A Delicious NEIPA with Dry Yeast

This isn’t the best version of the New England IPA, but it was still damn good. I say “was” because the keg went pretty fast, which is usually the best indicator of how good it was. This beer was very light, straw colored/neon yellow, bright, drinkable, and hoppy in a citrus rind sort of way. It had a soft bitterness, a slight sweetness, and the lower alcohol made it very drinkable and refreshing. My main experiment was to see if I could make a NEIPA with the US-04 Dry Yeast. I don’t think it’s ideal – it lacks the juicy and cloudy element which are pretty important – but it’s still an option. I also really like the yellow color, which comes from the very light Pilsner base malt mixed with white wheat malt.

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US 04 NEIPA
7.3 lb Pilsner (just what I had on hand)
3.5 lb White Wheat
1 lb Flaked Wheat
7 tablespoons acid in the mash
15 minute mash / 45 minute boil
Galaxy, Cascade, Mosaic, Azacca (Flame out and Dry hop, use your imagination)
US-04 dry yeast
finished at 1.016

 

 

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Beer 37: Embrace the Haze

About six months ago, an odd looking gentleman came up to me at a bar and befriended me. He started talking about the greatness and superiority of the cult classic of IPAs: the New England IPA (NEIPA). Midwesterner that I was, I remained skeptical. I heard of NEIPAs – cloudy and ‘juicey’ – but I had never tried one. Indeed, they aren’t available in these parts. Luckily, this new friend was a homebrewer, and he made some damn good NEIPAs, which I liked quite a bit. Finally, I broke down and made one myself.

It’s real good, in a good way, that makes you say: this is good.

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It’s totally different than a traditional (West Coast) IPA. A traditional IPA is bitter, dry, hoppy, and that’s about it. This beer, on the other hand, is slightly sweet, which comes from the malt (white wheat and honey malt) and the low attenuating yeast (london III). It’s not a typical sugar-like sweetness. It’s subtle, and makes you want to drink more. The beer coats your mouth, mostly the back of the tongue. I believe this is the secret of the NEIPA: you cannot stop drinking it. This keg will go fast. Next, hops. The hops are citrus and intense, but they fade away fast. The second day in the keg, this IPA tasted closer to citrus fruit than any IPA I’ve ever drank. Now, it’s more rounded out. It’s still very good, but not the same. This is the first beer that I payed close attention to mash pH. The cloudiness comes from the yeast and water profile (more chloride than gypsum).

I cannot stress the drinkability enough. It’s a gateway drug for IPA lovers and potential IPA drinkers.

Notorious NEIPA
12 lb 2-row
2.2 lb white wheat
.3 honey malt
1 oz magnum FW (30 m)
1.5 oz citra FO
1 oz Mosiac FO
1 oz Amarillo FO
1 oz Centenial FO
3 oz Simcoe DH
1 oz Equinox DH
.5 oz Citra DH
London III yeast
started with 9 gal water, ended up with 5 gal. batch roughly
added 1/2 tsp Gypsum, 3/4 tsp Cal Chloride
added 2 1/2 caps of phosphoric acid to get mash pH down

 

Beer 36 (last one): Soo Good Maharaja IPA Clone

After drinking this last night, fresh from the keg, I came to realize two things. First, I love Simcoe hops, especially dry hopped, especially a lot of them. Second, there are some beers that are so good, we feel the urge to share with others. This is one of those beers. I love it. Whether it’s the recipe, the Victory malt, the dark crystal malt, the loads of Simcoe and ridiculous amount of hops in general, or the interesting herbal Chinook hops, or the fact that I forget to fine it, the attention to pH, or all of the above? – it’s a keeper.

Immediately you get a huge hop aroma, and I mean yuge: citrus, fruity, pungent, floral. I really think Simcoe dominates the aroma. Some people describe Simcoe hops as “dank” or “catty”. I have no fucking clue what that means. Seriously…catty? Who was the first idiot to drink an IPA and say “I’m getting a bit of cattiness from these hops.” And what did the other person say? They probably nodded their heads in agreement, like the group-think-sheep we are.

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The first drink is smooth. The hops are delicious, the Chinook gives a unique quality, the malt gives a nice backbone. Perhaps I would change the yeast to “London III,” as the Avery website suggests.

