Citrosaic Session IPA

This summer was incredibly hectic–both in expected and unexpected ways–and thus it was hard to fit in as much brewing as I would like. One of my precious brewdays was set aside for a session IPA…and because things were topsy-turvy, I decided to run with kveik.

The recipe itself isn’t based on anything in particular, beyond past experience. I wanted a beer that was flavorful in hops, highly crushable, and not too over-the-top in alcohol. Thanks to my regular HOPBOX deliveries, I had no shortage of IPA-worthy hops.

I built the recipe with a base of Golden Promise malt, and a touch of light crystal malt to keep things from being too dry or too thin. As I often do with my session beers, I mashed high. Instead of a massive whirlpool addition, I tilted the hops towards the final five minutes of the boil, and loaded in a few ounces of dry hops in the keg. Citra, Mosaic, and Eclipse were a natural combination. I hadn’t brewed with Eclipse before, but the description suggested it would meld well with the other two. As for yeast, Voss Kveik seemed like a good fit. I’ve brewed with it a few times before, and the citrus notes hopefully wouldn’t clash. Plus, I liked the idea of a yeast that I didn’t have to baby too much during summer weather.

Citrosaic Session Ale

  • 10 lb. Golden Promise Finest Pale Ale malt (Simpsons)
  • 0.25 lb. Cara 20 (Dingemans)
  • 0.25 lb. Carahell (Weyermann)
  • 1 oz. Citra hop pellets (12.8% alpha), 30 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Citra hop pellets (13.6% alpha), 5 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Eclipse hop pellets (16.8% alpha), 5 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Mosaic hop pellets (11.6% alpha), 5 minute boil
  • Voss kveik (Lallemand), 1 pkg. dry yeast
  • 1 oz. Citra hop pellets (13.6% alpha), dry hop in keg
  • 1 oz. Eclipse hop pellets (16.8% alpha), dry hop in keg
  • 1 oz. Mosaic hop pellets (11.6% alpha), dry hop in keg

Target Parameters

  • 1.046 s.g., 1.013 s.g., 4.4% abv, 66 IBU, 5 SRM
  • Claremont tap water, no adjustments
  • Full-volume mash, no sparge, at 156°

Procedure

  • I mashed in with 7 gallons of water at 162°, to hit a mash temperature of 156°. I held it here with recirculation for 10 minutes. I added ~7 mL of 88% lactic acid at the start of the mash, to adjust pH.
  • After 60 minutes, I raised the mash temperature to 168°, held it here for 10 minutes, and then removed the grains.
  • In total, I collected 6.1 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.043, for 69% mash efficiency.
  • I brought the mash to a boil, adding hops and finings per the recipe. After 60 minutes, I turned off the heat and chilled down to around 90°.
  • I brewed this beer on 11 July 2022. Starting gravity was 1.048.
  • I transferred the wort to my fermenter, pitched the yest, and let things roll at ambient temperature. Everything was rocking within 6 hours, and had slowed down within 18 hours.
  • Although I planned to keg this within a week or so, life got in the way (thanks, COVID), and it wasn’t until 13 August 2022 that I managed to get things transferred. I was a bit worried about flavor damage or oxidation, but it didn’t seem too awful.
  • I added the hops in a bag, at the time of kegging. Final gravity was 1.022, for 3.4% abv.

Tasting

  • Appearance
    • Medium-gold, fairly hazy, pours with a creamy and persistent white head.
  • Aroma
    • Fresh tangerine is prominent in the hop aroma, with a bit of passion fruit and other tropical notes; there is a touch of dankness as the beer warms up. And of course I get the class blueberry. Fermentation aroma is clean.
  • Flavor
    • Very bitter, with a slight hop “bite” and citrus pithiness. The very prominent hop flavor includes orange/tangerine, grapefruit, and a bit of blueberry. It tastes quite “juicy”! Malt is clean, with a slight hint of light caramel sweetness and graininess.
  • Mouthfeel
    • Medium dry, with a dry finish. Moderate carbonation.
  • Would I Brew This Again?
    • Yes! This is just a nice summer IPA, in the tropical/citrus tradition. I don’t want these flavors all the time, but I really liked this particular recipe. The kveik meshes well with the hops, and has a surprisingly clean profile. It just stays out of the way. I wouldn’t mind if the clarity was better (hence my lower rating), but in the end this is a highly crushable IPA, exactly what I wanted.
  • Overall
    • 8/10

Amber Rye Ale

I firmly believe that amber ales deserve more love than they get nowadays. A well crafted amber ale is one of my favorite beers, but ambers are often hard to find relative to their zenith around 20 years ago. I make them semi-regularly, but wanted to take things in a slightly different direction this time around. So…why not add some rye?

