Coffee IPA with Fresh Cascade Hops

coffee-ipa-fresh-hopEthiopian coffee, usually a medium light roast with notes of berries, flowers, wood, and chocolate, has become a favorite of mine.  Here in Seattle, there are several great local roasters who offer delicious and complex varietals from the coffee producing regions of this east African country — Seattle Coffee Works’ Yirgacheffe Wote Konga, Slate’s Guji (Sidama), and my current go-to, Olympia Coffee Roasters’ Banko Natural.  Sharing similar characteristics with hop varietals I enjoy, I’ve long thought that Ethiopian coffee would work wonderfully in beer.

When people think of coffee and beer, they usually assume the coffee will accompany a dark ale, such as a stout or a porter.  However, stemming from our mutual admiration of Fort George Brewing’s (Astoria, OR) Java the Hop coffee IPA — far and away the best example of the style I’ve ever had — Gregory and I have had a coffee IPA in the queue for quite a while.  We finally got around to writing a recipe after the crunch to brew our Willamette and Centennial Fresh Hop IPAs, only to find that the hops we chose to compliment our choice of Olympia Coffee Roasters’ Banko Natural were not available.

On the fly, we improvised a new hopping schedule that would utilize some of the next-generation hops of German descent that we have been tasting in some great new local brews.  Figuring we had the recipe set, the next improvisation occurred the night before brewday when a friend offered us over 20 oz. of fresh Cascade hops.  We tweaked the recipe once more and came up with our substitute coffee IPA.  We’ll eventually brew our original vision, but for now you can find our recipe, process, and tasting notes for this version below:

Coffee IPA with Fresh Cascade Hops

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 12.50
Anticipated OG: 1.063
Anticipated SRM: 5.0
Anticipated IBU: 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain

48.00% — 6.00 Lbs. US 2-Row
32.00% — 4.00 Lbs. Maris Otter Pale
08.00% — 1.00 Lbs. Wheat Malt
08.00% — 1.00 Lbs. Flaked Oats
04.00% — 0.50 Lbs. Honey Malt

Hops

5.00 oz. Cascade (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 60 min. (First Wort)
0.50 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 13.8% AA) @ 60 min. (First Wort)
0.20 oz. Columbus (Pellet, 16.0% AA) @ 60 min.
0.10 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 13.8% AA) @ 60 min.
1.00 oz. Hüll Melon (Pellet, 5.2% AA) @ 10 min.
6.00 oz. Cascade (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 5 min.
1.00 oz. Hallertau Blanc (Pellet, 8.8% AA) @ 5 min.
10.55 oz. Cascade (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Calypso (Pellet, 13.0% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Hüll Melon (Pellet, 5.2% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Hallertau Blanc (Pellet, 8.8% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Hallertau Blanc (Pellet, 8.8% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Simcoe (Pellet, 13.0% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Hüll Melon (Pellet, 5.2% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Calypso (Pellet, 13.0% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 13.8% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
2.00 oz. Whole and coarse-cracked Ethiopian coffee beans @ 3 days secondary

Yeast

Imperial A01 — House Yeast

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50 g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 90 min @ 150F

Notes

09.14.16 — Made a 1L starter of A01 House Yeast

Brewed on 09.15.16 with Gregory

09.15.16 — Chilled wort to 76F and pitched the starter after 20 minute hop stand with 2 minute whirlpool

09.16.16 — Signs of moderate fermentation activity 10 hrs after pitch

09.16.16 — Vigorous fermentation 21 hrs after pitch

09.23.16 — Transferred to secondary and added all of the dry hops

09.25.16 — Added the 2 oz. of coffee beans from Olympia Roasters

09.28.16 — Kegged the entire batch and began force carbonating at 10 PSI

Tasting Notes — 10. 17.16 (poured off tap)

Well clarified yellow-orange color with a brief headstand which laces thin.  Coffee aromas of chocolate covered strawberries, brandy, and cedar; underlying hop aromas of pear and mango, with unspecified floral notes.  Beginning- and mid-palate are extremely well balanced: Sweet-lush brandy and wood notes from the coffee meld with floral-peppery flavors from the hops.  Juicy notes of orchard pears and their stems emerge and meet hints of pineapple, citrus (lemon and bitter orange), and berries.  Finishes off-dry with a lingering pepper and pine bitterness and the suggestion of booze.

Calculated OG: 1.056
Calculated FG: 1.010
Approx. ABV: 6.0%

Homegrown Fresh Hop IPA (2016)

hops-2016

This past harvest, my Willamette and Centennial hop plants yielded about five pounds of fresh cones.  Gregory and I brewed two fresh hop IPAs on the same day — one with more Willamette hops and a blend of clean yeasts I made, the other with about equal amounts of the two hop varietals and Fermentis US-05 yeast.

