Thursday, May 10, 2012


Brewed 3/11/12

IPAs are probably my favorite beers. IPAs and Sours. I know, how original.
I go through phases of being really excited about other styles, especially ones that I feel really work from a seasonal standpoint- dubbels at Christmas, saisons when the weather starts to heat up, big stouts when it gets cold... But IPAs are ALWAYS in the fridge. I even try to resist drinking them too often so as not to "wear 'em out" but my attempts are futile. They fly. I even fear that I've up-ed my lupulin threshold and can't get quite the same thrill that I used to from super high IBU beers.

Anyhoo, as much as I love IPAs, I'm pretty picky about which ones I really like. They generally need to be really hoppy, and really dry. Some of my favorites are Sculpin, Pliny, Racer5, Caldera, and others that seem to follow the general rule of being very pale and very american-hop forward. I do like to mix it up every once and a while with something a bit fruitier, darker, or mellower, but I can't really resist the harsh yellow ones.

YPA-(American IPA)-I was shooting for with this recipe a great, plane IPA that can serve as the jumping off point for future recipes. Middle of the road on OG, standard burnt-yellow color, neutral yeast, and hop flavors that didn't veer to far in any specific direction.

To me, american hop profiles can fall into the categories of floral, pine, citrus, fruity, spicy, grassy, dank, and tropical flavors. You could get really specific from there, but I feel like those are the major groups there are to work with. With this beer I didn't want to get too carried away muddling all of these together and decided I wanted to focus on balancing citrus out front, with pine, floral, and grassy notes backing it up. *In the end it came out great, but much grassier and less floral than planned.*

As for the malt, I was mainly looking for a nice chewey mouthfeel and enough malty sweetness to show up under the big hop flavors (although to my tastes, this means a pretty light malt presence-- I really hate malt bomb IPAs). I could go on-and-on, but I'll save it for later IPA posts...

The recipe (for 4.5 gal):

4 lbs 2-Row Pale Malt 32% *next time I'd skip this for an even 44%pils/ 44%BP split*
4 lbs Belgian Pale Malt 32%
3 lbs Belgian Pilsner Malt 24%
.5 lbs Crystal 15L 4% *next time I'd just do 5% Crystal and 5% Carapils*
.5 lbs Crystal 40L 4%
.25 lbs Carapils 2%
.25 lbs Aciduated 2% *added for mash ph*

.5 oz Centennial 60min boil
.5 oz Cent 20min boil
1 oz Simcoe 10min boil
.5 oz Cascade 10min boil
.5 oz Amarillo 5min boil
1oz each of Columbus, Centennial, and Simcoe @ F/O
.5 oz Cascade DH10 days
.5 oz Amarillo DH10 days
1 oz Columbus DH10 days
1 oz Simcoe DH10 days

Pitched 1 vile WLP001 "CA Ale Yeast"- No aeration.
Added 2 Tbsp gypsum to strike water.
Single infusion @ 150F for 1 hr
OG: 1.063= 65% Efficiency
FG:1.010= 6.9%ABV *Stoked on the low FG!*
SRM: 8ish
IBUs: 60ish

3/15- Fermentation already died down-- added DHs

3/25- Bottled @ FG 1.010 with carb drops for moderate/ high CO2.

Drinking beautifully at 6 weeks in the bottle. Juicy and grassy. -->>Blue Ribbon Winner!

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