Dialing in my NEIPA hop process

I’ve about four of these under my belt and I’ve had mixed results.  My first attempt was really a huge hit.  My take was that it tended to be a little sweet for my tastes but was a crowd pleaser.  The recipe was a bit heavy on the malt with a 50/50 2-row/Marris mix, and Honey malt.  My efficiency was a bit high too so ended up north of seven percent ABV which isn’t bad, lots of NEIPAs are in that area; but I was hoping for something around six percent instead.

The second iteration modified the grain bill to match my Session IPA recipe but with modified hoping times and quantities to match the NEIPA style and I also tested out using a mixed-culture strain.  When young, this one turned out very well but was a bit extreme with the grapefruit hop; so not as juicy as I would have liked.  The Belgian phenols weren’t overly distracting but I prefer my NEIPAs with a clean yeast profile.

The third recipe resulted in even greater amount of hop bitterness; the exact opposite of what one wants with a NEIPA.  And at this point I started looking at what might have gone wrong.

  1. Don’t use Cyrohops like regular hops where you might get IBUs.
  2. Ensure whirlpool temp is below 180F
  3. The sweet-spot for whirlpool flavor and aroma is around 10 minutes
  4. Stirring the whirlpool provides extra extraction (and bitterness)
  5. Larger boil volumes have increased utilization

My first batch used zero Cryohops.  I ended up getting some for my second batch, but I used them in the whirlpool/hopstand which greatly enhanced the aroma and flavors but I’m positive due to the high temp (flameout, no chilling) it certainly extracted alpha acids and more than I anticipated due to a long 30 minute hold.  This embodies issues 1 through 4.   The last issue I only recently read about as I was searching for why some of my lighter styles, witbier and pilsner seem to have been over the threshold that I would like in the particular style.  It’s not entirely clear if there I’m actually seeing increased utilization in a 20 gallon boil for a 15 to 16 gallon batch, but I’m sure that in both of those recipes, version two will reduce the amount of hops I use but at least 10% if not 20.

Thus, today I brewed a batch hoping to remedy all of these issues.  Aptly named, Not Grapefruit Juice; which ultimately remains to be seen.  The grain bill adds back in some of the Honey malt, it provides a nice background sweetness independent of the finishing gravity and doesn’t taste to my palette cloying.  I’ve settled on roughly 50/50 flaked oats and white-wheat; the wheat gives a nice subtle toast and a touch of acidity to the base wort.  Finally, I’ve added some Carapils for head retention.  My previous batch attempted to address concerns over head retention through the elimination of use of Anti-Foamer, both in the starters and in the boil.  The result showed no difference in additional head retention over other batches I’ve had.   I’m super happy about that because taming both the 5L starter on the stove and the 20 gallon batch in the garage was intense.  A couple drops of defoamer in the wort and I’m totally relaxed.

I ended up with a 90 minute boil as the evaporation rate today was just super low.  A 5 minute edition and then flameout, chill to 175F before adding in the whirlpool hops, 10 minutes, then pump into the conical.  The taste of the wort going into the fermentation chamber was nice, hoppy but super mellow; almost no bitterness.  \o/

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
16 gal 60 min 69.2 IBUs 4.6 SRM 1.063 1.012 6.7 %
Actuals 1.058 1.007 6.7 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
American IPA 13 2 1.056 - 1.075 1.01 - 1.018 40 - 70 6 - 15 2 - 2.8 5.5 - 7.5 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Brewers Malt 2-Row (Briess) 23 lbs 64.79
Oats, Flaked 6 lbs 16.9
White Wheat Malt 5 lbs 14.08
Honey Malt 1 lbs 2.82
Carapils (Briess) 8 oz 1.41