As I anticipated in last year’s fresh hop post, I opted to use packaged hops for the bittering and dry hop additions, using the fresh hops where their qualities make the most impact — the late-boil flavor and aroma additions.  This method returned much better results, with none of the overly vegetal and grassy notes witnessed in last year’s 100% fresh hop ale.

Though both beers turned out well, to my surprise, I prefer the IPA that is more heavily hopped with Willamette.  Since the two beers are so similar, I’m going to post the recipe and tasting notes for my preferred version.  In addition to these homegrown brews, we produced one more fresh hop IPA (of a very different kind), which I will detail later.  Until then, find the recipe and tasting notes below:

fh-boil-2016Homegrown Fresh Hop IPA (2016)

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 13.00
Anticipated OG: 1.065
Anticipated SRM: 4.0
Anticipated IBU: 40
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 75 Minutes

Grain

46.15% — 6.00 Lbs. US 2-Row
23.08% — 3.00 Lbs. Maris Otter Pale
15.38% — 2.00 Lbs. Wheat Malt
07.69% — 1.00 Lbs. Flaked Rye
07.69% — 1.00 Lbs. Golden Naked Oats

Hops

1.25 oz. Willamette (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 75 min. (First Wort)
0.25 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 7.6% AA) @ 75 min. (First Wort)
0.25 oz. Willamette (Pellet, 4.1% AA) @ 75 min. (First Wort)
0.35 oz. Columbus (Pellet, 16.0% AA) @ 60 min.
6.00 oz. Willamette (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 15 min.
8.00 oz. Willamette (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 5 min.
25.00 oz. Willamette (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 0 min.
2.00 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 7.6% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
2.00 oz. Willamette (Pellet, 4.1% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.

Yeast

Imperial A09 — Pub Yeast
Imperial A20 — Citrus Yeast

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50 g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 90 min @ 152F

Notes

08.24.16 — Made a 1L starter from rinsed #1 Summer Jam slurry

Brewed on 08.25.16 with Gregory

08.25.16 — Chilled wort to 80F and pitched the slurry after 20 minute hop stand with 2 minute whirlpool

08.26.16 — Signs of vigorous fermentation activity 9 hrs after pitch

08.30.16 — Added half of the dry hops to primary

09.02.16 — Transferred to secondary and added the rest of the dry hops

09.07.16 — Kegged the entire batch and began force carbonating at 10 PSI

willamette-fh-2016Tasting Notes — 09. 29.16 (poured off tap)

Slightly hazy pale yellow-straw color with a moderate white head which laces thin.  Floral notes on the nose reminiscent of wisteria, lemon balm, and green tea.  Flavors follow the nose with an additional note of honeysuckle mid-palate.  The Centennials offer some hints of citrusy lemon pith and a firm, round bitterness akin to pine needles.  Refreshing finish that ends dry with a lingering bitterness.

Calculated OG: 1.050
Calculated FG: 1.010
Approx. ABV: 5.2%

No More Hops in My Freezer — Farmhouse IPA

NMH IPA 02Time flies (especially during the summer), and beers you mean to brew get pushed back in the queue as, say, your homegrown hops ready to harvest early; you brew a special beer on your birthday; or you realize your kegerator has run dry and you need a daily sipper — stat!  It turns out all of these scenarios occurred this summer, but it’s the final example that prompted Gregory and I to brew this beer.

When you brew with another person, it’s easier to keep beer in the pipeline because you brew more often to  keep two homes stocked with draft beer.  Gregory and I encountered the peculiar (and terrifying) realization that both of our kegerators were dry, so we fast-tracked this beer after I brewed the #1 Summer Jam IPA so that Gregory would have draft beer to enjoy at home*.

Gregory had some hops that needed to be used so he went about creating this recipe.  You could call it a hoppy saison, but we prefer to call it a farmhouse IPA because it’s closer in spirit to those bucolic beers of Belgium and France.  As Phil Markowski states in an article for All About Beer, “Pretend you are a 19th-century farmer/brewer getting ready to make one of several batches of ale you produce each year. What will you brew with? You had a bumper crop of wheat so you trade a neighbor for some barley to blend with your wheat and rye. Your hop crop wasn’t great so you might substitute some evergreen boughs, juniper berries and seeds from your recently bolted coriander plants. The point is that you improvise; you brew with what is at hand.”

And that we did (and it turned out delicious).  Below you will find our recipe and tasting notes.  The experimental pine fruit hop we used is now marketed as Eureka.  Happy brewing!

* Turns out this beer went on at my place directly after the #1 Summer Jam IPA because Gregory had some beer he brewed leftover from a friend’s wedding, and that needed to be imbibed.

