Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hop Blend IPA 2

I don't think I've brewed a better tasting IPA since the Hop Blend IPA in 2007. A lot of well hopped beer since then, but that one had an excellent balance going on, with a super clean bitter bite deep down.

A recent addition to the line-up of hop selection at the LHBS are plugs. Without any experience using plugs, I figured they'd be much fresher by their packaging. After this brewday, I'm convinced! Much fresher, and well worth the price!

The only difference in this repeat is the overall strength. The OG was dropped a few points, and hop bitterness was scaled back a little. The balance in this beer should still be right on.

Substituting half the water for distilled is much more than the first IPA, but I hope it will bring a softness and clean taste. Didn't add too much salts, but enough to provide the beer with needed calcium, sodium and nitrates.

Half this batch will be kegged straight. The other, a dry hopped version with 1.5oz of the 1:1:1 Cascade/Centennial/Amarillo blend. Can't wait to note the differences in hop noses!

Hop Blend IPA 2

17.5 lbs. Organic 2-Row
1.00 lbs. Amer. Crystal 20L
0.50 lbs. UK Crystal 45L
0.50 lbs. UK Crystal 65L
0.75 lbs. Belgian Biscuit
0.42 lbs. Belgian Wheat
0.13 lbs. CaraPils

0.50 oz. Magnum, 14%, pellet, 60+min
0.50 oz. Columbus, 14%, pellet, 60+min
1.25 oz. Centennial, 9.1%, pellet, 60+min
1.50 oz. Hop Blend, 8.7%, plug, 15min
1.50 oz. Hop Blend, 8.7%, plug, 5min
1.50 oz. Hop Blend, 8.7%, plug, KO

Dry Hops half batch/one keg
1.50 oz. Hop Blend, 8.7%, plug, Dry 7 days

Wyeast 1056: American Ale yeast cake

Brew Day Stats

Brewed: 9/7/09 Labor Day
Racked: 9/14/09
Bottled: 9/21/09

Water Adjustment:
Half Volume: Distilled
Strike: 2.8 tsp Gypsum, 3.5 g Epsom, .75 tsp Acid Blend
Fly Sparge: 2 tsp Gypsum, 3 g Epsom, .3 tsp Kosher, .5 tsp Acid Blend

H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.2 qt/lb
Mash Ph: 5.4-5.5
Sacch. Rest Temp/Time: 151°F/60min
Mash Out Temp/Time: n/a
1st Running SG: 1.081

Pre-Boil Vol: 13.5 gallons
Pre-Boil SG: 1.044
Boil Time: 60+min
Post-Boil Vol: shy of 10 gallons
Mash Efficiency: 65%

OG: 1.051
IBU: 61
Color/SRM: Burnt-Copper/8
Ferment Temp: 73°F

FG: 1.013
ABW: 4%
ABV: 5%

1. Half the batch was racked to a keg for secondary. Then pushed out a bunch of yeast before adding priming sugar on 9/21/09.
2. The other half was racked to 5 gal secondary over 1.5 oz. of the hop blend, then kegged 7 days later on 9/21/09.
3. The dry hopped version is bursting with hop flavor and aroma that lingers. Fantastic! The straight half of the batch is kind-of missing hop aroma, but maybe after carbonation, it might be fine.

Tasting Notes

this is it!

Appearance: Pours a beautiful copper/orange, some haze, a one finger head with good retention and a lingering coating of fine bubbles across the entire surface
Aroma: Smooth and light citrus hop scent with slight pine notes, and a little sweet malt aromas come through
Taste: Definitely hop forward with a strong bitterness with a medium hop flavor, then clean malt flavors slide in briefly till the bitterness lingers
Mouthfeel: Light and crisp mouthfeel actually goes well with the brisk bitterness, and full carbonation
Aftertaste: Hop bitterness lingers long with an almost pine/sap-like taste which detracts from the initial cleanliness
Drinkability: A drinkable beer indeed, but a little harsh in bitter flavors, great for the ESB/Bitter beer lover, but probably goes better with a meal
Overall: This is the first American style pale ale I've made that carries a real clean crisp pallet much like many commercial versions I tend to buy. A great success and new benchmark. It's probably from the distilled water and gypsum. So now with this water profile, the BU:GU ratio can come down a bit, especially from the 60min additions

Dry Hopped...even better!

Appearance: Pours a beautiful copper/orange, some haze, a one finger head with good retention and a lingering coating of fine bubbles across the entire surface
Aroma: Assertive citrus hop scent with pine notes, definitely hop forward with a hint of malt notes
Taste: Much more hop flavor/aroma presence in this dry hopped version, sense of high bitterness is tamed by the aroma/taste, some clean malt flavors slide in briefly
Mouthfeel: Soft and velvety mouthfeel may come from water softening
Aftertaste: Hop bitterness does linger, but not as noticeable as the non-dry-hopped version
Drinkability: A drinkable beer indeed, the fry hopping is great, and reminds me of the first brewing of my hop blend IPA
Overall: Dry hopping is really a critical part of home brewing a great hoppy pale ale, in order to get the right aroma more hops is definitely better than less!


travis said...

Big batch huh? Well see ya later. (bad Dumb and Dumber reference) Glad to see you hitting up the larger batches. Where do you get the blended hops?

Ted Danyluk said...

Travis, where do I get the blended hops? I blend them myself. Blending three varieties like this creates a wonderfully citrus/pine flavor that's well-rounded. Blending in all additions is simple, but effective.