Archive for March, 2010

Hop Bursted IPA #2

My first attempt at hop bursting was (for the most part) a success. For those that don’t know what hop bursting is, it’s pretty simple. Usually a brew has a bittering addition right away at the beginning of the boil, and the late additions (near the end) are done for flavor and aroma. Hop bursting instead loads up all of the hop additions in the last half of the boil (In this case, I used 2 oz. at 30, 15, 5, and 0). This give you the same amount of IBUs as if you were doing a bittering addition, but by loading up all of the hopping additions at the end of the boil, it’s also giving you tons of flavor and aroma.

The first hop bursted IPA recipe used a pretty straightforward malt bill, and while it was insanely aromatic and flavorful, it was pretty thin on body, due to mashing pretty low. For this batch, I had to scrape together the malt from three different varieties to get the 14lb of base grain (time to reorder!), and I changed the hops around a little bit to use some of the Citra hops I’ve been wanting to try. The combination of using a lot of Maris Otter (and a touch of Vienna!) and mashing a little higher should give this beer more body. The recipe is on the right.

As with the first batch, this one used 4 two ounce hop additions. For the sake of not losing a ton of wort, I bagged them up, then sanitized my neoprene gloves and squeezed them when the cooling was done. The aroma emanating from these hop bags was intense citrus. My mouth was watering the whole time.

Of course, the obligatory hydrometer shot:

The brew session went well, I was done around 9 PM on Saturday evening. By the morning it was bubbling away, and this morning when I left for work, the bubbling was near constant, and the area smelled amazing. I didn’t need to dry hop the first batch, and I’m excited to seeĀ  how this one turns out.

Last week’s Cascadian Dark ale fermented out in three days! It’s now sitting in the basement with 2.5 ounces of Cascade hops for a little extra flavor and aroma. The sample I tasted was very smooth, but I could definitely taste a little of the roasted malt. It almost came off like a hoppy porter. Still, I can’t wait to try it. I’ll keg it sometime later this week. I had a few pints of the wheat beer, and all that Amarillo is really coming through nicely. I plan on bringing both to homebrew gatherings later this month.

Cascasian Dark Ale (AKA Black IPA)

New recipe posted over on the right! I’ve been reading a lot about Black IPA’s, and when Ed got the Widmer Brothers new W’10 Pitch Black IPA, it cemented the idea of needing to brew one of these myself, just to see if I could. Interesting beer. Dark as night with only a slight flavor of dark malts, yet a significant presence of Cascade hops.I had some free time Friday night, so I decided to come up with the recipe and give this style a shot.

In making a black hoppy ale, I thought it best to take the pound of black malt and add it with 10 minutes left in the mash, so it would extract color, but little of the roasted flavor and aroma. After that addition, I stirred vigorously and waited 10 minutes before vorlauf and draining. The wort was more of a dark brown, so once I collected the first runnings, I ran downstairs and crushed a pound of Carafa III and threw that in the mash tun while the sparge water was doing its thing. After another 10 minutes, I drained that and got the color I wanted. I added an ounce of Cascade (first wort hop) and put it on the flame. Once I hit boil, I added an ounce of Columbus for bittering, and two 2 ounce additions of Cascade at 10 and 5 minutes (in hop bags, so I could squeeze the wort out after chilling with my sanitized brew gloves).My friend Jason came by for a little while to borrow some hops and have a couple of beers while we watched the boil, so that made the time fly. After the boil and cooling, I pitched two packs of Pacman yeast (in waiting until the night before brewing to decide what to brew, I didn’t have time for a starter, and I thought this would be a great yeast for this beer). I hit my numbers wonderfully, and here’s what the hydrometer sample looked like. It tasted very hoppy, and I couldn’t detect and of the flavor that all that dark malt would normally impart.

Two days into fermentation, the violent display of yeast activity is starting to slow, and I think this one will ferment out very quickly. I’ll take gravity reading after a week and then put it in the cool basement to clear up a bit. I want to get this one on gas quickly so it can be enjoyed fresh, and all that Cascade aroma is there. I’m optimistic that it will be a very successful brew.

The Early Spring Wheat is on tap now and it is tasty! Another week and it should be perfect. I also bottled the second batch of stout. It smelled and tasted great, and I’m again very excited for it to be ready!