No More Hops in My Freezer — Farmhouse IPA

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 13.00
Anticipated OG: 1.066
Anticipated SRM: 7.0
Anticipated IBU: 44
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain

46.15% — 6.00 Lbs. 2-Row
38.46% — 5.00 Lbs. Red Wheat
07.69% — 1.00 Lbs. Honey Malt
07.69% — 1.00 Lbs. Caramel Vienne 20L

Hops

0.50 oz. Exp. Pine Fruit (Pellet, 14.0% AA) @ 60 min. (First Wort)
0.50 oz. Columbus (Pellet, 15.0% AA) @ 60 min.
1.00 oz. Ahtanum (Pellet, 4.6% AA) @ 05 min.
1.50 oz. Exp. Pine Fruit (Pellet, 14.0% AA) @ 0 min.
1.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.7% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Sorachi Ace (Pellet, 9.1% AA) @ 0 min.
1.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.7% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Sorachi Ace (Pellet, 9.1% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Nelson Sauvin (Pellet, 12.5% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Ahtanum (Pellet, 4.6% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.

Yeast

White Labs WLP568 — Belgian Saison Yeast Blend (from slurry)

Water Profile

Seattle
2.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single infusion – 60 min @ 150F
Mash out — 20 min @ 170F

Notes

07.26.16 — Made a starter of yeast from Fir Tip Saison slurry

Brewed on 07.27.16 with Gregory

07.27.16 — 20 minute hop stand after flame out with 2 minute whirlpool

07.27.16 — Chilled to 80F and pitched yeast slurry

07.27.16 — Fermentation activity 9 hrs after pitch, brewbelt broken, put it onto secondary brewbelt

07.28.16 — Vigorous fermentation 20 hours after pitch

08.02.16 — Removed brewbelt

08.08.16 — Transferred into secondary and added dry hops

08.12.16 — Kegged entire batch and began force carbonating

NMH IPA 01Tasting Notes — 09.01.16 (poured off tap)

Hazy orange-gold color with billowy white headstand and thick lace.  Lush aromas of guava, strawberry, cedar, lemon, and grapefruit.  Underlying hint of rose-like esters and peppery geranium-like phenolics from the Belgian saison yeast — taken together the bouquet reminds me of white wine sangria.  Nuanced palate with flavors that follow the nose, some notes of pear and pineapple appear in the middle.  Long drying finish on the bitter side with a suggestion of black pepper, and a residual tropical-juicy sweetness.

Calculated OG: 1.054
Calculated FG: 1.005
Approx. ABV: 6.4%

#1 Summer Jam IPA

#1 Summer Jam IPALately Gregory and I have been honing recipes for a few different “house” IPAs.  I recently wrote a New Zealand/Australian hop-heavy session IPA recipe for the spruce tips Gregory and I foraged this past spring.  We liked the resulting beer so Gregory tweaked the recipe and brewed a version of it for the wedding of a friend.  I tried that version and liked it as well, but I decided to go back to the grain bill of the original recipe for inspiration, and make a third, PNW hop-forward beer.

I wanted to create a beer of “normal” strength that showcases the intense tropical, floral, and citrus notes of the new classic American hop varietals while remaining smooth, crisp and quaffable.  I stuck to a grain bill of pale malts with a touch of flaked oats for a silky mouthfeel and appreciable body, and rye to provide head retention and subtle grainy-spicy complexity.

I’ve also been looking forward to experimenting with blending different clean yeasts to create a more complex and flavorful ester profile, so I used two different saccharomyces strains in this brew.  I wanted to use Imperial’s A24 Dry Hop yeast, but the homebrew store was out so I opted for their A20 Citrus strain.  I pitched this first and then pitched a starter of yeast slurry 33 hours into primary from the wedding IPA — which utilized Imperial’s English A09 Pub yeast strain.

The resulting beer turned out great and the methods used to create it highlight our continual striving to craft better and better beer.  Unfortunately, I bumped the keg shortly before the photo was taken, so some hop particles were stirred up (I would have waited and taken another photo, but the beer was already almost gone)!

Below is the recipe and process that we used, as well as tasting notes:

#1 Summer Jam IPA

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 13.00
Anticipated OG: 1.065
Anticipated SRM: 4.0
Anticipated IBU: 58
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 75 Minutes

Grain

46.15% — 6.00 Lbs. 2-Row
23.08% — 3.00 Lbs. Maris Otter
15.38% — 2.00 Lbs. White Wheat
07.69% — 1.00 Lbs. Golden Naked Oats
07.69% — 1.00 Lbs. Flaked Rye

Hops

0.25 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 75 min. (First Wort)
0.25 oz. Sorachi Ace (Pellet, 9.1% AA) @ 75 min. (First Wort)
0.25 oz. Citra (Pellet, 14.1% AA) @ 75 min. (First Wort)
0.50 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 60 min.
0.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 14.1% AA) @ 15 min.
0.25 oz. HBC 438 (Pellet, 16.6% AA) @ 15 min.
0.75 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 05 min.
0.75 oz. Citra (Pellet, 14.1% AA) @ 05 min.
1.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 14.1% AA) @ 0 min.
1.50 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 7.6% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. HBC 438 (Pellet, 16.6% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 7.6% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Citra (Pellet, 14.1% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
0.75 oz. HBC 438 (Pellet, 16.6% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
0.75 oz. Sorachi Ace (Pellet, 9.1% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.

