Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hop Blend IPA

I'm not very good at making decisions. As some of you may know, when I'm caught up in indecision, it can take me quite a long time to make a choice. Well for this beer I decided to not make a choice. Instead of picking one or two flavor and aroma hops, I'm going with three. And gosh-darn-it, to save me from deciding which goes in first and last...they're gonna be blended together...equally!

The malt base, I think, may be on the sweeter side because of the medium Crystal malts. Since the conversion temperature will be on the low side, some dryness may come through to help out. I also threw in some Biscuit malt for balancing the Crystal. I don't have a favorite IPA (in terms of dryness, fruitiness, citrus or sharp piney hops...etc.), and enjoy any IPA that has a fairly bold presence. So as long as there is a good hop nose and flavor, with some malt character, I'll be very happy.

Not sure what to expect with this hop blend. I've never used any of these hops to any great proportion. In fact, I can't remember using any of them because most of my beers have been Scottish, English and German in origin. Its been such a long time brewing an "American" hopped style. Last year's competition entry..."Swamp Rat Super IPA," was all too strange. Not undrinkable, but not all that great. It was unanimous what the judges wanted to taste more of...those "citrus"/3C hops (Chinook, Centennial, and Cascade). So this IPA is designed to go with their recommendations. I also threw in some Amarillo for the heck of it, and cause I've never used'em before.

Chinook (12%AA, pellets) will serve as the bittering addition at 60 minutes. Then 4 more additions of the "hop blend" will go in at 15, 5, KO and Dry. The blend consists of one part each of Centennial (9.5%AA, pellets), Cascade (7.6%AA, leaf) and Amarillo (8.9%AA, leaf).

Brew day was

Hop Blend IPA...aka..."Hop Blood IPA"

7 lbs. American 2-Row Pale
.5 lb. American Crystal 40L
.3 lb. British Crystal 60L
.25 lb. Belgian Biscuit
.25 lb. Wheat Malt
.03 lb. British Roasted Barley

1 oz. Chinook 12%, pellet, 60min
.75 oz. Hop Blend, 15min
.75 oz. Hop Blend, 5min
.75 oz. Hop Blend, KO
.75 oz. Hop Blend, Dry

Wyeast 1056: American Ale (48 oz. DME starter)

Brew Day Stats:

Brew Day: 6/22/07
Water Adjustment: .75 gallon distilled, 1 tsp Gypsum

H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.25qt/lb
Mash Ph: low
Sacch. Rest Time: 1 hour
Sacch. Rest Temp: 151*F
Mash Out Time: 10 min
Mash Out Temp: 160 (low)

2nd Batch Sparge: 2.5 gallons at 175*F

Pre-Boil Vol: 5.25 gallons
Pre-Boil SG: 1.045
Boil Time: 1.5 hrs
Post-Boil Vol: 4.5 gallons

OG: 1.052
IBU: 77
Color/SRM: 11
Mash Efficiency: Approx. 76.9%
FG: 1.013
ABW: 4.1%
ABV: 5.12%

Fermentation Temp: 74 on up to about 79*F
Cost: $20.10, $0.42/12oz. bottle, $2.51/6-pack


1. Brewing alone is a bit more difficult, especially when operating in a messy kitchen.

2. Tried siphoning and it when very well. Until the end when I lost the siphon flow and there was about a gallon left. Also, whirlpooling (literally spinning the wort very fast to cause a cone of sediment at the bottom...see photo) only works to a certain point where hops and protein sediment gets sucked into the syphon anyways.

3. Ended up pouring the rest through the funnel screen. It was really muddy. I like squeezing out all the hoppy goodness, but there's now a thick sediment at the bottom of the fermenter. the look on her face, my baby didn't care much for the "hop mud" either. Its her..."Eiew...doggy poo poo" face.

4. It smelled hoppy in the house.

5. Made the DME yeast starter only 24 hours prior. Not enough time to allow complete fermentation, and settling of the yeast. So the wort sat around until the starter chilled to allow more settling. I did pour out a third of the liquid before pouring the rest into the fermenter. Fermentation started in about 5 hours!

6. Mash out temperature was low AGAIN! It's always been very difficult to hit a target of 168-172. Not sure why. I added what I thought was the right amount of boiling water. With batch sparging, its still good to add enough water to bring up the first batch runnings to about half the total pre-boil volume.


1. On June 28, I racked to secondary over .75 ounces of the Hop Blend.
2. The gravity at racking time was about 1.012.
3. Though the fermentation temperature eventually rose quite high (80*F), I thought it might result in higher levels of fruity esters or even solvent-like tastes. Surprisingly, it tasted very clean with low esters and pleasantly on the dry side.
4. Overall, it tastes pretty darn good. Can't wait to see how the dry hops finish the scent and taste.
5. Bottled it on July 12th.
6. First sampling on July 21 at my Belgian Pale Ale summer party. This beer is really really good. At only 9 days in the bottle, it was very fresh and the smooth/soft lighter carbonation made it taste and feel just like a cask conditioned ale. A better discription will be coming soon.


Orange Loren said...

I am loving these pictures! Especially the one where Cadence is displaying the "unpleasantness" of the hops. Too funny. Shows some of the aquired tastness of the flavors, smells or processes. Did you end up taking the photos yourself? Or did your beautiful wife take them?
- Lore
P.S. I know I missed it, but I hope you had a fun father's day, daddy.

Travis said...

What was your efficiency? I Batched last weekend and I missed my target OG because I did not adjust my efficiency for the loss when you are working on batch as opposed to fly.

Good pictures, I always brew alone (except for my dog who is not much help) so I feel your pain.

Ted Danyluk said...

Thanks Lore,

I did take those photos. Sarah was away at work. She left me her new camera with the settings already set. I took about 4 or 5 takes to get Cadence in that shot, and the face she's making was by chance...and priceless. These are just a few of the great moments being a Dad while brewing good beer.

Ted Danyluk said...

Hey Travis,

I didn't get around to calculating the efficiency. I have a feeling it was better than before because the gravity was going to be even higher if I boiled down to the volume I originally intended. So since I ended up with about .25 gallons more, the IBU's might be a touch lower.

Just curious why you brew by your lonesome? I find I can concentrate a little better, but I also miss the comradery and the help. I only do it when brewing under the full batch potential (6 gallons), and during the weekdays.

Batch sparging once before, I forgot to adjust by adding about 10% more malt. I think that is whats recommended? I totally forgot again this time to adjust the ingredient weights. But apparently the mash was very efficient. I might attribute the good efficiency to a thinner mash, lower temp, but maybe has something to do with my unexpected mashout of about 160*F. Not really sure. But who knows, maybe I'm just getting good at this brewing thing.

Thanks Travis for comming back. Please check back, I will post the efficiency soon.

Brian said...

I'm with Travis, I brew alone 90% of the time as well. Mostly because I dont have anyone to brew with, its hard with my schedule to line up brewdays with other folks while balancing everything else, so normally I will think up a recipe and go for it the following weekend, on Sundays.

My wife does help out often when I ask for it, and after this Friday (when we pick up our dog-Higgins!) I will have to start training her to sanitize her paws and assist with the siphoning :)

Good post, I bet that IPA comes out nicely. I like the mixing of hops here-those are some high Alphas!

Brian said...

Just as a disclaimer there, I meant "train her" in reference to our dog....reads a little funny :)