The Rainy Day IPA that I brewed last March turned out to be one of the best beers I’ve made yet. It had everything that a good IPA should have – clarity, lots of IBUs, and a good hoppy aroma. The use of pelletized hops for the dry hopping phase seemed to be the key to getting good hop aroma retention after bottling. Perhaps the increased surface area is behind this? In that case, I wonder if finely chopping up whole hops would have the same effect.
At any rate, I decided to make another batch of this, with just a few minor tweaks (primarily related to the ingredients I had on hand). Except as outlined below, everything is the same as before. So, I’ll only list the changes.
Differences From the Last Batch
- More by accident than anything, I ended up steeping the grains at a slightly higher temperature (~170°) for the steeping phase.
- I used 3 oz. of whole Cascade hops for the bittering (instead of a combo of whole hops and pellets added at various points during the boiling), boiled for the entire 60 minutes.
- I added 1 tsp. of Irish moss at the 45 minute mark (done before, but not explicitly noted on the recipe).
- I added 1 oz. of whole Sterling hops 57 minutes into the boil, and boiled these for 3 minutes, for aroma (instead of 1 oz. of Cascade pellets for 5 minutes).
- After cooling with the cooling coil and topping up to 4.5 gallons, the starting gravity was 1.060 (on 1 January 2011). This contrasts with a starting gravity of 1.056 for the last batch.
- I pitched the yeast, and it has been fermenting at 68°-72° degrees for the past few days.
I can’t wait to see how it will turn out, and if I can replicate the good points of the last batch. I plan to dry-hop it once again with some Cascade pellets left over from last year. They probably won’t be as fresh, but I do want to use them up.