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Columbus (Tomahawk) 1 oz 60 min First Wort Pellet 15.3
Citra 2 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 14.4
Galaxy 2 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 14.8
Mosaic (HBC 369) 2 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 12.3
Citra 2 oz 10 min Aroma Pellet 14.4
Galaxy 2 oz 10 min Aroma Pellet 14.8
Mosaic 2 oz 10 min Aroma Pellet 11.6
Citra 3 oz 8 days Dry Hop Pellet 14.4
Mosaic 3 oz 8 days Dry Hop Pellet 11.6
Citra 3 oz 4 days Dry Hop Pellet 14.4
Mosaic 3 oz 4 days Dry Hop Pellet 11.6

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Calcium Chloride 8.50 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Epsom Salt (MgSO4) 2.30 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 2.20 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Phosphoric Acid 20% 1.10 ml 60 min Mash Water Agent

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
San Diego Super Yeast (WLP090) White Labs 80% 65°F - 68°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Saccharification 152°F 60 min
Mash Out 168°F 10 min

Notes

Boiloff was really low, like 10% instead of 18,
Added 30 minutes to boil. Had extra gallon of wort.

WLP090 Recommendations:
"Make sure you make a proper sized starter, pitch cool at 65˚F then set your
regulator to 66˚F, let it rock for 3 days, then raise the temp to 70˚F for a
couple days to encourage complete attenuation and reabsorption of
fermentation byproducts. At this point, I usually crash the beer to 32˚F for
a couple days then keg per my typical method, pouring the first pint a
couple days later."
-- http://brulosophy.com/2014/10/06/is-san-diego-really-all-that-super-a-yeast-comparison/

Mosaic IPA v3

Mmm, Yellow Rose

Homebrew Mosaic IPA on the left, Yellow Rose on the right.

Brewing and IPA just the way you want has always proved to be more difficult that I’ve wanted.  The Mosaic IPA is no different.  I’ve had plenty of Lone Pint’s Yellow IPA to know what I really liked about it:  huge amazing Mosaic nose and aromatics, sweet, but light malt flavors, and a solid bitter and dry finish.

V1 was a small batch and didn’t quite attenuate exactly as intended, partly due to learning temps and mashing in the small batch setup but it was in the ballpark for what we wanted in a clone.

V2 was a scaled up to a 6 gallon batch.  When I brewed V2 I did have a slight shortage of Mosaic hops and had to go with a Mosaic/Simcoe blend.  In tasting, this had almost zero impact in aroma and flavor.  That wasn’t too surprising considering Mosaic’s heritage.   Color was spot on as well as clarity.  The real difference was in the taste.  In a side-by-side with a bottle of Yellow Rose, it was clear that my V2 was sweeter than YR; something I knew as I was sampling V2.  V2 finished around 1.016 or so which is much sweeter than my palate enjoys nowadays.  However, beyond the sweeter malt flavors it was lacking some of the hop bite.

The reviews of V2 were all similar: good, but not quite right, needs more hops.  Well, that’s not a problem.  So on to V3!  I wanted to achieve two things.  First, and foremost, the beer needed to finish drier than V2.  Considering the yeast I have, Dry English Ale, which already does a really solid 75 to 80% attenuation, I decided I’d employ some step mashing to maximize beta amylase hoping to reduce the final gravity.  The second goal was to bump up the bitter a bit as well, oh and this time use all Mosaic for sure.

The recipe below includes these changes.  Brewing of V3 was picture perfect.  However, somewhere along the mash, we accidentally bumped the efficiency from 72% to around 93%.  The pre-boil gravity target was to be 1.045 and we ended up with 1.055.  The final O.G ended at 1.083 instead of 1.067 meaning we had a 9% beer bordering on double IPA rather than a solid 6.5% IPA.  Worse things have happened.

Upon tasting V3 though it wasn’t significantly more bitter than V2 and it immediately dawned on me that the additional efficiency was the source of the trouble.  Since the boil gravity was much higher than expected, that resulted in a lower alpha-acid isomerization, and lower IBUs in the final product.  I should have adjusted the amount of hops in the boil to combat the higher gravity wort.  Clearly a V4 will be needed.