Maharaja Clone (6 gal.)
16 lb 2-row
1 lb Sugar (added to boil)
9 oz Victory malt
9 oz C-120
—-mashed at 148 for 30 minutes—
1 teaspoon of acid added to mash for pH
2 oz Columbus FW (30 minute boil)
2 oz Simcoe FO
2 oz Centenial FO
4.5 oz Simcoe DH 3 days
2 oz Centenial DH
2 oz Chinook DH
US 05 yeast

peace

-matt

Beer 30: 7 Day Double IPA

This is why people keg. Eight days ago I brewed this Double IPA, and today I will be trying it for the first time. That’s 8 days from ‘grain to glass,’ as they say. Admittedly, I rushed the beer for hunting camp, and normally would give it a few more days to sit at  70F, but I’m pretty sure it’s good to go. Day 1: brew the beer in under two hours. Day 2: notice fermentation. Days 3 and 4: heavy fermentation. Day 5: hydrometer says 1.010, it’s either done or pretty darn close. Day 6: drop the temperature to 31F (cold crash). Day 7: transfer beer to keg, add gelatin to keg, and set the pressure to 50 psi for 10 hours (this was a 6 gallon batch). Day 8, today: drink. Is it carbonated? One way to find out. It’s 6:00am right now, time to take a sample:

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The first thing I notice is haze, a product of rushing it, which I noticed while transferring the beer to the keg. I prefer crystal clear beer but this is acceptable, and it will probably clear itself out more, as the gelatin works its magic. Secondly, I notice a strong hop flavor. This is a a nice little IPA. Third, is it carbonated? Not sure. The head is nice, but I don’t see bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass. I’m very new to kegging so I don’t really know. I think it’s very close.

Looking at the hop profile, I’m very excited to drink this beer. On paper it’s awesome. On paper it should have a big aroma too.

update: Hunting camp is over. And while I didn’t shoot any deer, I had plenty of this absolutely delicious IPA. The keg was gone in two days. This is the best IPA I’ve ever made. Impressive and intense tropical aroma, nice malt balance, hidden alcohol. And it was “juicey,”as they say, perhaps because of the magical thing that happens when you dry hop during fermentation. After traveling with the keg, it took about 24 hours for the beer to clear up.

Damn this was good.

Hunting Camp IPA (6 gal)
Brewed Friday, Nov. 4th

5.5 lb 2-row
6.5 lb Maris Otter
3.5 lb Munich
1 lb Cane Sugar (added end of boil)
————–
1 oz Magnum (FW, 30 m. boil)
1 oz Centenial (F0)
1 oz Amarillo (FO)
2 oz Equinox (DH, 3 days)
1 oz Citra (DH)
1 oz Centenial (DH)
2 oz Simcoe (DH)
1 oz Amarillo (DH)
—————-
US-05 dry yeast

1 tsp Calcium Cloride, 2 tsp Gypsum (heaping, added to mash water)
mashed @ 149 for 30 minutes, boiled 30 minutes

Beer 27: DIPA with a lasting aroma

Aroma is the Big Foot of brewing: hard to find. And when you find it, it’s gone fast.  It’s no surprise that the best IPAs have the best aromas, and the flavors follow the aroma. I had a Pliny the Elder last night, for example, and the aroma was intense, followed by an intense, citrusy flavor.

In terms of aroma, this Double IPA rocks. It’s got a nice, strong, grapefruit nose, thanks to the 7 ounces of citrisy hops added with the Shark Tank (patent pending, not really…my thoughts here):

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Was the Shark Tank the reason for the aroma? Probably not. The amount of dry hopping? Maybe so. Was it because I used gypsum and calcium in my water? Maybe so (who knows? I’m pretty much guessing when it comes to water chemistry). Was it because I kegged this IPA for the first time in my brewing career? Probably. My new brew friend allowed me to use one of his kegs. Kegging has been touted as being essential for a great, fresh IPA. That makes sense. With kegging you (a) purge oxygen from the headspace, making the hops fresher longer and (b) get to drink it faster and fresher. Three weeks later, the aroma is hanging on.

And the flavor is pretty damn good too. This is crisp, citrusy, slightly resinous, slighty pine, and enough complex malts to back it up. The alcohol is completely undetected, and the water profile seems crisp and clean. US-05 is a winner in my book; it humbly steps aside and lets the malt and hops shine through – and it requires no starter.

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This is a tasty IPA. That’s my final answer.

This beer, as usual, took 1 hour 30 minutes to make, thanks to the heretical methods that I’ve been employing for a while now: 30 minute mash and boil, no sparge, short chill, and quick transitions due to BIAB and keeping the lid on. That’s pretty impressive if I say so myself.

