See See IPA

Classic American IPA time, again! The recipe is a modest modification of my Wildfire IPA from a few months back. The malts are fairly different (crystal 40 and biscuit, instead of crystal 30), and I used light Munich instead of dark Munich malt. The hopping schedule is also adjusted, to use the clean bitterness of Magnum and all of the flavor/aroma happening in the whirlpool and dry hop. So, I suppose it’s not really a complete rebrew, but a new recipe strongly inspired by the past recipe.

The name references the C-C dry hopping, with Cascade and Chinook whole cones right in the keg. And that, in turn, is a (bad) pun on “See See Rider,” a song that originated over 100 years ago and is known to many of us because of Elvis Presley.

See See IPA

  • 12 lb. 2-row brewer’s malt (Great Western)
  • 1 lb. Munich light malt (Chateau)
  • 0.5 lb. crystal 40 malt (Great Western)
  • 0.25 lb. biscuit malt (Dingemans)
  • 1.4 oz. Magnum hop pellets (13.2% alpha), 45 minute boil
  • 1 tsp. Fermax, 10 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.5% alpha), 15 minute whirlpool
  • 0.5 oz. Chinook whole hops (13.1% alpha), 15 minute whirlpool
  • 0.4 oz. Centennial hop pellets (9.3% alpha), 15 minute whirlpool
  • 1 pkg. American West Coast Ale yeast (Lallemand BRY-97)
  • 1.5 oz. Chinook whole hops (13.1% alpha), dry hop in keg
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.5% alpha), dry hop in keg

Target Parameters

  • 1.057 s.g., 1.011 f.g., 6.1% abv, 7 SRM, 67 IBU
  • Infusion mash, 150°, full volume; 60 minute boil
  • Claremont water, with Campden tablet to remove chloramines.

Procedure

  • I heated 7.5 gallons of mash water to 157°, and added the grains to hit a target mash temperature of 150° for 60 minutes. I added 10 mL of 88% lactic acid to adjust pH.
  • After a 60 minute mash with recirculation, I ramped the temperature up to 168° over 10 minutes, and held it there for 10 minutes more. Next, I removed the grains and started heating to the boil.
  • I had approximately 6.5 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.050, for 64% mash efficiency.
  • I boiled for 60 minutes, adding hops and finings per the recipe.
  • After 60 minutes, I added the whirlpool hops and recirculated for 15 minutes, before continuing to chill.
  • I transferred the wort to the fermenter, and let it chill down to 68° in the fermentation chamber, before pitching the yeast.
  • I brewed this beer on 14 November 2020. Starting gravity was 1.055.
  • I kegged the beer on 1 December 2020, adding whole dry hops directly to the keg. I have the hop screen adapter for my Clear Beer Draft System, and thought I’d give it a try.
  • Final gravity was 1.012, for 5.7% abv. This batch came pretty close to hitting targets!

Tasting

  • Appearance
    • Deep gold and fairly clear, with just a smidge of haze at the time of this writing. It has cleared up surprisingly wel! The beer pours with a persistent but modest off-white head.
  • Aroma
    • There are definitely Chinook hops in this! Hop aroma is at the forefront, with a heavy spicy, herbal, and slightly dank character. I don’t pick up much for citrus notes, although I could be convinced there is grapefruit as part of it. There is a hint of caramel malt character, but that’s very much in the background. No yeast character is evident.
  • Flavor
    • Flavor is dominated by the hops, with the herbal and dank character mentioned above. Bitterness is moderately high, but not over the top; it’s about perfect for my tastes! The malt character is nicely supportive, and I like the malty, bready character alongside the trace of caramel. As with aroma, the yeast stays in the background, where it belongs!
  • Mouthfeel
    • Medium body, with a finish that is only slightly on the dry side. Carbonation is also on the moderate side, as is appropriate for the style.
  • Would I brew this again?
    • This general recipe is a great base for a classic northwestern IPA that highlights “old school” American hops. It’s pretty similar to its Wildfire IPA predecessor, and I think this overall recipe is likely to stay in my semi-regular rotation. Although it’s a bit out of vogue these days, the 2-row plus Munich base malt combo really hits the spot for me, and I think the crystal malt adds important character. My main complaint on this batch is that the Chinook hops are just a touch heavy. Their flavor plays well with everything else, but I prefer the more citrusy varieties like Cascade in my American IPAs.
  • Overall
    • 7/10

