Thursday, May 19, 2011

Session IPA Brewday

Today’s beer is for the upcoming Rockit Cup; like the SOB I brewed back in March, this is an attempt to get a group of brewers from our club, DRAFT, to brew the same beer using the same recipe, and discuss the results to build our overall brewing knowledge. I can already tell you what I learned thus far: with a 1.054 OG (projected OG for the recipe was 1.044), I’m getting far better efficiency than the 70% projected for the recipe. Go learning!

90. Session IPA
8 ½ lbs. Breiss 2-row
¾ lb. Breiss Caramel 20°
¾ lb. Weyerman Light Munich
½ lb. Breiss Caramel 60°

Mashed @ 149° F (148° F actual) for 90 minutes w/ 4 gallons of RO water (162° F)
Batch sparged @ 166° F (165° F actual) for 20 minutes w/3 ½ gallons of RO water (175° F)

Collected 6 ¼ gallons; added to brew kettle, brought to a boil (60 minutes) and added:
w/60 to go: 4 g. gypsum
½ lb. Turbinado cane sugar

w/45 to go:
½ oz. Warrior pellet 15.8% AA

w/15 minutes to go: 1 tsp. Irish Moss

w/10 to go: ¾ oz. Centennial leaf 11.5% AA

w/5 minutes to go: ¾ oz. Simcoe leaf 14.1% AA

w/0 minutes to go: ¾ oz. Cascade leaf 7.5% AA

Chilled with wort chiller, racked to carboy and pitched Wyeast 1056 American Ale

Brewed: 5/19/2011 @ 70° F
Secondary: 5/30/2011 @ 1.006
Bottled: 6/1/2011 w/ 3 ¾ oz. table sugar: ¾ oz. went into a mini-keg; and 3 oz. went into the rest of the beer, which was bottled

OG: 1.054
FG: 1.006

Tasting Notes (10/4/2011): Session IPA pours a crystal clear tan-colored copper with lots of lively fine bubbles; the head is a dense off-white with excellent retention. The nose leans towards hops over malt, even at this late date, but overall the beer is remarkably well-balanced and approachable—there is a touch of Centennial sourness (ala Two Hearted), Simcoe evergreen and resin, and the slightest Cascade citrus tang for the hop character, and behind that are caramel and Munich malt blending and rounding the whole. Flavors start with caramel malt mixed with resin and evergreen hop flavor, leading into a dry, biscuit malt middle accompanied by a light but bright hop bitterness. The finish is bright with a slight touch of chewiness—the caramel appears briefly, and then the evergreen and citrus, followed by a subtle lingering bitterness. The body is light, but fits the beer profile, and the carbonation brightens the beer on the palate while also lacing the glass nicely. All in all, this is a beer that needs to find a spot in the regular rotation—it is easy, enjoyable drinking, but with the subtlety that rewards the palate.

I pulled out the mini-keg of this to drink with everyone the night before the wedding; since most people were from out of town, we had everyone over to our place after the rehearsal dinner and pulled a bunch of stuff out of the cellar. The hop flavors were much brighter and retained a lot more character in the mini-keg, which I’m guessing has something to do with the larger volume. And it was a stupendous hit—that beer disappeared lickety-split, all one and third gallons.

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