New Spruce Experience

This is a pretty straight forward, Azacca heavy, hoppy pale that I added foraged spruce tips to post-boil.  The hops schedule resembles those of my recent “juice”, or New England, or hazy pales/IPAs, but the grain bill forgoes the flaked grain adjuncts.  As with most of my recent quick turn-around beers, this brew underwent dry hopping (and in this case the addition of the spruce tips) in primary.  I then cold crashed the beer in a chest freezer before kegging.

Recipe and tasting notes follow:

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 6.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 9.50
Anticipated OG: 1.044
Anticipated SRM: 2.0
Anticipated IBU: 12
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80%
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain

89.47% — 8.50 Lbs. 2-Row (US)
10.53% — 1.00 Lbs. White Wheat

Hops

0.30 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 13.6% AA) @ 60 min. (First Wort)
7.00 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 13.6% AA) @ 20 min. (Whirlpool)
2.00 oz. Vic Secret (Pellet, 15.5% AA) @ 9 days (Dry hop)
1.00 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 13.6% AA) @ 9 days (Dry hop)
4.20 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.7% AA) @ 5 days (Dry hop)

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.

Yeast

Imperial A24 — Dry Hop

Water Profile

Seattle
1.60g Calcium Chloride
3.00g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single infusion – 60 min @ 156F
Mash out — 10 min @ 170F

Notes

Brewed on 08.08.18 with Gregory & Jensen

08.12.18 — Added the first round of dry hops to primary during active fermentation

08.16.18 — Added the second round of dry hops & the spruce tips to primary

08.20.18 — Cold crashed the carboy in the AM then kegged the batch in the PM and put into kegerator

08.21.18 — Hooked the keg to pressure and set it at 12PSI

Tasting Notes — 10.01.18 (on draft)

Unfiltered, pale straw color in appearance (looks more orange in photos), but not overly hazy.  Moderate white head stand that dissipates.  No lacing.  Spruce is dominant on the nose with undertones of grapefruit, mango, and Fruitstripes gum.  Spicy-Earthy spruce up front on the palate, gives way to juicy guava-like tropical notes.  Mandarin orange pith and resinous pine notes meld on the bitter, off-dry, lingering finish.

Calculated OG: 1.045
Calculated FG: 1.008
Approx. ABV: 4.80%

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100% Brett. Claussenii IPA

My buddy Hippie John picked me up some Wyeast 5151-PC Brettanomyces Claussenii, and on the heels of my last successful 100% Brett. beer, I decided to make another one (this one a bit more traditional).  This beer was initially going to be a grisette with a large portion of Munich triticale malt in the grist, but it evolved into a hoppier beer.  I utilized some recent favorites in my hops schedule, and a delicious tropical fruit bomb beer is the result!  Recipe and tasting notes follow:

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 6.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 9.00
Anticipated OG: 1.042
Anticipated SRM: 6.0
Anticipated IBU: 11
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

50% — 4.50 Lbs. Pilsner Malt (US)
33.33% — 3.00 Lbs. MJW Munich Triticale
16.67% — 1.50 Lbs. White Wheat

Hops

0.20 oz. Sorachi Ace (Pellet, 12.1% AA) @ 90 min. (First Wort)
0.10 oz. Sorachi Ace (Pellet, 9.1% AA) @ 90 min. (First Wort)
2.50 oz. Sorachi Ace (Pellet, 12.1% AA) @ 20 min. (Whirlpool)
2.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 8.2% AA) @ 20 min. (Whirlpool)
1.00 oz. Eureka (Pellet, 18.0% AA) @ 20 min. (Whirlpool)
2.00 oz. Vic Secret (Pellet, 21.0% AA) @ 12 days (Dry hop)
1.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 9.0% AA) @ 12 days (Dry hop)
4.20 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.7% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)

Extras

2.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.

Yeast

Wyeast 5151-PC — Brettanomyces Claussenii

Water Profile

Seattle
3.00g Calcium Chloride
6.00g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single infusion – 60 min @ 155F
Mash out — 10 min @ 170F

Notes

06.07.18 — Made a 600ml starter which I built up to over 2000ml in the week prior to brewday.

Brewed on 06.14.18 with Gregory & Jensen

07.04.18 — Added first dry hop addition to primary as fermentation began to slow

07.11.18 — Added the second dry hop addition (Citra hops) to primary

07.16.18 — Kegged the batch and began cooling to 38F

07.18.18 — Began force carbonating at 12PSI

07.23.18 — Dropped pressure to 10PSI, pulled through the beer and began serving.