With this particular batch, I wanted a beer that had the caramel quality and dry hop character of my favorite ambers, while adding a bit of rye spice to help it stand out. The recipe was loosely based on one by Charlie Papazian, “Choco Red Rye Wedding Ale.” I got a bit of feedback via the AHA forum, which was helpful in further refining my plans. For something a little different, I used Lutra kveik — it is supposed to ferment fairly clean at lower temperatures, so I thought it would be an interesting experiment.

I served the beer at the Lake Arrowhead Brewfest this past weekend, and it was pretty well received. I maybe have a gallon left, and will be savoring that.

Amber Rye Ale

  • 8 lb. 2-row malt (Rahr)
  • 2 lb. rye malt (Weyermann)
  • 10 oz. crystal 60 (Great Western)
  • 8 oz. caramel/crystal malt 135/165L (Bairds)
  • 2 oz. chocolate wheat malt (Weyermann)
  • 6 oz. rice hulls
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.5% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.5% alpha), 15 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.5% alpha), 5 minute boil
  • 1 pkg. Lutra kveik (Omega OYL-071) dry yeast
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.5% alpha), dry hop in keg

Target Parameters

  • 1.048 s.g., 1.012 f.g., 4.8% abv, 31 IBU, 17 SRM
  • Full-volume mash, no sparge, at 156°
  • Claremont tap water, treated with Campden tablet

Procedure

  • I heated the strike water to 162° (with Campden tablet), and mashed in to hit a mash temperature of 156. I added 5.6 mL of 88% lactic acid to adjust the pH.
  • After 60 minutes of mash with recirculation, I raised the temperature to 168° for a 10 minute mash out. Then, I pulled the grains. In total, I collected 5.9 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.045, for 67% mash efficiency.
  • I brought the kettle to a boil, adding hops and finings per the recipe.
  • After a 60 minute boil, I chilled the wort to 85°, transferred to the fermenter, and pitched the yeast. I let it ferment at ambient in the garage, which was around 66° for most of the time. Vigorous fermentation took off in under 12 hours.
  • I brewed this beer on 25 May 2022, and kegged it on 9 June 2022. I added the dry hops to the keg in a bag.
  • Starting gravity was 1.052. Final gravity was 1.017, for 4.6% abv.

Tasting

  • Appearance
    • This beer pours with a creamy, tall, and persistent ivory head. The beer itself is deep amber and brilliantly clear. It is beautiful in the glass!
  • Aroma
    • There is plenty of rye “zing.” I pick up a little dried stonefruit, and some fresh hay from the hops. The fermentation profile is surprisingly clean.
  • Flavor
    • Rye and rich malt, with a touch of dark caramel behind that. The bitterness is moderate and clean. Just like with the aroma, I don’t get anything really for yeast.
  • Mouthfeel
    • Medium body, moderate carbonation. Smooth finish.
  • Would I brew this again?
    • YES! This is a fantastic and interesting beer from start to finish. The end product was exactly what I envisioned. Fermentation profile is wonderfully clean (or at least playing well with the malts and hops). I can’t think of anything to change.
  • Overall
    • 10/10

Big Hop Summer IPA

Although many of my IPAs have been on the session side, I do try to make a full strength version every once in awhile. In this recipe, I aimed for something highly drinkable and packed with hop flavor. Towards the first item, I mashed low and added some dextrose to keep things light. Towards the second end, I looped in some HOPBOX finds–Azacca, HBC 586, and Idaho Gem. Finally, I wanted to experiment with Lutra, a kveik strain that has a reputation of a quick and clean fermentation. It’s a bit of a kitchen sink beer, in order to use up some grains and hops, but it’s all with a purpose.

Big Hop Summer IPA

  • 5.25 lb. Golden Promise malt (Simpsons)
  • 5.25 2-row pale malt (Rahr)
  • 1.75 lb. Vienna malt (Weyermann)
  • 0.25 lb. Munich I malt (Weyermann)
  • 0.75 lb. dextrose (added to boil)
  • 0.75 oz. Bravo hop pellets (14.2% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Azacca hop pellets (12.7% alpha), 15 minute whirlpool
  • 1 oz. HBC 586 hop pellets (11.8% alpha), 15 minute whirlpool
  • 1 oz. Idaho Gem hop pellets (14.2% alpa), 15 minute whirlpool
  • 1 pkg. Lutra kveik (dry), Omega OYL-071
  • 1 oz. Azacca hop pellets (12.7% alpha), dry hop in keg
  • 1 oz. HBC 586 hop pellets (11.8% alpha), dry hop in keg
  • 1 oz. Idaho Gem hop pellets (14.2% alpa), dry hop in keg