Summer RyePA

My latest session IPA was a bit of a kitchen sink beer, but also one where I wanted to create a slightly more “traditional” northwest IPA. That means citrus and pine for the hops, and no fear of the crystal malt. To ground my malt character, I used Vienna malt as the base, with a healthy dose of rye malt on top of that. I used about 7% crystal malt to add some body and depth. The overall results were pretty fantastic!

Summer RyePA

  • 8 lb. Vienna malt (Weyermann)
  • 1.5 lb. rye malt (Viking)
  • 0.5 lb. crystal 40 (Great Western)
  • 0.25 lb. crystal 60 (Great Western)
  • 2 oz. rice hulls
  • 0.5 oz. Warrior hop pellets (15.8% alph), 60 minute boil
  • 0.4 oz. Chinook hop pellets (13.0% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.5% alpha), 3 minute boil
  • 1 tsp. Fermax yeast nutrient, 10 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
  • 1 pkg. American West Coast Ale yeast (BRY-97)
  • 1 oz. Amarillo hop pellets (9.2% alpha), dry hop in keg
  • 0.5 oz. Cryo-Cascade hop pellets (12.0% alpha), dry hop in keg
  • 0.4 oz. Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) hop pellets (15.5% alpha), dry hop in keg

Target Parameters

  • 1.047 s.g., 1.012 f.g., 4.5% abv, 7 SRM, 46 IBU
  • Infusion mash, 156°, batch sparge; 60 minute boil
  • Claremont water, with 3 g gypsum and 5 g epsom salts added to kettle during chilling, to hit approximate mixture of 51 ppm Ca, 32 ppm Mg, 71 ppm Na, 156 ppm SO4, 75 ppm Cl, ~100 ppm HCO3

Procedure

  • I mashed in with 3.75 gallons of water, heated to 167°. Once it had cooled down to 163°, I added the grains, and hit a mash temperature of 153°. I added ~2 mL of 88% lactic acid to bring the mash pH down a touch.
  • Around 30 minutes in, I added 2 gallons of water at 175°, to raise the mash temperature to 157°.
  • After 60 minutes of mashing, I collected the first runnings. Then, I added 3 gallons of water with 2.5 mL of 88% lactic acid, to neutralize carbonates. This should result in around ~100 ppm HCO3.
  • I brought the kettle to a boil, adding hops and such per the recipe.
  • After 60 minutes, I began the chilling process. At this point, I realized that I had forgotten to add the gypsum and epsom salts I had intended to add earlier, so boiled them in a cup of water and put this into the wort.
  • Once I had chilled a bit, I transferred to the fermenter and then chilled the rest of the way, down to 68°, in my fermentation chamber.
  • I brewed this beer on 8 August 2020, and fermented at 66°. Starting gravity was 1.048.
  • I brought the beer up to ambient garage temperature (78° to 80°) on 15 August 2020, to finish out fermentation.
  • I kegged the beer on 21 August 2020, adding 2.85 oz. of corn sugar for natural carbonation along with the dry hops in a bag. I let it sit at ambient for about a week, before chilling and finishing carbonation via forced CO2.

