Archive for Homebrewing

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.

American Stout Brew Day

Posted in Brew Day, Jake with tags , on February 19, 2011 by gluttonybrewing

I was finally able to get the pictures off of the camera, so without further ado, here is a week old post.  Last Saturday was our longest brew day ever.  We started by bottling our Dumb Blonde (so named because of several small, stupid mistakes we made while brewing it) which went well, and barring any shoddy capping by Phil it should turn out quite tasty.  Bottling is basically an exercise in sanitation and cleanliness, so only time will tell if anything bad happened to this beer.

Extract into the boil

After bottling we cleaned up the equipment, and it was on to brewing the American Stout.  We typically like to do 2 gallon batches with extract because it allows us to do full boils of the wort which, in my opinion, is one of the biggest things an extract brewer can do to improve the quality of their beer.  Small batches like this allow us to brew more frequently and would result in smaller losses if something went wrong, since we are still nailing down our process.  Ideally you are supposed to steep your grains in water with a ratio of about 1.3 quarts per pound.  Unfortunately with such small batches, we typically don’t have enough specialty grains to use this ratio.  The recipe for our American Stout had 12oz of grain for the 2 gallon batch, so we tried steeping with a thicker consistency than normal.

Steeping the grains

After 45 minutes of steeping, we drained all of the liquid from the grain and rinsed them to try and extract the most color and sugars possible.  Something really cool happened during the boil that I hadn’t seen before – a near perfect ring of foam formed in the kettle:

Dark Halo

This is what led me to come up with the name for our beer – Dark Halo.  Once the boil was finished and the wort chilled, we checked the gravity.  It came in right at 1.070 which was predicted by Pro Mash.  The only thing that worries me about this beer is that it seemed a bit too light when it was in the hydrometer test flask, even for being in such a thin vessel.  Hopefully when it’s fully finished and in a pint glass it will be dark enough.