Projects and Thoughts

Imperial IPA II

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After having a few of Mike’s latest hoppy beer, pliny light, I had to brew another imperial IPA. My first attempt was ok, but was pretty sweet, higher abv, and darker than it’s inspiration (heady topper). My goal is to get this one to dry out, have a lighter finish, less fruity, more dank, more grapefruit hop profile. When reworking this recipe, I referenced the same sources I hit up the first time. Brew Your Own – Hop stand article Home Brew Talk – Heady Clone Thread

And added some new ones. Q&A with John Kimmich at Music City Brew Off – Curtesy of Chop and Brew. Bear Flavor’s Shrunken Heady Home Brew Talk – Heady Topper Water Analysis

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Just when you think you can’t learn any more about a beer, a bunch of new info is thrown at you. The Q&A with John is very educational, makes you want to really understand your water, handle your beer with kid gloves, and rethink your dry hop timing. The water Analysis discussion is still over my head, but I’m getting there. Then when it came time to brew I didn’t have all the exact ingredients called for in the recipe from the HBT forum, I did the best I could with what I’ve had on hand.

Here’s my recipe:
Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 5.20 gal
OG: 1.0742 IBU: 127.2 IBUs
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Mash 150.0 F        75 min
Amt                   Name
14.00 g               Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins
4.00 g                Calcium Chloride (Mash 60.0 mins)
4.50 kg               Pearl (2.10 SRM)
0.30 kg               Carapils (Briess) (1.50 SRM)
0.30 kg               Red Winter Wheat (2.10 SRM)
0.10 kg               Acidulated (Weyermann) (1.80 SRM)
0.60 kg               Dextrose (Briess) (1.00 SRM)
47.00 g               Magnum [8.00 %] - Boil 45.0 min          36.8 IBUs
0.50 Items            Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 5.0 mins)
29.00 g               Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min          8.8 IBUs
14.00 g               Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min         4.3 IBUs
45.00 g               Simcoe [13.00 %] - First Whirlpool  40 mins
23.00 g               Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - First Whirlpool 40 mins
23.00 g               Amarillo [9.20 %] - Second Whirlpool  20 mins
23.00 g               Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Second Whirlpool 20 mins
23.00 g               Simcoe [13.00 %] - Second Whirlpool  20 mins
12.00 g               Centennial [10.00 %] - Second Whirlpool 20 mins
12.00 g               Chinook [13.00 %] - Second Whirlpool  20 mins
1.5l Starter      Conan
23.00 g               Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - First Dry Hop 4 Days
22.00 g               Simcoe [13.00 %] - First Dry Hop 4.0 Days
23.00 g               Centennial [10.00 %] - First Dry Hop 4.0
23.00 g               Simcoe [13.00 %] - Second Dry Hop 4.0 Days
12.00 g               Chinook [13.00 %] - Second Dry Hop 4.0 Days
23.00 g               Amarillo [9.20 %] - Second Dry Hop 4 Days

You can see from the recipe it’s a lot of hops, nearly an lb for a 4g batch. I’d like to try hop extract and see how this recipe works with no green matter in the boil, but with my hop backlog, real high alpha it is!

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This wasn’t the smoothest brew days. I managed to forget the grain bag in my mash tun. I nearly overflowed my mash tun with strike water. Despite my attempt at plotting my volumes on a chart for reference during the brew day. I screwed up the first chart, and used too much strike and sparge water. The mashtun was so full I couldn’t put the lid on tight. It didn’t seem to matter, I was aiming for a very fermentable wort and seemed to have gotten good conversion. Despite the volume my temp was w/in a degree. I over collected run off, I must have been compensating for my first attempt (way undercollection). I am hoping this does not result in a no body and over hopped beer. At the time, I wasn’t sure how close I was going to be to the desired OG, after adding the dextrose (.6kg) to the kettle. I should have known the target preboil gravity. I also wish beersmith would show the point contribution for grains like it does IBU for hops. Ultimately it was not enough, only a mere 1.064, instead of 1.074. I was however smart enough to push my 60m hop addition to 45m. In the future, I will boil until I reach desired prevail gravity, but that’s hindsight.

I’ve incorporated some process changes to this batch. Adding water treatment to this batch. Bagging my bittering hops so they can be removed post boil. Using double whirlpool additions at 0, and 180 for 20 minutes each. I also double dry hopped. If the volume of hop matter in the whirlpool and dry hop don’t impart amazing hop flavor and aroma, I don’t know what will. I made changed to my post fermentation beer handling. I dry hopped in primary and transferred via c02 to a c02 purged keg for the second dry hop. In the keg I hung a hop bag from the gas inlet using dental floss. To facilitate transfer, I removed about a 1/2 inch from the dip tube. This will now be used solely for dry hopping.

Prior to transfer, gravity was only down to 1.017, I expect a few more points from secondary. I didn’t get to the desired FG, but it’s hard to count on yeast grown from a can, despite the starter.

Next attempt.

Similar recipe. Hit gravity. I can’t say for real until I I get to sample this.
IMG_3822.jpgUpdate 10/25/14 – for 3/4 of a gallon of excess wort I used s-05 instead of conan, and an alternate dry hop regimen.

First 4 days

6g Galaxy

6g Citra

6g Bullion

Second 4 days

6g Galaxy

6g Cascade

3g Bullion

The small batch finished out at 1.010 (with priming solution), maybe as low as 1.008. Since there was so little to bottle, I wasn’t planning on taking a gravity, but I broke a bottle during the process, so I took a reading. I guess I need to take these readings, even it if it means a 10% bottling loss.

It’s interesting it finished out so dry when Conan stopped so high. I’m debating splitting the next batch 50/50 wit h s-05 and London III. That decision will be driven by the comparison of these two beers to see the impact of dryness and different dry hops. I guess I’m a little glad I broke off the top, otherwise I’d have never known it’s FG.

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