Tasting

  • Appearance
    • The beer pours as a hazy gold, with a persistent white head that leaves nice lacing down the side of the glass over time. I am surprised that the haze hasn’t dropped out, even after two months in the keg at temperatures below 40 degrees.
  • Aroma
    • Orange peel aroma at the front; very citrusy character overall.
  • Flavor
    • The balance is tipped towards the hops (no surprise), with a very citrusy and resin character. I also pick up a bit of stone fruit, which might be from the hops or perhaps from the yeast. There is a little bit of a “twang” of something somewhere in the background, which I suspect is from the yeast but I can’t be 100 percent certain. Even though Lutra is supposed to ferment clean, I’ve seen remarks that it is still a farmhouse-type strain, and they remain a bit rustic. As the beer sits on the tongue, I wonder if some of it is some citrus pith character. In any case, there is something that detracts a little bit from complete enjoyment of the beer by my tastes, but it’s not overwhelming, and it isn’t totally out of character for this kind of beer. The malt is in the background, as it should be, but provides a nice bit of body and a touch of malty flavor to balance against the hop bitterness.
  • Mouthfeel
    • Medium-light body, with moderate carbonation and a dry finish. It goes down super easy.
  • Would I Brew This Again?
    • I like the beer overall, but I might switch up the hop varieties. I tried Azacca years ago, it didn’t overwhelm me with awesome then, and I had a similar experience this time around. I think it’s just not a hop that does much for me. I’m surprised by how persistently hazy the beer has been, even after two months in the keg; the haze doesn’t terribly detract from the beer, but it’s just a bit more haze than I expected. Those remarks aside, this is a very drinkable beer, especially for something that clocks in at 6.7% abv. The combination of low mash temperature and dextrose addition likely contributed to keeping things on the lighter side.
  • Overall
    • 7.5/10

Byzantium IPA

With the summer months closing out, I wanted to do a final kveik batch. I targeted a 3 gallon yield, because I didn’t want to have a ton of higher-abv beer. Additionally, I made this a “quicker brew” session, by reducing the boil time to 45 minutes. I have no particular reason for the name, other than that it sounded cool.

Byzantium IPA

  • 8.25 lb. 2-row malt (California Select, Great Western)
  • 0.25 lb. 10L caramel malt (Briess)
  • 0.55 oz. CTZ (Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus) hop pellets (15.8% alpha), first wort hop
  • 1 oz. Simcoe hop pellet (12.7% alpha), 5 minute boil
  • 0.65 oz. Centennial hop pellet (8.1% alpha), 5 minute boil
  • 1 tsp. yeast nutrient (WLN1000, White Labs), 5 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
  • 1 pkg. Voss Kveik Ale Yeast (Lallemand)
  • 1 oz. Centennial hop pellets (8.1% alpha), 2 day dry hop
  • 1 oz. Simcoe hop pellets (12.7% alpha), 2 day dry hop

Target Parameters

  • 1.067 s.g., 1.013 f.g., 7.2% abv, 66 IBU, 5 SRM
  • 149° mash, 60 minutes, with 10 minute mash-out at 168°, and 1 gallon sparge
  • Claremont tap water with 3 g gypsum and 2 g epsom salt added at boil, to hit add 3 g gypsum, 2 g epsom salt to water just before boil, to hit 71 Ca, 21 Mg, 93 Na, 180 SO4, 105 Cl, 156 HC03, 65 RA, 128 ppm Alkalinity

Procedure

  • I mashed in with 4 gallons of water at 156°, adding 5 mL of 88% lactic acid. This hit a target mash temperature of 149°, and I held it here (with recirculation) for 60 minutes. After 60 minutes, I mashed out to 168°. I pulled the grain basket, and sparged with just under a gallon of hot water.
  • In total, I collected 4 gallons of runnings at a gravity of 1.057, for 73% mash efficiency. Nice!
  • I added gypsum, epsom salt, and the CTZ pellets, brought the wort to a boil, and added hops and such per the schedule. After 45 minutes, I turned off the heat and chilled to ~90°.
  • I transferred ~3.25 gallons of wort at a starting gravity of 1.064 into the fermenter, and pitched the yeast.
  • I brewed the beer on 21 August 2021, letting it sit at ambient, which was around 85°.
  • Fermentation took off quickly, overflowing the airlock (oops). I added the dry hops directly to the fermenter (with no bag) on 1 September 2021, and then kegged on 3 September 2021.
  • I kegged the beer using a semi-closed transfer, and the hops were quite a pain. I had some issues with clogged lines, etc. I probably should have cold-crashed to drop the hops out of the beer, or else bagged them in the first place. Ah well.
  • Final gravity was 1.014, for 6.6% abv.
  • To help clear the beer and hurry it towards serving, I added 0.5 tsp of gelatin in 0.75 cups water on 4 September 2021. At this time, I also agitated keg to finish carbonation.