Yeast

Imperial A20 Citrus
Imperial A09 Pub (Slurry)

Water Profile

Seattle
2.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single infusion – 60 min @ 153F
Mash out — 20 min @ 170F

Notes

07.20.16 — Made a starter of A09 Pub yeast from slurry

Brewed on 07.20.16

07.20.16 — 20 minute hop stand after flame out with 2 minute whirlpool

07.20.16 — Chilled to 72F and pitched can of A20 Citrus

07.20.16 — Signs of light fermentation 9 hours after pitch

07.21.16 — Vigorous fermentation 18 hours after pitch

07.22.16 — Added A09 Pub yeast slurry 33 hours after initial pitch

07.23.16 — Added half of the dry hops in primary in PM

07.31.16 — Transferred into secondary with remainder of dry hops

08.04.16 — Kegged entire batch and began force carbonating @ 30 PSI for 40 hours

08.06.16 — Purged CO2 and set at serving PSI

Tasting Notes — 08.16.16 (poured off tap)

Hazy yellow-orange with a moderate white head stand which laces nicely.  Aromas of pineapple with a spicy-herbal/tropical note reminiscent of mango salsa, hints of lime and dill.  Herbal and fruity flavors dominate the palate with notes of grapefruit and orange as well as pineapple, cedar and pine.  Body is lush and juicy, but crisp and finishes with a dry and resinous spicy-floral bitterness.

Calculated OG: 1.065
Calculated FG: 1.008
Approx. ABV: 7.5%

PAPA SLUDGE! American Double India Pale Ale

PAPA SLUDGE!Shortly after we brewed our HOP SLUDGE! IPA, Gregory and I opted to brew our first collaborative Double IPA.  We wanted to make something big in body and ABV and bold in flavor while retaining an easy drinkability.  In order to do so we mashed at 150F, stuck to a simple malt bill, and added some corn sugar to the boil.

We also wanted to use a newer American hop varietal in tandem with some of our favorites, so we went heavy on Azacca hops and we’re happy with the results!  Recipe and tasting notes below:

PAPA SLUDGE! American Double IPA

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 16.50
Anticipated OG: 1.091
Anticipated SRM: 5.0
Anticipated IBU: 91
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

85.71% — 15.00 Lbs. 2-Row Pale
05.71% — 1.00 Lbs. Munich Light
02.86% — 0.50 Lbs. Honey Malt

Hops

0.75 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 15.3% AA) @ 90 min. (first wort)
1.00 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 15.3% AA) @ 30 min.
1.50 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 9.0% AA) @ 15 min.
1.50 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 8.8% AA) @ 15 min.
1.00 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 15.3% AA) @ 01 min.
1.00 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 9.0% AA) @ 01 min.
1.50 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 8.8% AA) @ 0 min.
1.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.7% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 15.3% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 9.0% AA) @ 0 min.
0.50 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 15.3% AA) @ 3 days (dry hop)
0.50 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 9.0% AA) @ 3 days (dry hop)
1.00 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.7% AA) @ 3 days (dry hop)
1.40 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 8.8% AA) @ 3 days (dry hop)
0.50 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 9.0% AA) @ 5 days (dry hop)
0.50 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 15.3% AA) @ 5 days (dry hop)
1.00 Amarillo (Pellet, 8.8% AA) @ 5 days (dry hop)
1.00 Citra (Pellet, 13.7% AA) @ 5 days (dry hop)

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 Lb. Dextrose (corn sugar) @ 90 min.

Yeast

Imperial Organic A18 Joystick (Pacman Yeast)

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50 g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 90 min @ 150F

Notes

11.16.15 — Made yeast starter

Brewed on 11.18.15 with Gregory

11.18.15 — Chilled wort to 60F and pitched the starter

11.19.15 — Signs of vigorous fermentation activity

11.24.15 — After six days of primary, as fermentation began to slow visibly, we added half of our dry hop addition for a 3 day dry hop

11.27.15 — Transferred to secondary after 10 day primary and added the rest of our hops for an additional 5 day dry hop

12.02.15 — Kegged and began force carbonating the beer

12.09.15 — Took the first pull from the keg after a week, still quite cloudy but tasting good

Tasting Notes (poured off tap 12.22.15) 

Clear with a deep orange color, moderate head stand, and clingy lacing.  Massive juicy fruit notes of satsuma oranges, ripe mango and pineapple on the nose with underlying hints of pine and spicy alcohol.  Intense and full-bodied on the palate with the fruit melding with a hint of sweet maltiness.  Spicy-herbal notes of Sweet Woodruff arrive in the middle and dissolve into a dry finish full of sticky pine resin and booze.

