Beer: 42L IPA – Split Hopping with Tettnang and Cascade 5.8% 60IBU
Brew Date: 02/12/11
Brew Time: Late Friday
A big fan of BrewDog and their stonking high-hopped IPAs, James wanted to brew something similar. We both agree that we want to learn much more about hops in order to have some real conviction in blending and creating new beers. In so many of the beers that we drink the blends of hops stop us from really being able to appreciate the individual character of each (and in some cases we don’t even know what hops have been used), so this beer will lead us into a series of future single hop brews. I’ve personally found that formulating recipes to generate a consistent and specific hop “flavour” is the most difficult part of the process, all other elements of the beer can be calculated with a good degree of accuracy and in advance, from colour to bitterness and ABV even attenuation can be fairly well estimated. Hop flavour however is entirely dependant upon the characteristics of each individual hop variety and like grapes the seasonal weather and soil conditions where the hops have been grown. The process of blending a great tasting hoppy craft beer therefore is reliant on actual experience of working with the hops and by trial and improvement using our own organoleptic (or sensory) analysis to develop each beer to create the flavour we’re aiming for. In essence the more beer we brew and reflect upon, the better the brews should become.
We brew outdoors in an old horse stable and it’s freezing cold!
Grain Bill – 42L Aim: 5.8%ABV @ 60% efficiency
- 11.35kg Pale Malt (93%)
- 0.85kg Wheat Malt (7%)
Total grain bill: 12.2kg
We scoured a number of IPA recipes and came to the conclusion that a nice simple base malt should let the hops shine through. The addition of 7% wheat malt to give us a nice creamy head on the finished beer. Estimated efficiency pretty low just to be on the safe side as we are finishing off the last of the old malt.
Tettnang / Target 21L
- 60min- 57g Tettnang (4.8%AA)
- 60min- 22g Target (11.5%AA)
- 10min – 15g Tettnang (4.8%AA)
- 0min- 30g Tettnang (4.8%AA)
- Total – 59IBU
Cascade / Northern Brewery 21L
- 60min- 57g Cascade (4.5%AA)
- 60min -29g N.Brewer (8.5%AA)
- 10min – 15g Cascade (4.5%AA)
- 0min- 30g Cascade (4.5%AA)
- Total – 53IBU
Following the basis of a simplified Brewdog Punk IPA clone we found online (will add a link when we find it again), we have kept a fixed amount of flavour hops at the ten minute addition and again a fixed amount at flame-out for an aroma steep. This way we can actually compare the characteristics of the 2 hops side by side. The shortfall in the single hop has been made up with small quantities of high %AA bittering hops which should add little character to the final beer barring bitterness. Unfortunately as we were finishing up ends of hops, we didn’t have enough of either bittering hops to use just one in both.
People conduct the steep in a number of different ways but we let the hops settle and strained the beer off the hops into the fermenters rather than letting the beer cool on the hops. I believe that our technique here could have a great effect upon the aroma of the final beer.
Safale S-04 (2 x 11.5g)
Single infusion aiming for a heigh 68 C for a dextrinous wort with good body. One hour mash time. As usual pre-heated tun with boiling water from the kettle and doughed in 18L of water at 85 C (1.5L/kg.) Half time temperature was 67.2C. Final temperature was between 63C and 66C, which is great considering the outside temperature was near freezing, the mash had cooled much more around the edges of the tun compared to the middle.
Heated 1L per target volume plus some spare. 43L @ 80C. Collected 50.7L to allow for 20% Boil reduction. The brew is collected into the 50L boiler so that the strong first runnings and weak final runnings are all mixed together. The first 3l were recirculated.
Split the wort into 2 batches with loose hops. MISTAKE. Forgot to fit the hop strainer again! So the emergency sieve and a big funnel was dug out. Full blast to the hot break took about 1/2hr. Then turned down the power with the addition of the bittering hops. No Irish moss was used as we forgot.
Collected just 17.7L at the end of each boil, this is a whopping 30% reduction due to the bulk of hops retaining a large amount of liquid, also the reduced volume of the boil compared to our usual 50 odd L means relatively more evaporation. Strained off the settled hop bed into fermenters to cool overnight.
Each batch diluted to 21L.@ 1.060 and moved indoors. Safale S-04 pitched one sachet into each. 21oC ambient.
update – 48hrs
Healthy 3″ Krausen
14 days – 1.013
Racked @ 17 days FG1.010
Racked into barrels and Cascade is dry hopped with ~ 14g of loose hops as aroma was low.
Fantastic! We achieved 65% efficiency, so the beer is a little stronger than anticipated at 6.5% which is pretty sweet for an IPA. Incredible high hop aroma from the Tettnang hops. The beers have become drinkable after about a month of maturation so we’re just beginning to drink them in the new year.
Matt: “Strong bitterness and a good malty character too, incredibly fruity high hop flavour and aroma from the Tettnang. V.Cloudy.”
James: “Possibly too much bitterness, Tettnang however is an amazing hop and it comes out well in this beer. A pretty good beer, but one that could be improved.”
Matt: “40 days of conditioning, at winter temperatures over Christmas/ Jan, this has matured into a startling modern “bitter” with a pleasant emphasis on the bitterness and a rich if somewhat earthy Cascade character. Relatively Soft on the nose despite dry hopping although the flavour is great. Also v.cloudy which doesn’t look nice. Looses it’s head too.”
James: “Meh. Dry hopping rescued this beer I think. Turned into a very drinkable IPA, although too cloudy to brag about (not that cloudiness affects taste).”
A great start to our investigation into the character of individual hops, 2 very drinkable strong pale ales loaded with flavour. Certainly a recipe for us to build and improve on.
Forgot the hop strainer again! Much hassle. Must be a more permanent solution than the stainless pan scourer.
No Irish moss and the wheat malt in this brew has probably led the beer to be cloudy, certainly wouldn’t pass muster at the pub where people run at the sight of a cloudy beer for some reason.
With the addition of a 100L barrel to collect the runnings into we could another time mash the same base and collect a brewlength of up to 100L, splitting this into 4 x 25L beers for single hopping. With the addition of James’s boiler this wouldn’t take us any longer to achieve 4 beers where here we have made 2.
Hops are 2005 harvest, but have been kept sealed in the freezer and still seemed to have good potency. We’re coming to the end of this supply so fresh hops on the agenda soon.