Tasting

  • Appearance
    • Deep gold in color, with an orange tinge, and only a slight haze. This beer dropped surprisingly clear after ~2 weeks in the keezer! A persistent off-white head holds modest lacing along the side of the glass.
  • Aroma
    • Hop forward, with citrus/orange at the front, and a bit of earthiness behind that. Yeast character is clean, and not much in the way of malt is noticeable.
  • Flavor
    • Bitterness level is moderately high, with an orange/citrusy character. It’s distinctly tilted towards the hops, with the malt in the background in terms of balance. Malt character is grainy with only a hint of caramel notes, and avoiding any perception of sweetness. I get a touch of rye spice as the beer warms up, but I’m surprised the rye doesn’t come through more prominently. That’s probably an okay thing, though, in that it doesn’t overwhelm the beer. As I finish more of the glass, the pine character of the hops starts to shine through.
  • Mouthfeel
    • Medium-light bodied, with an extended dry finish and a lingering bitterness. Moderate carbonation.
  • Would I brew this again?
    • This is one of the better session IPAs I’ve done over the years. It’s got sufficient character to be interesting, and enough body to keep it from seeming thin. The citrus character is very nice, and I think the blend of hops is spot-on for this kind of beer. It’s squarely in the northwest IPA tradition, with plenty of citrus and not much of the tropical fruit character so common in IPAs nowadays. It’s interesting that the pine character manifests a bit late as I drink the beer, and same for the rye notes. That’s okay by me, though. I could certainly play with the hops more, but the grain bill is pretty close to perfect.
  • Overall
    • 9/10

Wildfire IPA

I love IPAs, but I’m also a bit burnt out on brewing them. Often if I want this style, I’ll just buy a four- or six-pack, and that will satisfy my temporary craving. There are tons of really good (and many great) IPAs out there, but they start to blend together after awhile. The contemporary Citra/Mosaic/etc. versions are tasty, but honestly there’s not always a lot of difference from one to the next. I like the taste of many hazies at first, but get tired after half a glass. The theme in many contemporary IPAs is tropical fruit notes…which can be fun, but gets monotonous after awhile. Can you tell that I’m bored?

More and more, my flavor preferences come back to the “old school” IPAs. Pine, low-key citrus, and herbal notes are all something I crave. It’s hard to find these in many of the newer (and dominant) commercial IPAs! Even the local breweries that have otherwise excellent IPAs aren’t filling this flavor-space anymore. I can’t blame them, if this IPA variant doesn’t sell well. As a homebrewer, though, I can more easily tailor my beer to personal tastes!

I recently received a copy of the Homebrew Recipe Bible, which is a nicely written and expansive tome of recipes. Their recipe for Wildfire IPA immediately appealed to me. It had a hefty blend of old school and newish-hops, while also dodging Citra and Mosaic tropes. I made some small modifications for ingredients on-hand, but otherwise it’s as-written.

Wildfire IPA

  • 12.75 lbs. 2-row malt (Great Western)
  • 1.25 lbs. Dark Munich malt (Viking), 11 SRM
  • 0.75 Crystal 30 malt (Great Western)
  • 0.6 oz. Chinook hop pellets (13.0% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 0.6 oz. Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) hop pellets (15.5% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 0.6 oz. Centennial hop pellets (9.3% alpha), 10 minute boil
  • 1 tsp. Fermax, 10 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
  • 0.5 oz. Simcoe hop pellets (13.6% alpha), 5 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Amarillo hop pellets (7.7% alpha), 10 minute whirlpool
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (~5.5% alpha), 10 minute whirlpool
  • 2 pkg. US-05 American ale dry yeast
  • 1 oz. Ahtanum hop pellets (6.0% alpha), dry hop in keg
  • 0.5 oz. Cascade Cryo-Hops (12.5% alpha), dry hop in keg

Target Parameters

  • Infusion mash to hit target of 150°, 60 minutes, batch sparge
  • 1.066 o.g., 1.013 f.g., 7.0% abv, 68 IBU, 7 SRM
  • Claremont tap water, with 1/2 tsp (~2 g) of gypsum added to boil kettle