Tasting

  • Appearance
    • This is a gold-colored beer with a slight haze; it pours with a quite persistent white head that leaves nice lacing on the side of the glass.
  • Aroma
    • The beer has a light citrus character for hops and a slight caramel malt aroma. There is no major yeast character, so the overall aroma is pretty clean. I would say it could use a little more hop character.
  • Flavor
    • The flavor is has a high level of bitterness, with a citrus pith character and a little bit of orange. The malt is in the background, with a slightly grainy aspect. There is a light…tartness?…in the yeast profile, that adds a bit of interest.
  • Mouthfeel
    • The beer has a medium-light body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.
  • Would I brew this again?
    • This is a worthy experiment…definitely better than the other kveik IPA I did, which suffered from clashing hops, malt, and yeast in initial tastings, and never quite came together even as it matured. I think the hop selection works better here, although as before I probably should use a more character-rich base malt such as Maris Otter. My hop handling also wasn’t great on this one, which I think dinged it a bit also. I should probably just add the hops in a bag next time. I lost volume as well as introduced a bit of O2 while messing around trying to clear clogs. That aside, it is a pretty beer.
  • Overall
    • 6.5/10

Dance Party IPA

This one was a total experiment for me! Experimental hops, experimental yeast, and experimental fermentation. My local homebrew shop had a new variety called Samba, with tropical characters that sounded pretty neat! So, I picked up a few ounces for a batch. I also had been meaning to try out Lallemand’s new dry Voss kveik strain, so grabbed some of those packets.

For this beer, I wanted a tropical/citrus character and fairly light drinkability, alongside a “full-strength” IPA. So, I combined Centennial, Samba, and Simcoe for a whirlpool as well as a dry hop addition.

Dance Party IPA

  • 12.5 lb. 2-row Xtra Pale Malt (Viking)
  • 0.75 lb. Carapils malt (Briess)
  • 1 oz. Magnum hop pellets (10.6% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Centennial hop pellets (8.1% alpha), 15 minute whirlpool
  • 1 oz. Samba hop pellets (11.6% alpha), 15 minute whirlpool
  • 1 oz. Simcoe hop pellets (12.7% alpha), 15 minute whirlpool
  • 1 pkg. Voss Kveik Ale dry yeas (Lallemand)
  • 1 oz. Centennial hop pellets (8.1% alpha), dry hop in keg
  • 1 oz. Samba hop pellets (11.6% alpha), dry hop in keg
  • 1 oz. Simcoe hop pellets (12.7% alpha), dry hop in keg

Target Parameters

  • 1.059 s.g., 1.013 f.g., 6.1% abv, 62 IBU, 4 SRM
  • Claremont tap water, with Campden tablet and 5 g of gypsum added at the boil, to bump up the bitterness
  • 60 minute full volume infusion mash, 152°

Procedure

  • I mashed in with 7.25 gallons of water at 159°, to hit a mash temperature of 152°. I added 6 mL of 88% lactic acid, to adjust the mash pH.
  • After a 60 minute mash with recirculation at 152°, I bumped up the temperature to 168° for a 10 minute mash-out.
  • Following the mash, I removed the grain basket and brought the kettle to a boil.
  • In total, I had 6.3 gallons with a gravity of 1.050, for 66% mash efficiency. I added 5 g of gypsum to the boil, to bump up the sulfate.
  • I boiled for 60 minutes, adding finings and hops per the schedule.
  • After the boil, I did a 15 minute whirlpool at around 195°, and then chilled down to 90° and transferred to the fermenter.
  • Starting gravity was 1.050. I brewed this beer on 27 March 2021.
  • I pitched the packet of yeast directly, and began fermentation at 90°. After 18 hours, I raised the temperature to 95°, and then raised to 100° at the 24 hours mark after yeast pitch. After 72 hours, I lowered the temperature to 90°.
  • I kegged the beer on 7 April 2021, with the dry hops floating loose in the keg and a screen on the floating dip tube to filter out hops.
  • Final gravity was 1.013, for 5.8% abv.

Tasting

I didn’t have time to do a formal tasting on this one before the keg was kicked, but have a few general perceptions. First, the fermentation had a super clean character, and the kveik lives up to its reputation. I would totally do this fermentation profile again! Second, I really enjoyed the hop combo, but think that I probably overbittered it a bit, and the hops drowned out any potential malt character. There was a touch of astringency from the dry hops also, at times, which I think also detracted from the final flavor. So, if I redo this kind of IPA I might use a more character-rich base malt such as Vienna or Maris Otter and maybe a touch more of a crystal malt (e.g., crystal 20 or even crystal 40). That aside, the Samba hops did live up to their tropical reputation, and played well with the rest of the hops. It might be interesting to switch up the hop combos; I think this beer would be great with any combo of Samba, Citra, and/or Mosaic.

So…I would probably do this again, but modify things significantly. It was definitely worth the experiment, and I’ll likely dive into more kveik fermentations this summer! I give the beer itself a 5/10…not awful, but not quite where I want it to be either.