Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sunny Side IPA

Brew Day 6/26/12

As stated previously, I am a total IPA junkie. I have been fantasizing lately (as I'm sure we all do from time to time) about what I would do if I were at the helm of a commercial brewery.... Besides ride my bike every day to and from my mountain top production facility through epic swoopy fast trails, host fantastic parties with fireworks every weekend, put the whole passel of friends and family up in awesome log cabins with shiny motorcycles parked outside, and put in a ski lift for our own private enjoyment in the snowy season... I would brew a whole bunch of IPAs. I think I'd approach it from a seasonal stand point so that I could brand like 8 different styles instead of having to stick to just one.  Cuz' there is a lot to love. I can't really choose just one flavor profile that scratches the itch every time; Sometimes I want something floral, sometimes pine, sometimes fruity, and sometimes just plain dank.

The idea with this one was a summer seasonal IPA. Thirst quenching, and not too boozy or bitter to facilitate having a few back-to-back without wrecking your palette or your social skills. The hop profile is heavily weighted towards tropical fruit flavors soaked with big floral perfume, and some herby grassyness in the background. Even thought I usually like 'em more on the rougher side with some woody-pine and spicy-citrus, I wanted this one to be all island breeze-- the "smoothest" IPA I could muster (stay tuned for later seasonals that'll focus on more earthy, juicy, woody, and dank profiles).

As always with IPAs I went for a very hop-forward and dry beer. This one features some obligatory summery wheat malt for its lightening properties, my first experiment with Honey Malt for what is hopefully some clean sweetness mid-sip, and some Carapils to fill it out. I could have gone without the Carapils given that the wheat addition would take care of the head retention, but I love the way Carapils fills out the mouthfeel in IPAs... I feel like it gives something for all the hop oils to stick to and contributes to the impression of a more resiny finish without being sweet OR soapy

For hops I wanted to use varieties with a low cohumulone percentage (that is the alpha acid that folks reckon makes for a harsh, lingering bitterness) but big aroma oils. Citra and Amarillo both have awesome floral aroma with huge passion fruit and mellon-like tropical fruit flavors from the Citra and peachy-orange juice from the Amarillo, but I feel both can be a bit overwhelming (cat-pee from Citra and diesel from Amarillo) if used with too-heavy a hand. So I spaced them out with some Centennials, which I reckon were responsible for the great floral, grassy, and juicy character in my YPA earlier this year. Late hop additions in quantities that border on ridiculous and a SUPER pale grain bill should make for one of the hoppyest beers yet without being all that bitter. 

Hopefully this is going to be just the thing for our heaven-on-earth week in Tahoe, on the Sunny Side of the lake ; )

The recipe (for 5 gal. post-boil~ about 4 gal yield after losses to hop trub.):

8lbs 2-Row Pale Malt (Rahr) 54% *nice and neutral*
5lbs Golden Promise (Simpson's) 33% *some extra character*
1lb 2oz White Wheat Malt (Great Western) 7% *light and fluffy*

7oz Honey Malt (Gambrinous) 3% *sweet but not caramel*
7oz Carapils 3% *for structure*

.5oz Citra First Wort Hop

1oz Ahatanum 60min boil
1oz Citra 15min boil
1.5oz Centennial 15min boil
1oz Citra Flame Out @ 140F **waited to chill a bit-trying to get some different hop oils into solution**
1.5oz Centennial Flame Out @ 140F
.5oz Amarillo Flame Out @ 140F
.5oz Cita Dry Hop after 7 days in primary (DH total of 10 days)
1.5oz Amarillo Dry Hop after 10 days in primary (DH total of 10 days)
.5oz Citra Dry Hop after 2 weeks in primary (DH total of 5 days)
1oz Amarillo Dry Hop after 2 weeks in primary (DH total of 5 days)

Pitched 1 Packet Safale US05 Chico yeast @ 67F with 1 tab Servomicies- no temp control means for an average ambient 70F.

All RO water with 1.5 gram/gal gypsum **I think this is going to be my new standard for water treatment in pale and hoppy beers.**

Single infusion @ 151F for 1 hr
60min Boil

OG: 1.062= 62% Efficiency
FG:1.010= 6.9%ABV *Stoked on the low FG!*
Calc SRM: 6ish
Calc IBUs: 55ish Garetz, 80 tinseth **I'm thinking the Garetz scale is more in line with my system based on perceived bitterness of my last couple brews**

7/16- Bottled 3 gal with 1/3cup table sugar for 3.5 target vols CO2. Samples are tasty! FG1.010

7/16- Put remaining 1 gal in secondary with dredges from "House Brett" after bottling Apricot Brett Beer. Will Revisit in a few months.

8/5- Perfect thing for our trip to the lake. Great sucess!

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