Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Rough and Ready RyePA

Brewed 4/12/13

I really wanted to bring an IPA down to the Bridal Shower… because after all we all know how exciting a fresh, crazy hoppy beer is- especially to folks looking for something exciting but without the focus to really delve into the nuances of something more subtle. I’ve been meditating on a Chinook/ Citra beer ever since the batch of Hella! I loved the way the Chinook in that beer lent the musty/ spice and woody grapefruit and thought it was a perfect grounded counterpoint to Citra’s sweet ripe melon, tropical, and apricoty fruityness.  I decided I wanted to brew a Rye IPA that featured the combo. (I’ll let Simcoe’s  amazing pine, pineapple, passion fruit, and orange juice complexity shine alone in an all Simcoe brew with the same grain bill as Hella! next time I do that beer… don’t need to muck it up with any other hops in the blend.)

No photos this time. This is Rye!
Rye seems to change beer the same way it changes bread… earthier, rougher, spicier, heartier. I also find that almost every commercial beer with rye seems to be a touch more bitter than similarly hopped beers without it. So, using rye to lend some depth and earthy layers under the Chinook hops and support the big fruity Citra hops seemed like a perfect choice. Also, I like that I can rely on it to help flesh out the grain bill without having to use any crystal malt for body or contrast… I’m finding that all of my hoppy beers are getting better and better the more I move away from using any crystal malts... and if you read this blog very often you know that I’m obsessed with making VERY PALE beers. The hops just taste better without any malt in the way J

I went for an even 1:1 split on the Chinook: Citra ratio and added a few ounces of Cascades at k/o and DH to try and capitalize on the whole candied grapefruit thing that they do so well. The grain bill is super simple Pale and Rye malt with just a quarter lb of Honey Malt to compliment the juicy Citra hops. I was pretty conservative with the sulfate (accentuates bitterness) levels on the water treatments on this one because A) the lack of crystal malt meant less sweetness for the hops to cut through, and B) I think Rye has it’s own bitterness enhancing properties and doesn’t need any extra help from the water with accentuating the harsh Chinooks. I also upped the calcium (accentuates maltyness) in this one because of the lack of crystal… hopefully it’ll help buoy the simple malt bill a bit. WLP007 seemed like just the thing to add some extra fruity sweetness, plus it clears so nicely….

… too nicely. I actually had this one stall out after a very vigorous 2 day fermentation and sit at 1.025 for a few days. I gave the carboy a good shake to rouse the flocked yeast, and it went down 5 more points, but wouldn’t budge and inch below 1.020! FUCK. I still can’t really figure out what went wrong, but I think it may have to do with the fact that I used Gelatin to fine it before the DH addition and the yeast was never really able to get swimming again. So, I used the good old French Saison yeast I have around (hungriest yeast EVER) to bring it down to 1.012 in secondary. At first I was really sad to have to use such an expressive yeast in a beer that I meant to be a hop varietal showcase, but the more I thought about it I figured that the final points of attenuation provided by the WY3711 were probably not enough to really get a lot of character from the yeast, and that even if it did I can’t really think of a more perfect match for this beer than the rustic, earthy, and spicy character of the French yeast.

The Recipe (for 5.5 gallons into fermenter)

6 lbs Castle Pale Ale Malt~46%
5 lbs Great Western Pale Ale Malt~39%
1.75 lbs Rye Malt~13%
.25 lbs Honey Malt~2%
.75 lbs Clover Honey in Primary

1oz Chinook @  FWH for 60min boil
1oz Citra @ 10min
1 oz Chinook @ 10min
1oz Simcoe @ 5min
1oz Citra @ k/o
1 oz Chinook @ k/o
2 oz Cascade @ k/o
DH 2 oz each of Chinook and Citra + 1 oz Simcoe for 10 days in primary
DH 2 oz Cascade for 9 days in secondary

Reverse Osmosis Oakland water with 1.25g/gal Gypsum in mash for finished water profile= SO4: 190/ Ca:78

Mashed in with 5 gal at 168F to hit 154F for 50min, add 3 gal at 159F to hit 159F for 15min. **Wanted to shoot for a higher FG to boost the maltiness in the absence of any crystal malt. Now I’m wondering if the Rye would have kept it up even without the higher mash temp**
 NO SPARGE. Collected 6 gal and 60min boil, 1 tab Whirlfloc and 1/4tbsp WYeast nutrient at k/o.

Collect 5.5 into bucket  after trub and hops
OG: 1.059
FG: 1.012= 6.2% ABV
Calc SRM: 6ish
Calc IBU: 80 garetz/ 50 tinseth

 Pitched 16oz starter WLP007 “Dry English” at 60F and left to ferment at ambient 60ish F.
4/12- Ran 180F work through “poor man’s hop back”  (hop pellets in hop bag in funnel) befor chilling in bucket to pitching temp- Pitched very active starter and left in cold house without an airlock.

4/14- good Krausen- added 12oz honey

4/17- added 5oz DH

4/21- Added 1 pkt gelatin (bad idea)

4/22- SG at 1.022- Pitched packet of Notty to help finish stalled fermentation and shook the bucket. Very active bubbling 10 min later. Might have just needed to rouse the yeast?

4/27- Stuck at 1.020 for 4 days. Transferred under “CO2” to another bucket onto 2 oz Cascades and  Pitched smack pack of WY3711 to finish ‘er up.

4/30- Down to 1.014- Added another packet of gelatin.
5/6- Bottled with .35c table sugar 2.0 VOL CO2. FG@1.012 (aiming kinda low on the carbonation because I’m pretty sure the WY3711 is going to keep going a few points. I’ll be moving all the bottles to the fridge once the carbonation gets to the right spot.)

6/4- Solid, spicy, woody IPA with some nice pine and big citrus on a hearty rye base.

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