Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hop Harvest IPA

My title may be a bit misleading, but I just got a big delivery of hops from Hops Direct of their new harvest. I wanted to make the most of it, and do a really hoppy IPA. I loved how my Pliny clone turned out early this year, but I wanted to make a version a bit less in alcohol to make it nice and sessionable on tap. However, nearly the whole recipe has been changed, so comparing the two isn't really the best idea. I've never had good luck with making hoppy beers outside of the Pliny clone, so I wanted to go full boar with the hops on this one. I chose a combination of Chinook, Cenntenial, Amarillo and Simcoe. These are all pretty traditionally used hops for APAs, IPAs, IIPAs, American Barleywines, and other American styles. The Chinook gives a nice resiny, piney flavor; the Centennial and Amarillo some juicy grapefruit, and the Simcoe a bit of woodsy like flavor. The hopping plan started out fairly traditional with a bittering addition and then several late hop additions. Mike had convinced me to give complete late hopping a try and since I have plenty of hops and they're all high in alpha acids, I said, why not? That said, I stuck with all 20min or less additions, with plenty of hops near or at flameout, and will be adding a bit in the keg. Those details will come in the near future. The grain bill is pretty traditional AIPA, nothing special. I chose to use a pound of wheat which may or may not be standard, but I like what it does for the mouthfeel and head retention. I'll be doing a considerable keg hop addition whenever it get's there (the Bitter just kicked last night, so it shouldn't be too long).
5.5 gal batch
7.5 gal boil
OG 1.060
FG: 1.008
IBUs ~67

10# Briess 2-row
1# Soft White Wheat
.5# Crystal 20L
.25# Crystal 40L
.5# Cane Sugar
1oz Chinook (12.4% AA) 20min
1oz Centennial (11.5% AA) 20min
1oz Simcoe (12.2% AA) 10min
1oz Amarillo (9.4% AA) 10min
1oz Centennial 0min
2oz Amarillo omin
Wyeast 1056 (2L starter)

11/18/09: Brewed today on a chilly morning. Decided to chill this batch (didn't want to make a starter with 60+ IBU wort), and didn't have too many issues. Saved a pint of runnings to chill and get the yeast going (decanted the 2L) since I made the starter nearly a week ago. Very active fermentation after only a few hours and big blowoff after 12. Fermentation was in the mid 60s ambient. I'll taste it in a couple weeks and then keg it on another 3-4oz of mixed hops.
12/02/09: Kegged up with a mix of hops: 2oz Amarillo, 1oz Centennial, and 1oz Simcoe in a couple knee highs. Final gravity was 1.008, so just about where I was looking. Flavor is really nice, but not the 60+ IBUs that it should be. Very cloudy at kegging, we'll see how this one progresses.


  1. Dan, have you considered any post fermentation/pre dry hoppping finings or cold crashing to help floc out the 1056? I have read that getting the yeast out helps maximize the impact of the dry hopping, and can be maximized by dropping out the yeast first. I just cracked my sample bottle of DIPA (Leon) using the 2009 harvest hops from hopsdirect, and the only thing that I would do differently is the addition of gelatin a few days before dry hopping (I don't have the capacity to cold crash, currently)....the yeast just would *not* drop out.

  2. I thought about throwing some hops in the carboy before kegging, but decided against it since I was trying to get it kegged sooner. Wish I had the capability to do cold crashing, but no dice. It's kegged now with said hops, and is damn tasty but still cloudy as hell. I've really been neglecting the blog lately, hopefully I'll get some new posts up soon.