V3 finished at 1.016, but considering the starting gravity I don’t think I can expect WLP 007 and mash techniques to get any lower.  80% attenuation is the top end for this ale strain.  But I know some other strains that can go a bit higher.  For V4, I’ll brew another 6 gallons of wort but this time pitch my favorite strain, the Jester King mixed culture.

The Jester King blend attenuates just about anything down to 1.000 SG.  Jester King already produces a number of highly hopped beers, namely Wytchmaker Rye IPA and El Cedro, Cedar IPA.  I’m also interested in their collaborations with many breweries in which they use wort produced by their partners and then pitch the mixed culture and see what sort of beer it becomes.

V4 will use the same recipe as V3, but will use the JK mixed culture instead. Fermentation temperature will change as well, the JK blend tends to produce a more sour wort at cooler temperatures, so a minimum temp of about 75F or higher will be used to encourage the yeast to dominate and keep the bacteria in check (at least for a while).  As a bonus, cold conditioning in bottle will keep hop aroma as the brett is an oxygen consumer and the bacteria like to produce some lactic acid!  Who doesn’t want a hoppy sour beer? =)

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
6 gal 90 min 81.0 IBUs 4.1 SRM 1.066 1.015 6.7 %
Actuals 0 1.01 -75.8 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
American IPA 14 B 1.056 - 1.075 1.01 - 1.018 40 - 70 6 - 15 2.2 - 2.7 5.5 - 7.5 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pilsen (BestMälz) 14.764 lbs 100

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Mosaic 0.99 oz 90 min Boil Pellet 11.6
Mosaic 1.62 oz 10 min Boil Pellet 11.6
Mosaic 1.62 oz 20 min Aroma Pellet 11.6
Mosaic 3.17 oz 5 days Dry Hop Pellet 11.6

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 4.60 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Calcium Chloride 2.70 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Epsom Salt (MgSO4) 1.90 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Whirlfloc Tablet 1.00 Items 15 min Boil Fining

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Dry English Ale (WLP007) White Labs 75% 65°F - 70°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Beta Rest 140°F 45 min
Saccharification 152°F 20 min
Mash Out 168°F 10 min

Notes

Beta Focus for dryer beer:
Mash in 140F, hold 40 mins
Raise to 152, hold for 20 mins

Mosaic IPA v2

60 sq.ft of Bottle Aging

The Battle Shed is now equipped with a bottle shelf for aging

Earlier this year I took a swing at brewing a SMaSH Mosaic IPA as a small batch.  I was still learning the details of the stove-top setup so hitting the numbers was challenging.  I ended up a bit short on gravity, and found out that Safale S-04 is NOT a replacement for White Labs Dry English Ale (WLP007) in any way shape or form.

The result of the brew was a medium strength IPA with a great nose and solid taste, if a bit sweet in the finish.  It was received well enough that it’s been requested again, but in a much bigger batch.  I won’t tweak all that much, except the mash profile to ensure a really dry finish since the Pilsner malt lends a significant amount of sweetness, despite not having any Crystal in the grain bill.

https://utahbiodieselsupply.com/brewingfilters.php

8″ x 10″ Hop Spider from Utah Biodiesel

I’ll also get a chance to use a few of the newer stainless hop screens.  I picked up a hop basket to replace my DIY hop spider.  It’s been an excellent upgrade simplifying the setup and cleanup.  I’ll also use the dry-hop tubes  and finally a two-stage filter to enhance the hop nose all the while staying O2 free.

How can I get all of those awesome beer stickers off ?

The Leaky Fermentor fermented its last beer. =(

Finally, my previous fermentation chamber The Smelly Beast,  A.K.A the Leaky Dripper , A.K.A The Garage Heater, A.K.A The Best Deal on Craigslist,  A.K.A 25 Dollars worth of Fridge has died.  Over the summer it increasingly would not keep anything under 50 degrees.  While that was fine for fermenting, it was NOT fine for hop storage in the freezer compartment.  Also, the constant drip of liquid was not much fun either.   Luckily Woxford has recently completed a 8′ x 10′ temperature controlled Battle Shed whose ambient temp is around 55F.  This Mosaic IPA will be the first clean beer to ferment in the shed with a heat belt to drive the temperature profile needed for a nice dry IPA.