Tasting Notes — 08.16.18 (on draft)

Hazy gold-orange in color with a billowy white headstand that laces nicely through drinking. Tropical fruit notes of pineapple and guava with undertones of lemon and mandarin orange on the nose.  Flavors of tropical fruit cup follow the nose, but savory earthy-woody notes enter mid-palate and move into pungent red grapefruit pith with a hint of pine on the dry, bitter finish.  The Brett. character here is very fruity, but there is a suggestion of funk that hits the sides of the tongue just before the lingering finish.

Calculated OG: 1.045
Calculated FG: 1.006
Approx. ABV: 5.10%

Juice it Up, Bro! + Going Pro

We like to keep up with trends and fads in the beer world — it helps to keep recipe development skills sharp, it can present a challenge, and it’s down-right fun (especially when you enjoy the styles that come into vogue).  At this moment, so called New England, or juice/smoothie style ales (usually IPAs) are all the rage here in Seattle.

As I understand it, this style is actually a confluence of two different but similar brewing processes that emerged sometime in the last decade but have only recently infiltrated the zeitgeist.  Most beer enthusiasts attribute the style to Vermont’s The Alchemist Brewery and their flagship IPA Heady Topper (hence the “New England” moniker); however, Stockholm’s Omnipollo has been producing juice/smoothie IPAs for quite a while as well.  Regardless of who the progenitor of the style may be, a few key factors have coalesced to help us brewers and imbibers determine what makes a “juice-style” ale.

First and foremost is the water profile.  To aid in achieving a softer mouthfeel, most research recommends a higher ratio of calcium chloride to calcium sulfate (gypsum) in the treatment of your liquor.  Some brewers will also dough in at a higher temperature to accentuate the roundness of body and mouthfeel.  Next is the addition of more flaked grains in the malt bill — this adds body, head retention, and haze to the finished beer.  To get the desired smooth, bright and juicy flavors associated with oranges, pineapple, grapefruit, and mango, it is important to keep early bittering hop additions very low, or to skip them altogether in the hops schedule.  Many brewers choose to first-wort hop and then add the bulk of their additions from five minutes to flame-out, while aggressively dry-hoping the beer in primary and secondary with hops like El Dorado, Citra, Mosaic, Amarillo, Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy, etc.

Omnipollo regularly adds lactose or oat milk to their juice/smoothie IPAs, while The Alchemist reportedly doesn’t bump their flaked oat content, relying on the massive quantities of late addition hops and abstaining from filtering to achieve the haze in their New England IPAs.

Gregory and I decided to brew a hoppy and sessionable “juice style” pale ale for the PNW summer we’ve been enjoying.  We did slightly bump our usual approximate 1:1 chloride to sulfate ratio, but following Scott Janish’s excellent article Mouthfeel Softness | New England IPAs, we bucked traditional wisdom and decided to slightly accentuate the sulfate content for an approximate 1:1.7 ratio.

Our recipe, process, and tasting notes can be found after this brief and exciting announcement:

Gregory and I, along with partner Chris Richardson are turning our love and passion for beer and brewing into a full-time business venture by opening Best of Hands Barrelhouse in the West Seattle neighborhood!  We will begin operations on a 7BBL direct-fire system and we aim to open our doors winter of this year or early 2018.  We are currently demolishing and making repairs at the space, and awaiting our construction permits.  You can read about the iconic building we’re leasing here, and please follow us on our Facebook page for updates on our progress!

Juice it Up, Bro!

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 15
Total Grain (Lbs): 28.00
Anticipated OG: 1.049
Anticipated SRM: 4.0
Anticipated IBU: 35
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain

42.86% — 12.00 Lbs. US 2-Row
28.57% — 8.00 Lbs. Red Wheat
14.29% — 4.00 Lbs. Flaked Oats
07.14% — 2.00 Lbs. Flaked Wheat
03.57% — 1.00 Lbs. Honey Malt
03.57% — 1.00 Lbs. Rice Hulls (@10 min.)

Hops

1.00 oz. El Dorado (Pellet, 16.0% AA) @ 60 min. (First Wort)
0.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.8% AA) @ 60 min. (First Wort)
0.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.8% AA) @ 60 min.
6.00 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.8% AA) @ 0 min.
5.00 oz. Mosaic (Pellet, 12.5% AA) @ 0 min.
3.00 oz. El Dorado (Pellet, 16.0% AA) @ 0 min.
2.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.8% AA) @ 4 days (Dry Hop)
2.00 oz. Mosaic (Pellet, 12.5% AA) @ 4 days (Dry Hop)
1.50 oz. El Dorado (Pellet, 16.0% AA) @ 4 days (Dry Hop)
2.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.8% AA) @ 3 days (Dry Hop)
2.00 oz. Mosaic (Pellet, 12.5% AA) @ 3 days (Dry Hop)
1.50 oz. El Dorado (Pellet, 16.0% AA) @ 3 days (Dry Hop)

Extras

3.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.

