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Gratitude India Pale Ale

August 26, 2012

This past Tuesday (8/21), I brewed an IPA for the first time in quite a while – 2.5 years or so, I think.  I feel as though IPA’s have fallen out of vogue in favor of DIPA’s and Sours, and maybe aren’t necessarily that cool to drink anymore.

That said, I really like a well made IPA.  Some of my favorites include Ithaca Flower Power, Surly Furious and Anderson Valley Hop Ottin.  With maybe the exception of Furious, I think the IPA’s that really do it for me are ones where the brewer shows some restraint – at least in some part of the formula.  Maybe a low-moderate ABV, clean subtle bitterness or really pleasing, present aroma.

Maybe chief of all – I’m of the opinion that hop selection and combinations need to make sense so that they don’t overwhelm the palate. IMHO, too many brewers just default to a “kitchen sink” IPA.  They empty the hop stores, regardless of what they contain and assault you with a nonsensical barrage of flavors and overwhelming bitterness.

More after the jump..

My goal is to not do that – and this is me, getting to the point.  I want a very hop forward beer (it is an IPA, after all) with an exciting but sensible hop character, clean bitterness, moderate ABV and a finish on the drier side.  I knew I wanted to mix Simcoe and Galaxy for their floral and fruity qualities, and am rounding out with Columbus to add some of its characteristic earthiness.  Not a combination I’ve used or had before, but I’m very excited for it.


A lot of hops.  And this doesn’t include the 5oz for dry hopping

This one is called Gratitude for a reason.  I actually resigned from my job last week and am leaving for greener pastures.  I’ve been with a fortune 500 (we’ll leave names out of it) for 5 years, which is essentially my entire career, and am going to a much smaller but more exciting local firm.

As they say – it’s all about who you know.  I was helped in the door by a friend and former neighbor, who I will now have the pleasure of working with.  In the process of pursuing this opportunity, he and I got together over a couple of beers to discuss.  I noticed that he went right for the IPA’s – and some good ones too.  It had already been decided that he’d receive some homebrew for his help, so this helped guide me towards IPA.  He’ll probably get a 12 pack or so, while I get ~ a keg.


Before flameout addition


And after flameout hops added

Here’s the recipe I’m working with:

IPA #5 – Gratitude India Pale Ale
14-B American IPA
Brewed: 8/21/12

Size: 6.125 gal
Efficiency: 79.0% (measured)
Attenuation: 75.0% (estimated)
Original Gravity: 1.065 (measured)
Terminal Gravity: 1.016 (estimated)

Color: 10.73
Alcohol: 6.23%
IBU: 88

Ingredients:

  • 13 lb Briess 2-Row Pale Malt
  • 1.0 lb Cara-Pils® Malt
  • 0.33 lb American Caramel 20°L
  • 0.25 lb American Caramel 40°L
  • 1 oz Columbus (15.0%) – added during boil, boiled 60 m
  • 1.0 oz Simcoe® (13.0%) – added during boil, boiled 20 m
  • 2 oz Columbus (15.0%) – added at flameout*
  • 2 oz Galaxy (13.0%) – added at flameout*
  • 1 oz Simcoe® (13.0%) – added at flameout*
  • 0.0 ea Fermentis US-05 Safale US-05 – rehydrated before pitching
  • 2 oz Columbus (15.0%) – added dry to secondary fermenter
  • 1.0 oz Simcoe® (13.0%) – added dry to secondary fermenter
  • 2 oz Galaxy (13.0%) – added dry to secondary fermenter

Schedule:

  • Mash-in: 4.56 gal; Strike: 163.05 °F; Target: 150.0 °F.  60 minutes
  • Batch Sparge: 4 gal sparge @ 168.0 °F, 0.0 m; Total Runoff: 7.00 gal

Listening:

  • Moondoggies – Don’t Be a Stranger

Notes:

  • Brewed on a Tuesday evening, by myself.
  • Cut mash and sparge water with a gallon distilled each.  Used 5.2 pH buffer for the mash (I usually do, but rarely mention it here)
  • Added irish moss, yeast nutrient with 15 minutes to go.  6g gypsum at 5 minutes.
  • Collected 6.125 gallons of 1.065 wort – slightly better than my 1.063 estimate
  • *Flameout additions actually occurred post-flameout, during the chill.  Added at around 180F, then began stirring to speed chilling.  Theory behind this being it would sort of mimic a hopback.  Extract those volatile flavors and aromatics and try to chill fairly quickly to “trap” them and prevent cooking off.
  • Chilled to 68F – as cold as I could get it, as this is the temperature of my cold water right now.
  • Placed in basement ambient of 66F – again, best I can do right now.  Vigorous fermentation by morning.
  • 8/26 – Krausen essentially dropped out.  Gravity to 1.020 – still some activity, will probably drop a bit further over the next few days before I transfer to secondary.
  • 8/28 – Gravity 1.015.  Added 75% of dry hops (1.5 oz Columbus, 1.5 oz Galaxy, .75 oz Simcoe).  Remaining 25% will be added as keg hops
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