Looking forward to getting another nice clean IPA through the system.  Hope you enjoy Mosaic IPA V2!

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
6 gal 90 min 66.9 IBUs 4.1 SRM 1.062 1.011 6.7 %
Actuals 1.046 1.01 4.7 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
American IPA 14 B 1.056 - 1.075 1.01 - 1.018 40 - 70 6 - 15 2.2 - 2.7 5.5 - 7.5 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pilsen (BestMälz) 14.764 lbs 100

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Mosaic 0.44 oz 90 min First Wort Pellet 11.6
Mosaic 2.22 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 11.6
Mosaic 2.22 oz 20 min Aroma Pellet 11.6
Mosaic 3.17 oz 5 days Dry Hop Pellet 11.6

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Phosphoric 58.80 ml 60 min Mash Water Agent
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 12.60 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Calcium Chloride 1.80 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Epsom Salt (MgSO4) 1.20 g 60 min Mash Water Agent

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Dry English Ale (WLP007) White Labs 75% 65°F - 70°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Protein Rest 131°F 15 min
Saccharification 148°F 45 min
Mash Out 168°F 10 min

Small Batch Sunday: Mosaic SMaSH

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I just had a pint of Lone Pint’s Yellow Rose and well, I can’t think of a better beer to start trying to dial in on our Small Batch Sunday series here.  The last small batch was Stone IPA which is currently tasting really nice in the dry-hop keg.  I’m bottling the Stone this afternoon and tonight will start into another just amazing IPA that is as simple as they come.

Yellow Rose is now available all-year around and most recently to me, it can be had in bottles.  Hopefully I’ll be able to track down a six pack, or a bomber so I can do a side-by-side.  I don’t think this beer can really be cloned right now simply because it varies somewhat out of the brewery.  I’ve seen numerous mentions of getting radically different noses and flavor profiles from batch to batch.  The silver lining is that everyone agrees that it remains an amazing IPA.

My initial impression of this beer’s smooth malt profile that just carries the hops was one that needed a really solid base that’s interesting.  My go-to base malt for that sort of thing is always Thomas Fawcett Marris Otter, aka.  The Crutch as my good friend once told me of a remark from a pro-brewer here in Texas.  It’s hard to go wrong when putting Marris Otter in a beer at any level.  Some of my best SMaSH (Single-Malt and Single Hop) beers were 100% Marris.  What I’ve seen discussed around the net though was that Yellow Rose uses Wyermann Pilsen malt.  I can believe that since it doesn’t seem to have any crystal in it (neither in color nor taste) and lets the hop shine.  And it’s certainly easy enough to try a different base malt out next time.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
1 gal 90 min 66.0 IBUs 5.1 SRM 1.062 1.011 6.6 %
Actuals 1.046 1.01 4.7 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
American IPA 14 B 1.056 - 1.075 1.01 - 1.018 40 - 70 6 - 15 2.2 - 2.7 5.5 - 7.5 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pilsen (BestMälz) 3.422 lbs 100

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Mosaic 0.07 oz 90 min First Wort Pellet 11.6
Mosaic 0.35 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 11.6
Mosaic 0.35 oz 20 min Aroma Pellet 11.6
Mosaic 0.53 oz 5 days Dry Hop Pellet 11.6

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Phosphoric 9.80 ml 60 min Mash Water Agent
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 2.10 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Calcium Chloride 0.30 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Epsom Salt (MgSO4) 0.20 g 60 min Mash Water Agent

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Dry English Ale (WLP007) White Labs 75% 65°F - 70°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Saccharification 147.9°F 90 min
Mash Out 168°F 10 min

Small Batch Sunday – Stone IPA Batch 1

small-batch-sunday-stone-ipa-v1-1024x768

3 gallons of Stone IPA wort boils, one hop addition in.