Procedure

  • I mashed in with 5 gallons of water at 161.8°, to hit a mash temperature of 149.8°. I added 8 mL of 88% lactic acid to the mash, to adjust the pH.
  • After 60 minutes, I added 0.5 gallons of water at 185°, let sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the first runnings.
  • Next, I added 3.6 gallons of water at 185°, let it sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the second runnings.
  • In total, I collected 7.10 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.053, for 70% mash efficiency.
  • In the kettle, I added the 1/2 tsp. of gypsum and brought the mixture to a boil, adding hops per the recipe. After 60 minutes, I added the whirlpool hops and let it sit for 10 minutes before chilling.
  • As I transferred the wort to the fermenter, I noticed a lot of trub. This is due to the heavy hop load. Like, a lot of trub. For future recipes, I’ll need to adjust my kettle leavings (~1 gallon) to ensure I have a full 5 gallon batch.
  • I fermented the beer at 66°, following my brew day on 9 February 2020.
  • I kegged the beer on 29 February 2020. Starting gravity was 1.053, and went down to 1.008, for 7.7% abv. At the time of kegging, I added the dry hops in a weighted mesh sack.

Tasting

  • Appearance
    • Deep gold color and hazy but not cloudy, with a persistent and creamy white head.
  • Aroma
    • Pine, citrus pith, slight dankness
  • Flavor
    • Hop forward (as it should be), with a wonderful piney and bitter citrus character. Malt has a slight caramel, bready quality (likely from the Munich malt).
  • Mouthfeel
    • Moderately light body, off-dry, moderate carbonation.
  • Would I brew this again?
    • Yes! This is a very solid “traditional” West Coast IPA recipe, like something that would have been popular in the early 2000’s. I can’t think of much to change with this one…the only minor “ding” would be the slight haziness, but I’m pretty willing to tolerate that. Overall, it’s exactly the beer I wanted.
  • Overall
    • 9/10

Pannotia White IPA 1.7

I skipped a round last year, but decided that I needed to do another batch of my old favorite, Pannotia White IPA.

As I brewed this a few weeks back and as I enjoyed it now, I reflected on the fact that the (now long since past) white IPA mini-craze laid groundwork for the current hazy IPA mega-craze. White IPAs share some important features with the hazy ones, including haze and a juicy-fruity hop bill. They’re a distinct beast though, distinguished in large part by their drier body and distinct Belgian character. Personally, I find white IPAs a lot more enjoyable, but then again I also find the vast majority of hazy IPAs to be pretty mediocre.

In any case, this version of my white IPA recipe is pretty similar to the last time I brewed it, with the only minor distinction being the lack of lemon zest tincture. No particular reason I skipped that–I just forgot. Ah well!

IMG_20190713_123502

Pannotia White IPA 1.7

  • 7 lbs. 2-row malt (Rahr Malting Co.)
  • 3 lbs. white wheat malt
  • 1 lb. flaked wheat
  • 0.5 lbs. flaked quick oats
  • 0.5 lbs. rice hulls
  • 2 oz. Amarillo hops pellets (7.7% alpha), 45 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Amarillo hops pellets (7.7% alpha), 5 minute whirlpool
  • 1 oz. Citra hops pellets (13.2% alpha), 5 minute whirlpool
  • 1 oz. Galaxy hops pellets (13.8% alpha), 5 minute whirlpool
  • 1 oz. Citra hops pellets (13.2% alpha), dry hop in keg
  • 1 oz. Galaxy hops pellets (13.8% alpha), dry hop in keg
  • 1 oz. Mosaic hops pellets (11.3% alpha), dry hop in keg
  • 1 tsp. Fermax, 10 minute boil
  • 8 g gypsum (added to boil)
  • 0.35 oz. bitter orange peel, 1 minute boil
  • 0.15 oz. coriander seed (crushed), 1 minute boil
  • 1 pkg. Belgian Wit Ale yeast (WLP400, White Labs), prepared in 1.25L starter, chilled and decanted

Target Parameters

  • 60 minute infusion mash, 152°, batch sparge
  • 1.059 o.g., 1.013 f.g., 6.1% abv, 60 IBU, 4 SRM
  • Claremont water, with 8 g gypsum added to boil