Calculated OG: 1.091
Calculated FG: 1.015
Approx. ABV: 10.0%

HOP SLUDGE! American India Pale Ale

HOP SLUDGE! In A GlassIn May 2015, Gregory and I entered three different IPAs into the Greater Everett Brewers League (GEBL) IPA Bracket Challenge.  We brewed an English style IPA, an American style IPA and an American style rye IPA (this last with Johnny Bus Tickets).  Sadly, none of these beers placed in the competition (although the rye IPA was bumped out of its bracket in the last heat).

When we got our score sheets back from the judges, we noticed that each stated they thought our American IPA (which is a recipe we’ve been tweaking since Gregory first brewed it for a friend’s wedding) was a great example of an XPA (extra, or hoppy, pale ale); what they wanted was more bitterness.  So we went back to the drawing board, made some adjustments, added more hops to our bittering additions, and thus HOP SLUDGE! was born.

HOP SLUDGE! 02We jokingly named the beer while we were brewing it because the massive amounts of late addition hops created a sludge of hop particulate in the kettle, and subsequently took up about a fifth of the space in our carboy.  The beer crystallized the name itself when fermentation took off so quickly and aggressively that the rubber stopper and blow-off tube were shot out of the carboy and delicious, tropical-smelling wort metamorphosing into beer was showered across the basement floor.  Luckily I caught the problem shortly after fermentation started and was able to get everything cleaned, re-sanitised and proper before any bacteria could settle in.

HOP SLUDGE! 01I’m convinced this is the finest IPA we’ve made yet, but we’re already thinking of changes that can be made and new recipes entirely.  See our recipe and tasting notes below:

HOP SLUDGE! American IPA

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 13.50
Anticipated OG: 1.067
Anticipated SRM: 8.0
Anticipated IBU: 67
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

81.48% — 11.00 Lbs. Great Western Full-Pint 2Row
07.41% — 1.00 Lbs. Carapils
07.41% — 1.00 Lbs. Crystal 40L
03.07% — 0.50 Lbs. Honey Malt

Hops

0.75 oz. Chinook (Pellet, 12.0% AA) @ 90 min. (first wort)
0.40 oz. Chinook (Pellet, 12.0% AA) @ 60 min.
0.75 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 8.8% AA) @ 15 min.
0.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.7% AA) @ 10 min.
1.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 8.8% AA) @ 5 min.
1.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 8.8% AA) @ 1 min.
1.00 oz. Chinook (Pellet, 12.0% AA) @ 1 min.
1.00 oz. Equinox (Pellet, 15.0% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 8.8% AA) @ 0 min.
2.00 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.7% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. El Dorado (Pellet, 16.0% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.7% AA) @ 6 days (dry hop)
0.50 oz. Equinox (Pellet, 15.0% AA) @ 6 days (dry hop)
0.50 oz. El Dorado (Pellet, 16.0% AA) @ 6 days (dry hop)
1.00 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.7% AA) @ 5 days (dry hop)
0.50 oz. El Dorado (Pellet, 16.0% AA) @ 5 days (dry hop)
0.50 oz. Equinox (Pellet, 15.0% AA) @ 5 days (dry hop)

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.

Yeast

Imperial A01 House Yeast

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50 g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 90 min @ 150F

Notes

Brewed on 11.05.15 with Gregory

11.05.15 — Chilled wort to 60F and pitched the ale yeast (no starter as ran out of time before brew day)

11.06.15 — Signs of vigorous fermentation activity (see description above)

11.09.15 — After four days of primary, as fermentation began to slow visibly, we added half of our dry hop addition for a 6 day dry hop

11.15.15 — Transferred to secondary after 10 day primary and added the rest of our hops for an additional 5 day dry hop

11.20.15 — Kegged and began force carbonating the beer

11.27.15 — Took the first pull from the keg after a week, still quite cloudy but tasting good

HOP SLUDGE! 03Tasting Notes — 12.14.15 (poured off tap)

Although much clearer than the first pull from the keg, it has remained a little hazy (probably due to the amount of late addition and dry hops we added without filtering afterwards).  Intense tropical fruitiness on the nose, bringing papaya and mango to mind, with notes of lush pink grapefruit, some honeyed malt sweetness, and a hint of resinous evergreen akin to fir or pine.  The palate follows the nose, but the tropical notes are more muted at first, allowing the Chinook’s earthy spiciness to shine through.  The resin and evergreen hit the sides of the tongue toward the finish and a crescendo of fruitiness briefly re-emerges right before the substantial herbal-spicy bitterness takes hold for a dry, lingering finale.

