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!
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.