Monday, June 23, 2008

Rat Bite IPA

Here in Chicago there are lots and lots of mangy rats running around. Most of them are really big and scary looking. I saw a bunch the other day, and luckily not in our neighborhood. It occurred to me that if one of those suckers were to bite, it would probably feel awful. Bitter, in fact. Almost as bitter as this IPA. So... Either this ale will remind of what that might feel like, or could easily be the sedative pain-killing remedy if such a city rat were to bite my leg.

I've been itching to brew this beer ever since last year's successful Hop Blend IPA. The Simcoe 100 is a little bit of influence here too. The differences in the Rat Bite are British Crystal malts, more assertive hops, and a higher alcohol point.

Chinook, Centennial and Cascade hops will come together very nicely at just about every stage. I don't have much Centennial, so these additions were reserved for flavor and aroma. Chinook is the foundation of bittering, and gets thrown in at the end too. Cascade is most abundant, and will play a supportive role, especially in the middle 30 & 15 minute additions.

While writing this recipe, I found a beer at the store with similar ingredients. Southern Tier's Unearthly Imperial IPA (11% with Chinook, Cascade & Centennial). I had to give it a try, and it was of their better brews. Strangely though, the website displays a different set of hops. In any event, it was a big IPA with lots of alcohol and full flavored hops. After trying it, I knew I could push the hopping in mine a notch further, and it helped me decide on raising the ABV.

Rat Bite IPA

12. lbs. Organic 2-Row Pale
1.0 lbs. Faucett Crystal 20L
.45 lbs. Faucett Crystal 65L
.75 lbs. Belgian Wheat

1.00 oz. Chinook, 12.9%, whole, 60min
0.75 oz. Cascade, 7.4%, whole, 60min
0.75 oz. Cascade, 7.4%, whole, 30min
1.00 oz. Cascade, 7.4%, whole, 15min
1.25 oz. Cascade, 7.4%, whole, 8min
0.25 oz. Centennial, 9.5%, pellet, 8min
0.25 oz. Chinook, 12.9, whole, 8min
0.75 oz. Cascade, 5.1%, pellet, 0min
0.25 oz. Centennial, 9.5%, pellet, 0min
0.25 oz. Chinook, 12.9, whole, 0min
0.50 oz. Cascade, 5.1%, pellet, Dry
0.50 oz. Centennial, 9.5%, pellet, Dry
0.50 oz. Chinook, 12.9, whole, Dry

Wyeast 1056: American Ale (Collected yeast cake)

Brew Day Stats

Brewed: 6/23/08
Racked: 7/10/08
Bottled: 8/5/08

Water Adjustment:
Strike...1.25 tsp Gypsum, .25 tsp Epsom, .75 tsp Acid Blend
2nd Sparge...1 tsp Gypsum, .25 Epsom, .25 tsp CaCl

H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.25 qt/lb
Mash Ph: 5.4
Sacch. Rest Temp/Time: 72°F/1hr
Mash Out Temp/Time: 168°F/15min
1st Batch SG: 1.058

2nd Batch Sparge Vol/H2OTemp/MashTemp: 2.55gal/182°F/171°F
2nd Batch SG: 1.027

Pre-Boil Vol: 7.25
Pre-Boil SG: 1.051
Boil Time: 75min.
Post-Boil Vol: 5.8gal
Mash Efficiency: 70% perhaps from low 2nd sparge vol.

OG: 1.062
IBU: 85
Color/SRM: Gloaming Gold/9-11
Ferment Temp: 75-80°F

FG: 1.010
ABW: 5.46%
ABV: 6.8%


Erik Huntoon said...

Wow that's a boatload of hops there fella! Sounds like a beer right up my alley, just leave the rats out. :-)

Jason said...

I had Southern Tier's Unearthly Imperial IPA this weekend at the ACBF in Boston and I was very impressed. I'm sure this one is going to come out awesome.


Anonymous said...

Ted, I work for a Newspaper in south eastern Wisconsin - we will be running a homebrewing article in our Food section on 10/27. Our homebrewing photo shoot fell through, so I was wondering if you would be willing to let us use some of your homebrewing photos. You can contact me at

Unknown said...

If you like unearthly, see if you could find their gemini. Amazing. Unbeknownst of this website, I just picked up ingredients to make an IPA with chinook, cascase, and centennial hops. I was planning on dry hopping with an oz of centennial and chinook though. I got some Victory grains instead of wheat though. Other than that, pretty close. I also have an imperial blueberry wheat in tertiary right now. Can't wait for that.