Yesterday was the brew day for Nick’s brew of choice, a SweetWater IPA clone. Nick is our only southerner and also is the only other member of the apartment who enjoys the hoppy beers, so this seems like the perfect choice to represent him in the roommate line-up of brews. No matter how it changes over time, an IPA will serve as a nice counterpoint to the robust stout and what will likely be a malty or light, zippy beer for Jason.
Browsing around the web for recipes, this is what I came up with for a first go:
- 5.5 lb light DME (mostly added with 15 minutes left in the boil)
- 1.5 lb 2-row pale malt
- 1 lb light Munich malt
- 0.5 lb caramel 40L malt
- 0.5 lb wheat malt
- 1 oz Chinook @ 60 min
- 1 oz US Kent Golding @ 15 min
- 1 oz Simcoe @ 0 min
- 1 oz Simcoe dry hop
- US-05 American ale yeast
The OG was supposed to come out to be between 1.062 and 1.065 depending on my efficiency, and I hit 1.063 after over-diluting by mistake. I mashed as I for forty minutes with 6 quarts of water at about 152 degrees F before heating to about 158 degrees F for the final 20 minutes. I sparged with 2 gallons at 170 degrees F. I took the yeast I just harvested from my Heavy Seas Gold Ale clone out of the fridge and let it sit for about three hours to warm to room temperature before pitching it all (about 2/3 cup estimating by eye – perhaps an overpitch).
I was able to cool the wort in about 40 minutes, attempted a whirlpool again, and let the trub settle for another 20 minutes before racking into the primary. The break matter was still fairly uniformly distributed along the bottom of the kettle after the whirlpool, with only a slight dip near the perimeter. In the future I won’t be bothering with it, although I will continue to siphon the wort down to the trub, and then only use a funnel and screen for the remainder, as this seriously cuts down the time it takes to get the wort into the primary. I topped off the wort to 5 gallons (plus a little extra by accident), which brought it down to about 65 degrees F before the pitch.
Despite the temptation to put my stir plate to use, I decided not to do a starter since the yeast is rather fresh off the cake. I simply made sure to pitch an adequate amount of yeast. What that amount actually may be is hard to estimate, though Mr. Malty and other homebrewers indicate that quarter to a half cup is adequate for a typical gravity (~1.05) beer.
I plan to dry hop once I stop seeing airlock activity and leave it in there for a week before bottling. I’ll be using Simcoe pellets since whole hops were not available, and simply put them in a bag with my Teflon stir bar as a weight before dropping it into the fermenter.
As a special treat to myself, I heated up a pint of water and ran it through the grains after I was done sparging. I collected these “second runnings” into a pot, brought it to a boil, and used it to cook some steel cut oatmeal. The sweetness came out in the finished product as delicate rather than saccharine, and the grains also helped along in flavor. I added fresh strawberries for extra punch and nutrition. Alongside I sampled the coffee stout, which I still hope will improve with some conditioning. Currently it tastes quite foul.
I again saved the spent grains and dried them out for substantially longer (by several hours) than the last batch. I’m hoping the additional drying will lead to more success in my attempts to make flour out of them. I have several recipes in mind that call for spent grain flour that I am really looking forward to trying out in the event that I’m successful this time.