Yeast

Imperial Yeast A24 — Dry Hop

Water Profile

Seattle
9.00g Calcium Chloride
15.00g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single infusion – 60 min @ 151F
Mash out — 10 min @ 170F

Notes

Brewed on 07.11.17 with Gregory

07.11.17 — Chilled wort to 70F & pitched the yeast into 17 gallon SS Brewtech conical

07.13.17 — Vigorous fermentation activity

07.15.17 — Added half of the dry-hop addition in primary

07.18.17 — Dumped the yeast and added the remainder of the dry-hop addition

07.21.17 — Kegged the batch and began force carbonating

Tasting Notes — 07.27.17 (on draft)

Opaque hazy orange in color with billowy white head stand which persists throughout drinking.  Intense satsuma orange and red grapefruit notes on the nose with a hint of minerality in the background.  The citrus notes dominate the round palate with some hints of pineapple-like tropical fruit juiciness.  Because we mashed at a lower temperature, the beer finishes quite dry with the impression of coarse tannic mango, and a long lingering grapefruit pith bitterness.

Calculated OG: 1.046
Calculated FG: 1.010
Approx. ABV: 4.7%

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%

Loomi Lime Leaf Sour Farmhouse Ale

Loomi & Lime LeavesThe loomi, also known as the black lime, is a sun-dried lime that is commonly used as a spice in Middle Eastern cooking.  Gregory had used them before in a beer and liked the results, so we decided to use them and lime leaves (we wanted makrut lime leaves, but had to settle with those found at Thriftway) for the second of our three Yeast Bay fermented ales.

For this beer we constructed a pretty basic saison recipe with minimal IBUs, and utilized The Yeast Bay’s Farmhouse Sour Ale blend which “contains two farmhouse/saison Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolates, Lactobacillus brevis, and Lactobacillus delbreuckii.”  In keeping with the citrus theme, we also decided to use a Yakima Valley Hops hop called Experimental Lemon Zest, and will add 0.50 oz. of fresh lemon zest with the dry hops five days out from kegging.

Loomi Lime Leaf Sour Farmhouse Ale

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 9.50
Anticipated OG: 1.048
Anticipated SRM: 3.0
Anticipated IBU: 15.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

63% – 6.00 Lbs. American 2-Row Pale Ale
21% – 2.00 Lbs. American Pilsner Malt
10% – 1.00 Lb. U.S. White Wheat
05% – 0.50 Lbs. Honey Malt

Hops

0.30 oz. Experimental Lemon Zest (Pellet, 14.0% AA) @ 90 min (first wort).
0.70 oz. Experimental Lemon Zest (Pellet, 14.0% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 9.3% AA) @ 5 days (dry hop)
1.00 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.7 AA) @ 5 days (dry hop)
1.00 oz. Experimental Lemon Zest (Pellet, 14.0% AA) @ 5 days (dry hop)

Extras

1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
3.00 oz. Black Lime @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Lime Leaves @ 0 min.
0.50 oz. Lemon Zest @ 5 days (secondary)

Yeast

The Yeast Bay – Farmhouse Sour Ale

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 tsp Calcium Chloride
1.00 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 60 min @ 154F

Notes

No starter on account of fresh yeast and the desire to keep the bugs in the blend at the manufacturer’s intended ratio.

Brewed on 03.25.15 with Gregory

03.25.15 — Chilled wort to 70F and pitched the Farmhouse Sour Ale blend

03.29.15 — Signs of moderate fermentation activity and put the carboy onto the brewbelt

04.05.15 — Took beer off of the brewbelt

05.29.15 — Tasted the beer to see if any acid had been produced per Yeast Bay’s description and decided to let the beer stay in primary for an extended period of time

09.20.15 — Kegged and began force carbonating the beer

Tasting Notes — 11.23.15 (Poured off tap)

Pours a clear pale golden color with a moderate head stand which laces thin.  Lots of lemon-lime citrus on the nose with a  hint of earth and sweet fresh lemon reminiscent of potpourri.  The citrus also dominates the palate, which is crisp and dry, with notes of tree bark and a suggestion of smoke surfacing in the middle from the loomi.  Never becoming very sour, this beer finishes with some lactic tartness, a round bitterness, and a lingering note of citrus.

Calculated OG: 1.046
Calculated FG: 1.007
Approx. ABV: 5.1%