Calculated OG: 1.067
Calculated FG: 1.016
Approx. ABV: 6.7%

The Return of the Rain — 100% Homegrown Fresh Hop Ale

Hops 2015 02

Return of the Rain 03Thus far, it has been the most productive year for my homegrown Centennial and Willamette hops.  The bines grew up to the second floor window and then I trained them to move outwards horizontally, yielding 2.77 pounds total.  I was able to make my first 100% fresh hop ale using all of these hops in a single brew.  Since I brewed it during the week that saw the most precipitation in Seattle since April, I decided to call it The Return of The Rain Fresh Hop Ale.

Fresh Hops Second 03If this recipe had been brewed with regular hop pellets or whole leaf hops, it would have resulted in an extremely bitter (probably unpleasantly so) IPA.  I contemplated using prepared hops for my bittering addition as some brewers do to save the fresh hops for the latter flavor and aroma additions, but I had enough space in my kettle (and enough hops in general) to double up my usual bittering amount — so I opted to use all fresh hops.  The resulting beer is hop forward with a restrained bitterness and a decidedly dry finish.

Hops 2015 01When the beer was young it had a very interesting and not unpleasant umami-like note reminiscent of roasted peanuts; after conditioning in the keg for three weeks this “green” note transitioned into the more immediately recognizable herbal/spicy characteristics associated with Willamette hops.  This beer also displays incredible clarity akin to that of a lager (I couldn’t quite capture this in the photo above due to the condensation on the glass).  Though I like this beer, I’ll probably use packaged hops for the bittering and dry-hop additions in my next fresh hop ale.  See the recipe and tasting notes below:

The Return of the Rain Fresh Hop Ale

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 9.80
Anticipated OG: 1.054
Anticipated SRM: 3.0
Anticipated IBU: N/A
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

61.22% — 6.00 Lbs. US 2-Row
15.31% — 1.50 Lbs. Golden Promise
10.20% — 1.00 Lbs. Carapils
10.20% — 1.00 Lbs. Rye Malt
03.06% — 0.30 Lbs. Acidulated Malt

Hops

2.00 oz. Centennial (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 60 min.
1.00 oz. Centennial (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 45 min.
1.00 oz. Centennial (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 30 min.
3.00 oz. Centennial (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 15 min.
6.00 oz. Centennial (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 10 min.
9.00 oz. Centennial (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 5 min.
4.00 oz. Willamette (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 5 min.
7.00 oz. Centennial (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 0 min.
4.00 oz. Willamette (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 0 min.
4.00 oz. Centennial (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 5 days (dry-hop).
3.40 oz. Willamette (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 5 days (dry-hop).

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.

Yeast

Whitelabs WLP051 – California V Ale Yeast

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50 g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 100 min @ 152F

Notes

08.29.15 — Made a 1L starter with 1 Whitelabs WLP051 vial.  Brewtoad suggests 187 billion cells to ferment 5.0 gal.  Cold crashed and decanted morning of brew day.

Brewed on 08.31.15

08.31.15 — Chilled wort to 65F and pitched the California V Ale yeast

09.02.15 — Signs of vigorous fermentation activity

09.07.15 — Transferred into secondary after 7 day primary fermentation, added the dry-hop additions which were also fresh hops kept cold and covered in the refrigerator since picking them on the morning of 08.31.15

09.12.15 — Kegged the beer and began force carbonating

Return of the Rain 04Tasting Notes — 10. 20.15 (poured off tap)

As stated, this beer is crystal clear now that it has had time to condition in the keg.  Big herbal/spicy notes on the nose reminiscent of forest, earth and flowers with just a hint of that earthy peanut-like aroma.  The palate follows the nose but the Centennials offer some hints of citrusy lemon pith and a firm but round bitterness akin to, but not exactly like, chewing on pine needles and Nasturtium flower petals.  There are also some grassy notes on the back end.   Quick, refreshing finish that ends dry.

Calculated OG: 1.044
Calculated FG: 1.007
Approx. ABV: 4.8%

Altar of Light Summer Ale

Altar of LightI wanted to brew something light and refreshing for the long hot summer we’ve been experiencing here in Seattle, and I wanted to brew it on the longest day of the year: summer solstice.  Attempting to make something similar to Boulevard Brewing’s Ginger Lemon Radler without actually blending a beer with soda, I decided to add lemon flesh, lemon zest, coriander, and fresh ginger to an otherwise basic American wheat ale recipe I wrote.  I was originally going to sour it with wild bacteria that I’ve been culturing, but decided I would make a clean version first and sour a second batch if I liked the resulting beer.

Conflicts in scheduling presented themselves so I ended up missing the solstice by a day and brewed it on 22 June 2015.  The beer turned out well but I have some tweaks in mind for a future version, namely, less lemon zest, more ginger, and perhaps the addition of fresh lemon juice in secondary.

