, most examples that I’ve come across haven’t had nearly the same level of American hop characteristics.  Additionally, Russian Imperial Stouts can have a lot of dark fruit flavors which may come from the use of darker crystal malts, but are not typically present in an American Stout.  Overall this beer should have a rather intense dark chocolate, coffee, roasted character balanced by a sweetness contributed by the use of medium crystal malts and finished off with a bitter, aromatic punch of American hops.

When I design a recipe, I like to first lay out my desired parameters for the beer, such as original gravity, bitterness, and a rough final gravity.  For this beer I decided to split the difference in OG for the style and shoot for 1.070, with about 70 IBUs to keep the BU:GU right where I want it.  To make this beer in the style, it needs a pretty big proportion of roasted grain – for our beer around 12%.  Splitting the roasted grain into 9% roasted barley and 3% chocolate would add the coffee and dark chocolate flavors that are so characteristic of the style.  To give the beer a bit of sweetness, we use two types of Crystal malt – 40L and 80L.  I had never used Pacific Gem hops before, but they were described as having blackberry and oak flavors which I thought would work awesomely with the beer.  In addition to the Pacific Gem, we are going to use some Cascade to keep it a bit traditional.  Fermenting it with WLP001 Cal. Ale should get it down to about 1.017, which would result in an ABV of ~7%…perfect.  The recipe:

  • 82% Briess Light LME
  • 9% Roasted Barley
  • 3% Chocolate Malt
  • 3% Crystal 40
  • 3% Crystal 80
  • 1/4 oz Cascade at 60, 15, and 0 minutes
  • 1/4 oz Pacific Gem at 60, 15, and 0 minutes
  • OG – 1.070 Estimated FG – 1.017
  • IBU 73.5
  • Est. ABV – 7.0%

We will report back after brewday and with a recipe review when it is finished.