West Side IPA  5 gal.
10.7 lb 2-row
3.5 lb Munich
.5 lb Caramel Crystal 60
(mashed for 30 minutes at 149F)
—————————
1 oz Magnum FW (30 minute mash)
2 oz Cascade (whole cone) DH (all dry hopped for 3 days)
1 oz Centenial DH
1 oz Simcoe DH (whole cone)
1 oz Mosaic DH
1 oz Citra DH
1 oz Equinox DH
—————————–
US-05
——-
water: added 2 teaspoons Calcium Cloride and 1 teaspoon Gypsum to the mash water
after chilling down to about 120F or so, I placed into my cold fermentation chamber to bring down to pitching temp. A few hours later, before bed, I pitched the beer a little hot – at 82F- just because I don’t give a fuck, and that’s okay. The next morning (Saturday) it was at my target fermentation temp (68F), but no krusen was seen yet.
Sunday morning, 2 days after brewday, a nice krusen, which hung around until Wednesday.
Thursday night, 5 days after brewday, I dry hopped with 7 ounzes of hops in the Shark Tank, pissed off that it floated to the top.
When fermentation was complete, I cold crashed, fined with gelatin, and kegged for the first time.

 

Beer 23: Almost Flawless IPA

Huge hop aroma notwithstanding, this is a near perfect IPA (in my humble opinion). It compares with New Belgium’s Rampant IPA, one of my favorites. The key, I think, is a slightly complex malt profile, a hint of sweetness in the nose, and a soft bitterness which makes it very drinkable, and a big double layered hop flavor. The flavor is excellent, owing to large amounts of Centenial backed by Cascade (one of my favorite combos).

Another difference is yeast. As I look through my brewing notes, I realize that every time I used San Diego Super yeast I made an incredible IPA. Coincidence? Probably not. Damn you brulosophy.com! I do think the San Diego Super yeast makes a difference, but I can’t explain what exactly that is. I hate to say it, actually, because it’s drastically more expensive than the cheap pink packets of Safale-05 yeast. I think Marshall Scott from brulosophy.com is right when he says that San Diego makes the IPA more interesting, complex, and malty; as opposed to the ‘punch in the face’ hop forward beer produced by the typical California Ale yeast (or US-05). However, I do wonder if hop aroma is effected negatively by San Diego. With 7 ounces of dry hops, I would like to think this beer would have a giant hop aroma. It doesn’t. Instead, it’s pleasant with a slight sweetness that makes you think of the malt and alcohol.

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IPA (6 gal.)
Sat. June 11, 2016
10.3 lb. 2-row
4 lb. Maris Otter
3 lb Munich
(40 minute mash at 147)
————
2 oz. Centenial FWH (30 minute boil)
1 oz Centenial FO (used a Wort Chiller)
5 oz Centenial DH (3 days)
2 oz Cascade DH (3 days)
——————–
San Diego Super Yeast and Safale 05

6/11: started with 8 gal. water, used culligan filter attached to potable hose, added gypsum to water, 40 m mash, 30 m boil, had 7 gallons of water at beginning of boil, put 2 gallons cold water in freezer to add later, used wort chiller for this beer
By 8:24 pm the chilled wort was in freezer. under 2 hour brewday. The new upright freezer is a beast. it gets cold fast. after 6 minutes it was at 36 C. fell asleep and forget to pitch yeast, pitched the next morning.
6/13: noticed fermentation in the morning, white foamy.
6/20: a week later, hydrometer reading says 1.010. added 7 oz dry hops
6/23: three days later, cold crashed. added gelatin the next day
6/27: spigot is clogged with hop junk and sediment. this has happened before. I put the pot at a steeper angle and add more gelatin.
6/28: still clogged a bit. had to suck on the spigot a few times, like a baby sucking a bottle. that worked. bottled 29 22 oz beers.
7/1: almost carbed. tastes great.

My IPA philosophy has come along way. In the beginning, I kept it very simple: 2-row, sugar, and dry hopping with Centenial only. Now I find myself adding a bunch of Munich, some Vienna, Maris Otter, and a little Honey Malt from time to time. Again, I like both methods. Depends what you’re in the mood for.

