Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Imperial Munich IPA

Since I got a little careless with utilizing my cold weather season to brew some more lagers, I had to come up with something to use all the Munich malt I bought for a Doppelbock. Having torn through anything hoppy on tap, I figured I would put together a double IPA that was all Munich malt. (I also have a ton of American hops on hand, so really nothing else to buy but yeast). Because Munich malt isn't as fermentable as Pilsner, or any pale 2-row, I decided to go about 90/10 Munich/sugar to ensure it was dry enough. Coupled with using US05, should be no problem. The only other issue I've just been reading about is the low diastatic power of Munich malt (in essence, that it can be tricky to self convert without the use of a high lintner malt). However, having just finished mashing, and knowing I used Bolander Munich from Briess and completing an iodine test, I'm confident I have some sweet, sugary wort. Aside from that, I had to come up with a solid hop schedule. And I'll admit, I kind of just went the dart board method, and randomly picked them. I know I needed some first wort hops, bittering, flavor and aroma, so just went with the strong points of each hop. Chinook for FWH (not a huge fan of the piney notes, but it's my highest alpha hop and would do well for bittering), Centennial for bittering and flavor (love the citrus), Simcoe for flavor, and Amarillo and Centennial to finish out the aroma for knockout. I haven't determined what I'll do yet for keg hopping but will certainly update. Anyone else out there with success stories for single malt beers?
(started my brew day off with one of the first (carbonated) bottles of the Bourbon Barrel Wee Heavy)
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: ~8 gal
Estimated OG: 1.072 SG
Estimated Color: 14.4 SRM
Estimated IBU: 124.5 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 63 %
Boil Time: 75 Minutes

Amount Item Type % or IBU
15.00 lb Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 90.91 %
1.00 oz Chinook [12.40 %] (75 min) (First Wort Hops 37.8 IBU
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [9.40 %] (75 min) Hops 26.1 IBU
1.00 oz Centennial [11.50 %] (75 min) Hops 31.9 IBU
1.00 oz Centennial [11.50 %] (20 min) Hops 18.5 IBU
0.50 oz Simcoe [12.70 %] (20 min) Hops 10.2 IBU
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [9.40 %] (0 min) Hops -
1.00 oz Centennial [11.50 %] (0 min) Hops -
1.50 lb Cane (Beet) Sugar (0.0 SRM) Sugar 9.09 %
1.5 Pkgs Ale (DCL Yeast #US05) Yeast-Ale

4/07/10: Brewed this morning in the hot morning sun. No problems other than the horrible efficiency. Due to either incomplete conversion or otherwise, it's something I want to revisit in the future. Will add some keg hops when it comes to that, but will be updated on the blog.
4/21/10: Just pulled the first sample and this is an awesome beer! Huge caramel, toffee, biscuity nose without a huge hop presence. Big bitterness and nice citrusy flavor with a dry finish. Gravity finished at 1.012 so 7.8% abv and 82% attenuation. Hoping to get it kegged up today just need to get some hop bags (pantyhose!) and kill the Cal Common. Wow, I'm happy with this one.
4/21/10: Kegged up with 3oz of Centennial and 2oz of Amarillo. Been drinking fantastically since just carbonated. It's going to go fast!
5/10/10: And it's kicked! Haha, probably my best kegged beer to date.


  1. looks like an interesting beer. definitely was a hot day for brewing here in the mid-atlantic.

  2. Any concern about DC water hurting efficiency? I homebrew in DC and my efficiency is never right and I'm wondering if people have had success tinkering with the DC water PH.

  3. I know Mike (MadFermentationist) does a small amount of water treatment, but I'm still not well versed in it. It is certainly possible, but I've gotten much higher (and typically more consistent) efficiencies in the past when I was brewing more often.

  4. Dan,
    Really interested in how this turns out. I've been wanting to do a Munich base malt IPA.


  5. I think you'll love the results. I brewed a couple munich based IPAs last year. First one was 100% munich with Amarillo and Nelson Sauvin hops. Very nice indeed. Ended up winning best beer at comp over here.

    I don't think you need to worry about Munich being less fermentable than other malts. I haven't actually noticed that at all (at least with the Wyermann Munich that I use). But then again I haven't gone above 1.060 OG with a Munich base yet. I don't think it would be a problem though.

  6. This was really an amazing beer. I was very surprised to find it was an imperial - it hid the booze very well. Extremely drinkable and smooth and refreshing, while still keeping fresh hops in the mix. Great job! Thanks for letting me try!!!

  7. Hi,

    Nice looking recipe.

    Can you tell me what temp you mashed at?

  8. I was also curious about mash temperature and time. Assuming you did a 60 minute mash, I wonder how much a longer mash would improve efficiency.