Sunday, February 3, 2013
1. Mash Temperature
A great IPA, American or otherwise, is quite dry. American IPAs are very dry while English and Imperial IPAs have a bit more body, albeit for different reasons. When I first started brewing IPAs I was scared that I would make the beer too dry so I would mash at somewhere around 152 F, but the reality is that a lower temperature is required to get the appropriate level of dryness. 149 F is a much better temperature to mash at, but anywhere in the 148 - 151 F range should get you where you need to be.
Obviously, hops are the showcase of the IPA style and there are a myriad of factors to account for. Most brewing texts will tell you that the beer needs to be hop forward, but balanced by a supporting malt character, which is true, but it's not the whole story. There also needs to be a balance within the hop profile itself. The bitterness can't be too harsh or strong, otherwise the beer will be intensely grassy and unenjoyable. Too much hop flavor will drown out the supporting maltiness. Fortunately it's quite easy to achieve the proper balance with some alternatives to the traditional hopping schedule. For IPAs first wort hopping is great technique to get a smooth bitterness and a pleasant flavor/aroma component. Combined with late and dry hopping it creates a complex hop profile with several layers of depth to explore.
There are other topics that will help contribute to a great IPA, but I believe these two things are the keys. For a more in depth analysis of the IPA style check out IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale. Cheers and happy brewing!
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Saturday, January 26, 2013
13 lbs American 2-row
.5 lbs Rye malt
.75 lbs Crystal Malt 20°L
.5 lbs Crystal Malt 40°L
.5 lbs Cara-Pils® Malt; Briess
.6 oz Warrior (Pellets, 16.00 %AA) boiled 60 min.
.5 oz Cascade (Pellets, 5.50 %AA) boiled 20 min.
1 oz Cascade (Pellets, 5.50 %AA) boiled 5 min.
1 oz Simcoe (Pellets, 13.00 %AA) boiled 1 min.
Yeast :WYeast 1056 American Ale from slurry (2nd Gen.)
Ferment at 64F for 21 days then dry hop
1.00 oz Simcoe [Pellets 13 %] (Dry Hop 7 days)
1.00 oz Summit [Pellets 17.60 %] (Dry Hop 7 days)
1.00 oz Chinook[Pellets 10.00 %] (Dry Hop 7 days)
Mash Temp; 151F
Batch Size; 6 gal
Volume Boiled; 7.2 gal
Measured Brewhouse Efficiency; 71%
Measured OG; 1.068
Measured FG; 1.006
Measured ABV; 8.1%
I can't make you brew this, but all I can say is that if you're a hop head you won't be disappointed by this brew. Enjoy!
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Well, it's that time of year folks. The National Homebrew Competition is just around the corner, the perfect time to start thinking about brewing those recipes that depend on freshness for maximum quality. I myself am brewing eight beers for the NHC, one of which (Old Ale) has already been brewed. The rest are fairly to highly dependent on freshness for success. They are:
American Pale Ale
American Amber Ale
American Brown Ale
With the NHC first round in late March and early April it's about time get to brewing. The stout and wiezenbock will be up first as I feel they will benefit from that little extra conditioning period prior to the competition. The rest will be brewed sometime in mid to late February to give the beer ample opportunity to condition properly but still be at their respective peaks of freshness for the competition.
This will be my first NHC so I would love to hear any tips from you veterans or just hear what you're brewing, veteran or not. Good luck to everyone who's entering the competition and I hope to see you at the second round because I plan on going whether any of my beers advance or not.If you want to take your brewing to the next level and maximize your chances of medaling in the NHC, take Gordon Strong's advice which can be found in his new book Brewing Better Beer: Master Lessons for Advanced Homebrewers
Saturday, January 19, 2013
For an excellent introduction to the finer points of tasting beer along with a bit of history check out Randy Mosher's Tasting Beer: An Insider's Guide to the World's Greatest Drink