My first small batch has been quite a success so far. While the whole process wasn’t any shorter, what with all-grain brewing mash, mash-out, boil, chill and pitch. However, the clean up was short and the impact of the brew isn’t 5 or 6 gallons that need to be drunk. Rather, I’ll have 6 750mL bottles to taste, share and critique. If they go well, then it’s an easy scale up to larger batches.

In addition testing out various recipes and temperatures with the Jester King wild culture I really like a really good IPA. I’ve backed away from the double/imperial IPA, mostly because I prefer to get the balance of the beer right without just cranking up the ABV. Most commercial examples don’t get it right and have a huge malt-bomb with hop bitterness just scattered everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great examples. That said, drinkability is a big thing for me now. I’ve a few criteria that I need to have.

Dry finish. I just can’t work through that much gravity or lingering crystal malts, no matter how bitter the beer. A massive chewy and sugary IPA just isn’t good. The best chewy IPA you can find is Lagunitas. They mash high, but somehow get the attentuation, bitterness and hops (oh those hop aromas) just right.

Massive hop nose. I don’t want to have to hunt for the hops. Either you know what you’re doing with late additions, whirlpooling and packaging, or you don’t and I won’t be able to smell the hops in your beer.

Creative hop bitterness. I’ve made a few hop-bombs of my own that were just over-the-top with bitterness and frankly, they’re not that fun to drink. After aging another month, the bitterness is drinkable, but I’ve lost valuable hop aroma while waiting for things to rebalance.

Color. I really want a straw to pale color and it should be reasonably clear. I don’t really enjoy a really murky IPA. Not because it doesn’t taste good or smell great, but because I know it can be achieved without sacrificing clarity.

A beer that’s been getting this right since forever is Stone IPA. I picked up Stan Heiromynous’s IPA book and read it multiple times. A wealth of information, quite a bit coming from Mitch Steel, head brewer at Stone. Mitch and crew were kind enough to leave the Stone IPA recipe in the book. I’ll assume that this is the best source yet and I’ll skip trying out the various homebrew attempts as well as the apparently not accurate version included in BYO years ago.

The goal here is to dial in the various aspects of the IPA recipe, mash temp, thickness, pH, hoping rates and other parameters. Instead of brewing different IPAs, I’m going to keep dialing this one in until I’ve got it exactly where I want it. Just like Stones. Besides having an impeccable IPA available in a larger batch; it means that when I do want to play around with new hops or grains, I’ve got something I know really well for comparison.

Looking forward to giving this a go and sharing it with some close friends.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
1 gal 90 min 78.6 IBUs 5.4 SRM 1.065 1.012 7.0 %
Actuals 1.051 1.012 5.1 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
American IPA 14 B 1.056 - 1.075 1.01 - 1.018 40 - 70 6 - 15 2.2 - 2.7 5.5 - 7.5 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Brewer's Malt, 2-Row, Premium (Great Western) 2.632 lbs 96.8
Crystal 15, 2-Row, (Great Western) 1.39 oz 3.2

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Columbus (Tomahawk) 0.09 oz 90 min Boil Pellet 14.7
Chinook 0.11 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 11.8
Centennial 0.21 oz 20 min Boil Pellet 8.1
Centennial 0.29 oz 1.5 days Dry Hop Pellet 8.1
Chinook 0.03 oz 1.5 days Dry Hop Pellet 11.8

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Phosphoric 9.80 ml 60 min Mash Water Agent
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 2.10 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Calcium Chloride 0.30 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Epsom Salt (MgSO4) 0.20 g 60 min Mash Water Agent

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Dry English Ale (WLP007) White Labs 75% 65°F - 70°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Saccharification 147.9°F 90 min
Mash Out 168°F 10 min