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IPA three ways, a collaboration (or: Tender, Younger APES)

January 26, 2013

updated 2/10/13

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A week or so ago, I got together with a few friends (who also happen to be brewers) to… well, brew a beer.  We’d been wanting to brew together for some time, but had trouble finding the time.  Once we finally found a date, we spent a week or two hashing out the details of what we all wanted.  While all of us love a well constructed IPA, most of us don’t brew them often, as there are some good ones available locally (see: CBW the IPA), and because we all have a pretty well rounded love of beer.

We decided to go for an IPA, but with an agreement to experiment a little bit and to make a somewhat unique, totally delicious IPA.  We all agreed on what we wanted the base to taste like: a slightly bready/toasty maltiness, fairly light mouthfeel, appropriate/moderate bitterness and a burst of hop flavor and aroma.  We wanted the beer to be pale orange and the flavors/aromas to be a mix of classics: grapefruit, citrus and pine with a touch of the newer-hop tropical fruit.

Recipe after the jump

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The best part of this brew was making it together.  Second to that was the system we got to use.  One of the four participants, Joe, owns a BrewMagic system.  If you’re not familiar, this is essentially the same process as a professional brewery utilizes with three vessels, pumps and a built in heat exchanger which can be used to dial in mash temps.  In fact, many breweries use a BrewMagic as a Pilot system to test recipes on a smaller scale before stepping up to their larger, normal batch size.  It was pretty f’n awesome to use and I took a number of pictures that are sprinkled throughout here..

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Recipe-wise, to achieve the beer we all envisioned, we went with a base malt bill of roughly 2/3 plain 2-row (sweet, fairly neutral maltiness) and 1/3 Maris Otter (nutty, bready).  This was augmented with a bit of carapils and crystal 40 to give us a little additional sweetness and a great pale orange color.  We mashed fairly low (150) to achieve a lightly sweet body and bittered with Warrior, which – high in alpha and low in cohumulone – provides a solid, clean bitterness that doesn’t linger too long (apologies to Columbus).

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Our goals for hop flavor and aroma afforded us some flexibility, but we really wanted a somewhat unique profile.  I was coaxed into parting with 4 oz of my coveted Riwaka hops (New Zealand, rare, intense grapefruit flavor), which were blended with Centennial (grapefruit), Columbus (citrus, earth) and Simcoe (fruit, pine).

These were added mostly as post-flameout/whirlpool hops, which in my experience is the best way to achieve intense hop flavor.  There was also a similar portion of the same hop blend added dry to our secondary fermenters.

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Here’s where things get a little more interesting.  About a month ago, I was at Cigar City Brewing in Tampa and was able to get a piece of the spanish cedar spirals the use in the humidor series beers.  With that as inspiration, we decided to split the 10 gallon batch three ways: Spanish Cedar, White Oak and Straight Up.

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I am the keeper of the Spanish Cedar version, while Alex/Eric (aka APES) are maintaining the White Oak and Joe our straight up version.  In the coming weeks these will be bottled, shared evenly between the group and likely entered into an upcoming competition.  A little too soon to tell, but as of now, I think we all like our chances :-).

Here’s our recipe:

IPA Three Ways (aka Tender, Younger APES)
14-B American IPA
Brewed: 1/11/13

Size: 11 gal
Efficiency: 85.66% (measured)
Attenuation: 82.2% (measured)
Original Gravity: 1.072 (measured)
Terminal Gravity: 1.013 (measured)

Color: 11.86 SRM
Alcohol: 7.8%
IBU: 67.6

Water (all in ppm):

Ca: 50  Mg: 11  Na: 14  SO₄: 57  Cl: 33  HCO₃: 97

Ingredients:

  • 10 lb Maris Otter Malt
  • 17 lb 2-Row Pale Malt (Canada Malting)
  • 2 lb CaraPils
  • 1.5 lb Caramel 40°L
  • 1 oz Columbus (16.7%) – First Wort Hop
  • 1.75 oz Warrior (16%) – Boiled 60 min
  • 1.5 oz Columbus, 1.5 oz Centennial – boiled 5 minutes
  • 2 oz each: Riwaka, Simcoe, Centennial (6 oz total) – Whirlpool
  • 2 large starter of US-05 yeast
  • 2 oz each: Riwaka, Simcoe, Centennial, 1 oz Columbus (7 oz total) – dry, added to secondary
  • 1 fermenter receives 1 spanish cedar spiral, 1 receives White Oak cubes

Schedule:

  • Mash @ 150 (1.30 qt/lb ratio)
  • Mash out @ 170
  • Batch sparge (water alkalinity adjusted)
  • Ferment at 65

Listening:

None

Notes:

  • 1/11.  Brewed together on Joe’s system.  Took our time getting this one done.  Undershot our expected volume a bit (11 gal v. 12), but no big deal – plenty to go around.  Chilled to 70ish, split into 3 vessels, aerated and pitched US-05 starter(s).
  • Fermentation took a little longer than expected, but it was a pretty high-gravity wort.
  • 1/24.  Fermentation complete, gravity 1.013.  Racked to secondary with weighted dry hops.  Will wait a day or two before adding the cedar.
  • 1/26.  Added cedar spiral.  Boiled briefly to sanitize.
  • 2/1.  Removed cedar.  Flavor came through quickly.
  • 2/10.  Bottled.
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