Procedure wise, I changed things up a bit. First, I used my friend’s wort chiller, which works very nicely with my system. Chilling lasted only 8 minutes or so, followed by using a cold fermentation chamber to complete the job. The brewday was under 2 hours so I’m not complaining. And wort chillers, I noticed, are incredible easy to clean: just spray them off with a hose. Second, I did a ‘diluted’ or ‘concentrated’ wort. I’ve done this many times before a la Charlie Papazian and it makes practical sense. I made about 5 gallons of wort and added about 2 gallons of cold water while chilling. Basically, I turned the beer from a smaller batch DIPA to a larger batch IPA – which is what I was going for. Third, I didn’t use sugar for this one. I wanted it more malty and less dry. It is. Fourth, I did a 40 minute mash, instead of my traditional 30. Not sure that made a difference. Lastly, I used my new upright freezer/fermentation chamber. It was amazing. Not only does it get to freezing temperatures fast (in the summer); not only does it chill the beer fast; not only is it energy efficient. But, most importantly, the shelves are customizable, which allows me to place the beer at the exact height that is perfect for bottling. In other words, the beer never has to move throughout the entire beer making process (chill, ferment, dry hop, bottle).

Beer 20: Dry, Bitter Belgian IPA

The concept for this beer was a hybrid of my two favorite beers: IPA and Belgian Tripel. The recipe can from Gordon Strong’s new recipe book. This is a good beer, and it came at the perfect time, as I was craving an IPA and Belgian Tripel, all at the same time. However, the beer’s not exactly what I expected, especially looking at the recipe. Clearly this is due to method, which I’ll talk about. What I really wanted and expected was a nice, dry, Belgian Tripel with a huge hop aroma and flavor. What I got is basically a Belgian Strong Ale with some bitterness and lemony hop flavor. Definitely not bad, and very drinkable, as any Belgian should be.

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Belgian Tripel IPA
8.5 lb. Pilsner malt (Belgian)
2.8 lb. Vienna malt
2 lb. Cane Sugar
————–
2 oz. Denali hops (FW, 30 min.)
3 oz. Denali (FO, no chill)
3 oz. Denali DH (3 days)
WLP 545 Belgian Strong Ale Yeast
——————
4/16: brewed, took about 2 hours, no chill
4/17: 1:00 pitched at 75F
4/23: hydrometer reading 1.010 (sample tasted very bitter)
4/24: 1.008 (tasted less bitter) noticed slight sulfur smell, decided to let clean up for a couple days
4/26: Dry hopped 3 oz Denali
4/30: bottled 30 22 oz. beers

Why is this so bitter? Probably because of the ‘no chill’ method. The combination of high-alpha hops added at the end of the boil (flame out) with the no chill method added more bitterness than I wanted. With no chill, you have to be careful with the flame out hops; they continue to extract bitterness as they sit. The bigger mystery is why this beer doesn’t have a hop aroma. With three ounces of Denali dry hops, there should be a better aroma. Or, perhaps Denali isn’t good for aroma? I’m not sure. In hindsight, I would probably go with Simcoe instead.

 

Beer 19: Dry, Crisp, Equinox Double IPA

I had really big expectations for this one. It’s a fine IPA, don’t get me wrong, but my expectations that were not met. With seven ounces of dry hops, all ‘Equinox,’ I was hoping for a huge tangerine hop aroma, which surprisingly doesn’t come through on this beer. Equinox is a new hop variety that is supposed to smell strongly of tangerines (I know because I’ve tried it). This beer is a dry, crisp, clear, simple Double IPA with a slight hop aroma and medium hop flavor. Even though Centenial is barley present in the recipe, I can taste it. But I’m afraid the alcohol masks the hops a little bit. It’s not hot, or warm, but you can tell the ABV is pretty high, which is not surprising if you consider the malt bill is 2-row + sugar (both highly fermentable). I also think that, after crushing finer, my efficiency is much better. My older recipes need to be rethought based on that fact. Before I would get residual sweetness from 2-row + sugar. Not anymore – bone dry. Good to know for next time. I’ll probably add some Munich or Vienna malt to the party next time, to add depth and flavor. It’s also quite bitter, but the aroma and flavor should balance that out. I don’t mind a bitter DIPA. I should also note that I dry hopped with a bag, rather than simply dumping the pellets into the fermenter. Normally I don’t do that. Perhaps that explains the lack of aroma? perhaps not.

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Equinox DIPA
14.5 2-row
1 lb. Cane Sugar (end of boil)
1.8 oz. Centenial and Equinox mixture (FWH, 40 minute boil)
——————-
7 oz. Equinox (DH 3 days)
1 oz. Centenial (DH 3 days)
——————-
US-05 dry yeast

3/14 started with 8 gallons water, mashed at 152F for 40 minutes
after 33 minutes, mash dropped to 147.7F
2 hour brewday total
no chill method, added 1 gallon cold water after boil, put in cold ferm. chamber for 24 hours, pitched yeast
3/17: krusen forming
3/20: hydrometer reading 1.010 dry hopped
3/23: still 1.010, cold crash
3/26: bottled 27 22 oz. bottles

Just for the heck of it, I did a 40 minute mash and boil (instead of 30), but I still managed to have a 2 hour brewday. Gypsum was added to the mash water.