Altar of Light Summer Ale

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 11.10
Anticipated OG: 1.056
Anticipated SRM: 5.0
Anticipated IBU: 26.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain

36% — 4.00 Lbs. US 2-Row
34% — 3.80 Lbs. Wheat Malt
09% — 1.00 Lbs. Carapils
09% — 1.00 Lbs. Honey Malt
07% — 0.80 Lbs. White Wheat
4.5% — 0.50 Lbs. Flaked Wheat

Hops

1.00 oz. Mount Hood (Pellet, 6.5% AA) @ 45 min.
1.00 oz. Cascade (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 10 min.
1.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 9.3% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 15.0% AA) @ 5 days (dry hop).

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
0.50 each Lemon Flesh @ 5 min.
1.00 tbs Coriander Seed @ 5 min.
0.85 oz. Lemon Zest @ 5 min.
1.35 oz. Lemon Zest @ 5 days (secondary).
2.00 oz. Fresh Ginger Tea @ 5 days (secondary).
1.00 oz. Fresh Ginger Root @ 5 days (secondary).

Yeast

Wyeast 1010 – American Wheat

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50 g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 90 min @ 153F

Notes

06.20.15 — Made a 1L starter with 1 Wyeast 1010 packet.  Brewtoad suggests 215 billion cells to ferment 5.5 gal.  Cold crashed and decanted morning of brew day.

Brewed on 06.22.15

06.22.15 — Chilled wort to 65F and pitched the American Wheat yeast

06.24.15 — Signs of vigorous fermentation activity

07.02.15 — Transferred into secondary after 10 day primary fermentation, added 2.00 oz. fresh ginger as a tea and 1.00 oz. chopped fresh ginger root

07.07.15 — Kegged most of batch and began carbonating; bottled 1 gallon with 1.20 oz. corn sugar for 3.5 volumes of CO2

Tasting Notes — 09. 06.15 (poured off tap)

I didn’t use any Whirfloc with this beer to maintain the classic cloudiness that wheat beer is renowned for.  Generous white fluffy head.  The lemon zest dominates the nose with light floral notes from the coriander melding nicely with the tropical and citrus, mango-like Azacca aromatics.  Subtle hints of ginger spice are present as well.  Palate follows the nose but I don’t get much ginger out of the beer.  Body is crisp and dry but not overly thin.  Lemon and wheat acidity linger on a long dry finish that has a wonderfully balanced bitterness.  If I let this beer sit on my tongue and warm in my mouth I get more of the lush lemon juice quality I want this beer to present (hence my idea to add some lemon juice in secondary in an attempt to capture that sensation).  Good summer beer.

Calculated OG: 1.047
Calculated FG: 1.004
Approx. ABV: 5.6%

Spruce Springsteen — Spruce Tip Session Ale

Spruce TipsFor this beer I again enlisted the help of Eric The Barter (who may also be referred to as Eric The Forager) to scare up some fresh Pacific Northwest spruce tips.  Not only did he come through for this beer, but Eric found enough spruce for Gregory and I to brew a second spruce tip beer in the near future (we intend to make the second one without any hops).

For this beer though, I decided on a light pale ale frame with some flaked oats for body and some crystal 120 for color adjustment.  I decided to focus on Simcoe hops late in the boil and as a dry-hop for their notes of pine, citrus, and earth, which satisfyingly compliments the spruce.

According to Brewtoad I should have hit a target original gravity of 1.053 for a beer of about 5.0% ABV; however, I only hit 1.034 and finished with a beer of about 4.1% ABV.  This isn’t the first time I’ve missed my gravity using Brewtoad’s estimates for recipes with flaked grains; I think they might anticipate more fermentables from these types of grains than what is actually produced because I usually hit or overshoot my gravities otherwise.  That being the case, I now have a delicious session ale with spruce tips!

Spruce Springsteen — Spruce Tip Session Ale

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 10.50
Anticipated OG: 1.053
Anticipated SRM: 8.0
Anticipated IBU: 32.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

80% – 8.50 Lbs. American 2-Row Pale Ale
09% – 1.00 Lb. White Wheat
04% – 0.50 Lbs. Flaked Oats
04% – 0.50 Lbs. Crystal 120L

Hops

0.50 oz. Chinook (Pellet, 12.0% AA) @ 90 min (first wort).
0.50 oz. Chinook (Pellet, 12.0% AA) @ 20 min.
1.00 oz. Simcoe (Pellet, 13.0% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Simcoe (Pellet, 13.0% AA) @ 5 days (dry hop).

Extras

1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
6.00 oz. Spruce Tips @ 15 min.
2.00 oz. Spruce Tips @ 5 days (dry hop).

Yeast

White Labs WLP051 – California V Ale Yeast

Water Profile

Seattle
0.20 tsp Calcium Chloride
0.30 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 60 min @ 153F

Notes

04.21.15 — Late starter made night before brewday without sufficient time to culture up

Brewed on 04.22.15

04.22.15 — Chilled wort to 60F and pitched the California V Ale Yeast

04.25.15 — Signs of moderate fermentation activity

05.03.15 — Transferred to secondary and added dry-hops and 2.00 oz. spruce tips

05.08.15 — Kegged the beer and began force carbonating

Lavender Spruce SpringsteenTasting Notes

This beer turned out great; light and crisp with body enough to seem a bit stronger ABV-wise.  The earthy, fruity spruce melds perfectly with the delicious Simcoe hops.  I’d make this one again.