Procedure

  • I began a starter a few days in advance of brewing, and cold crashed it for two days.
  • I mashed in with 4 gallons of water at 163.6°, hitting a mash temperature of 152°. I added 10 mL of 88% lactic acid to hit my pH estimate.
  • With two collections of runnings (one after 0.75 gallons of water at 185° and one after adding 3.35 gallons at 185°), I collected 6.8 gallons of runnings in total with a gravity of 1.046, for 73% efficiency.
  • I brought everything to a boil, adding hops and such per the recipe. After 60 minutes, I turned off the flame and chilled to pitching temperature.
  • I brewed this beer on 18 May 2019, fermenting at 66°. Learning my lesson from past experiences with an extremely vigorous fermentation for WLP400, I used a blow-off tube for initial fermentation. I moved it to ambient temperatures on 2 June 2019, and kegged on 22 June 2019. The hops were added to the keg in a mesh sack at this point.
  • Starting gravity was 1.057, and final gravity was 1.011, for 6.1% abv.
  • The tasting was done about a month after kegging; two months after kegging, this beer is still holding up really well!

Tasting

  • Aroma
    • Tropical fruit forward; it’s like a nose punch of passionfruit, guava, and citrus all at once! There’s just a hint of the Belgian ale spice behind that.
  • Appearance
    • Slightly hazy, with a pale gold color. The head is low but persistant.
  • Flavor
    • Definite tropical hop flavor at the front of this, with a smooth bitterness and the spicy Belgian ale yeastiness around that. Malt character is in the background, and is pretty clean (as expected for the grain bill).
  • Mouthfeel
    • Moderate carbonation, moderate body, very slightly dry finish.
  • Would I brew this again?
    • Yep! This is a good recipe as always. The head could be a touch better on this one, I probably should have added the lemon tincture, and I suppose there should be a little more haze, but nonetheless it’s a great beer.
  • Overall
    • 9/10

Warrior’s IPA

IMG_20190216_213732

Transferring the wort into the fermenter

Today’s American IPAs are awesome–I love hops like Mosaic and Citra, to the point where I have been starting to hit fruity hop fatigue. The antidote? Make a beer with the most piney, resiny, harshest old school hops I could find.

Warrior’s IPA

  • 12 lb. 2-row malt (Rahr)
  • 1.5 lb. rye malt (Viking)
  • 0.5 lb. crystal 60 malt
  • 4.4 oz. crystal 80 malt
  • 4 oz. rice hulls
  • 1 oz. Warrior hop pellets (15.8% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 10 minute boil
  • 2 oz. East Kent Goldings hop pellets (6.0% alpha), 5 minute boil
  • 1.5 oz. Cascade whole hops (~3.5% alpha), 5 minute whirlpool
  • 2 pkg. Safeale American Ale yeast (US-05)
  • 3 oz. Columbus hop pellets (14.0% alpha), dry hop in keg

Target Parameters

  • 60 minute infusion mash, 154°, no sparge
  • 1.065 o.g., 1.016 f.g., 6.5% abv, 61 IBU, 9 SRM
  • Claremont tap water, augmented with 1 tsp. gypsum

Procedure

  • I mashed in with 7.75 gallons of water at 162°, to hit a mash temperature of 151.7°. After 60 minutes, I vorlaufed and collected 5.75 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.055. This equated to a fairly miserable measured mash efficiency of 60%. (After this, I re-aligned my mill, in case that was the problem–I also figure the percentage of rye might be partly to blame, too).
  • I brought the runnings to a boil, adding hops and finings per the recipe. After 60 minutes, I turned off the heat, added the whirlpool hops, let sit for 5 minutes, and then chilled.
  • I transferred the beer to the fermenter, and fermented at 66°.
  • I brewed the beer on 16 February 2019, and kegged on 9 March 2019.
  • Starting gravity was 1.065, and final gravity was 1.011, for 7.2% abv.

Overall Impressions

I served this beer for a party, and it kicked before I could really get a good tasting. I didn’t even get a good picture! It was really popular with the hopheads, definitely delivering on the hop flavors and aromas that I wanted–rich, resiny, and piney. I felt like it needed a bit more time to mature, because the malt flavors weren’t quite there yet. Another few weeks might have helped. Oh well…I guess that means I have to brew this again!