I guess that’s it. Next up: Belgian IPA.

Beer 18: Peach and Tangerine IPA

 

If you want an IPA that smells and tastes straight-up like peach and tangerine, try Galaxy hops. It’s a very different experience from traditional IPA flavor and aroma. It’s different than the flavors from Centenial and Cascade, for example. The smell is incredible. It’s bright, light on the palate, doesn’t have that velvety feel on your tongue, and, as I said, smells and tastes mostly like peach and tangerine. It’s singular, specific, not much depth. It’s not resinous or ‘dank’ (whatever that means). I do like this IPA but, rather than pairing with Citra, I would probably pair with Centenial instead. I feel it needs that traditional backbone hop flavor. This IPA, in fact, is very reminiscent of an IPA from New Belgium, especially the new ‘Citradelic’ IPA (which isn’t my favorite). Also, if I’m making changes to this recipe, I would increase the bitterness a little bit. Chilling in the snow, as my notes say, is a little unpredictable and hard for calculating IBUs. In fact, I wonder if lack of bitterness is my biggest complaint with this beer; after all, I only did a 30 minute boil.

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Galaxy IPA
10.7 lb 2-Row
2.8 lb Munich
1 lb Cane Sugar (end of boil)
————-
1 oz Magnum (FWH, 30 minute boil)
1 oz Galaxy (FO, chilled in snow afterwards)
1 oz Citra (FO)
3 oz Galaxy (DH, 2 days)
1 oz Citra (DH, 2 days)
————–
Safale 05 yeast

 

Beer 15: Delicious Double IPA brewed in 1 hour 30 minutes

So I think beer tasting, much like wine tasting, is kind of a farce. According to hop descriptions alone, I should be smelling and tasting all of the following: passionfruit, pine, citrus, earth, floral, tropical, lemon, orange, grapefruit,  melon, lime, gooseberry, and….lychee (what the fuck is that?). Not that I have a golden palate or anything (most people don’t), but if I’m honest, I can pick out citrus and grapefruit (okay maybe pine, but nothing like gin). What I really taste is the American hops associated with American IPAs, which is something you become familiar with after drinking a bunch of American IPAs; they have a particular flavor and aroma. I taste a really good, super smooth, heavily dry hopped Double IPA. The aroma is very nice, and the flavor is nice too. The malt gives it just enough body and foundation and a touch of sweetness so that it’s not watery or thin or too dry. The malt has a backbone and flavor of its own. The San Diego yeast may vary well accentuate the fruity hop flavors. I’ve used San Diego twice, and both times the IPA came out good. This is dangerously drinkable. If I made this again, I might leave out the Honey malt altogether. Update: I think I should have let this beer carbonate a little longer. The carbonation is sufficient, but I’m missing a little bite, which I assume is lack of carbonation. Hopefully the case in my basement will be fully carbed.

Double IPA  5 gal
10 lb 2 Row
1.9 lb Munich malt
.6 lb Honey malt (Gambr.)
.7 lb Cane Sugar (end of boil)
————–
1.5 oz. Warrior (FW, 30 minute boil)
1. oz Simcoe FO (before no chill method)
1 oz Amarillo FO
2. oz Simcoe DH 2 days
1 oz Centenial DH 2 days
1 oz Citra DH 2 days
1 oz Amarillo DH 2 days
—————
San Diego Super Yeast (fresh ‘pure pitch’ packet)

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Yes, 1 hour 30 minutes brewday, for an all grain, full volume, 5 gallon batch – a personal record of mine (that includes cleaning, setting up, everything). The 30 minute mash and boil saves the most time, but I’m getting better at the transitions too (quickly going from mash to boil). I did the lazy, no chill method, and it worked beautifully. After the boil, I added the flame out hops, put the beer in my cold fermentation chamber, and kicked back. Pitched yeast the next day (no starter, no aeration, no agitation of the wort…just pitched). I was worried the beer would be too bitter, actually, because of the Warrior and the flame out hops; after all, with the no chill method they stay hot for a while. Turns out the bitterness is right on. I will probably use 1.5 ounces Warrior in all my IPAs from now on. I will also continue flame out additions, treating them as 10 minute additions or whatever.