Calculated OG: 1.034
Calculated FG: 1.003
Approx. ABV: 4.1%

100% Brettanomyces IPA

Brett IPAWhat do you do if you have an abundance of hops to use up and wish to make something a little more interesting than a standard IPA?  Craft a 100% Brett. IPA of course.

This brew follows a basic IPA recipe but utilizes some acidulated malt which drops the PH slightly and helps the Brett. along during fermentation.  We loaded this brew up with generous additions of Centennial, Columbus, Chinook, and Ahtanum hops for their wonderful floral and citrus notes as well as some herbal and piney undertones.

We originally pitched only Brett. Brux. Trois but had poor initial fermentation even though we had made a pretty hefty starter so we added a vial of Brett. Claussenii and fermentation picked up noticeably.  We think this will turn out to be a happy accident as (if all goes well) the Brett. C. will contribute more fruity aromatics to compliment the dry-hopping while the more aggressive Brett. Brux. Trois should add a mellow tartness and some fruity funk.  All was tasting on point at the time of transfer to secondary.

100% Brettanomyces IPA Variant 01

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 13.25
Anticipated OG: 1.065
Anticipated SRM: 7.0
Anticipated IBU: 45.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

75% – 10.0 Lbs. U.S. 2-Row Pale
07% – 1.0 Lbs. Carapils
07% – 1.0 Lbs. Acidulated Malt
05% – .75 Lbs. Crystal 40L
03% – .50 Lbs. Honey Malt

Hops

0.50 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 10.5% AA) @ 90 min.
0.20 0z. Columbus (Pellet, 15.0% AA) @ 60 min.
0.40 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 10.5% AA) @ 15 min.
0.50 0z. Columbus (Pellet, 15.0% AA) @ 10 min.
0.50 0z. Ahtanum (Pellet, 6.0% AA) @ 10 min.
0.25 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 10.5% AA) @ 05 min.
0.50 0z. Ahtanum (Pellet, 6.0% AA) @ 01 min.
0.50 oz. Chinook (Pellet, 12.0% AA) @ 01 min.
1.00 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 10.5% AA) @ 0 min.
0.50 0z. Ahtanum (Pellet, 6.0% AA) @ 0 min.
0.50 oz. Chinook (Pellet, 12.0% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Chinook (Pellet, 12.0% AA) @ 5 days dry hop
1.00 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 10.5% AA) @ 5 days dry hop
0.50 0z. Columbus (Pellet, 15.0% AA) @ 5 days dry hop
0.50 0z. Ahtanum (Pellet, 6.0% AA) @ 5 days dry hop

Extras

1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.

Yeast

White Labs WLP644 Brettanomyces Bruxellensis Trois
White Labs WLP645 Brettanomyces Claussenii

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 tsp Calcium Chloride
1.00 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 75 min @ 155F

Notes

All late hop additions of “Centennial” are a 60%/40% Centennial/Columbus blend from Fremont Brewing.

10.15.14 – Made a stir-plate 2L starter with 1 White Labs WLP644 vial.  Fed it for two weeks to build cell count but never saw much activity.

Brewed 10.29.14 with Gregory

10.29.14 – Chilled wort to 70F before pitching yeast starter.

11.03.14 –  After 5 days without much activity, we pitched a vial of White Labs WLP645 with temperature holding steady at 65-68F.

11.20.14 – Transferred to secondary fermentor after 17 day primary fermentation with noticeable uptick in activity after the addition of the Claussenii.

Currently planning to let it condition for 27 days with the addition of the dry hops 5 days before kegging.

12.12.14 – Added dry hop additions.

12.17.14 – Kegged IPA with additional dry hops and carbonated and tasted it shortly thereafter.

Tasting Notes

This beer did not turn out.  Unfortunately it presents extremely grassy vegetal notes and a bracing, unpleasant bitterness.  We’ve brewed 100% Brett. IPAs before, so in our troubleshooting we have ruled out the usual suspects (old or bad ingredients, missed targets, wrong fermentation temp., uncleanliness & poor sanitation).  We were initially convinced that is was due to the stalled primary fermentation, however, when we transferred the beer to secondary it was tasting fine.  We now believe we simply had too many hop additions and the dryness that Brett. imparts accentuated the apparent bitterness.  This is our best guess even though the beer only clocks in with approximately 45 IBUs and a ratio of 0.71 IBU/OG, which is fairly low on the range of the IPA scale.  Next time we’ll stick to a simpler hop profile.  If anyone can come up with something we didn’t think of, leave a comment!

Calculated OG: 1.066
Calculated FG: 1.012
Approx. ABV: 7.1%