Thursday, 7 October 2010

Hop Paradigm Shift IPA

I have after much shillyshallying, finally brewed an IPA i have been aiming at for a couple of years. This is a Mid 1800's style IPA with Pale malt and British hops only. I changed the recipe a little as the brew day advanced, in addition to this I missed my OG and final volume but that's ok as it will still turn out to be a 6%+ massively Hopped beer.

Hop Paradigm Shift Scottish IPA

17.00 kg Maris otter 100.00 %
7.00 oz Challenger [7.60 %] (90 min) (First Wort Hop)
4.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.50 %] (90 min) (First Wort Hop) 
4.50 oz Fuggles [3.80 %] (90 min) (First Wort Hop)
3.50 oz Northdown [8.50 %] (90 min) (First Wort Hop)
1.50 oz Fuggles [3.80 %] (5 min) Hops
1.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.50 %] (5 min)
2.00 oz Fuggles [3.80 %] (3 min)
2.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.50 %] (3 min)
4.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.50 %] (60 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep)
4.00 oz Fuggles [3.80 %] (60 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep)  
3.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.50 %] (Dry Hop 14 to 21 days) 
3.50 oz Fuggles [3.80 %] (Dry Hop 14 to 21 days)
2.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min) 
8.00 oz Whisky barrel Oak Chips (Secondary 14.0 to 21 days) 
60.00 gm Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 90.0 min) 
Second generation  US-05 Ale yeast 800ml

Mash Notes:
Underlet 36 ltrs at 81 degrees.
Single infusion mash 90 minutes settled at 69.9deg C.
Sparge 46 ltrs at 85 degrees.
L/G ratio2.1:1 .

Batch Size: 12 gal
Boil Size: 15.50
Boil Time: 90 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 55.00! :)
Measured Original Gravity: 1.062 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.53 % @ 1.012
Bitterness: 209 IBU
Est Color: 5.2 SRM

I decided to keep to The Basics for this beer and adhere to the simplicity i have seen in many old IPA recipes.

The grain in the mash tun with the Gypsum

While the liqour came up to temperature i opened the First Wort Hops packets.

These days our hops come vacuam packed.

This gave me the excuse to try out the handling of the hops(breaking open the lupin sacks).

Very tactile and hugely enjoyable, in the end i had over a 1/2 kilo of hops in the copper.

During the last couple of brews i have taken to recirculating the mash liqour within the HLT(draw from the bottom and return through the top) during heat up to ensure an even temperature through out the pre mash liqour volume(follow the yellow brick road).

This has proved to be a step forward in my brewing process and has helped with hitting the correct strike temperature.

As a result of this and with the use of Beersmith software i am consistently hitting my rest temperature. Honest Guv i was aiming for 70! My goal with this beer is for a good thick white head to the bottom of the glass. As i am single malting, head retention can only really be improved through the rest temperature.

 5 minute mash and a 90 mintue rest. At the end of the rest there was only a one degree drop

I then recirculated the wort through the grain bed to clarify the wort.

First runnings
After 15 minutes recirculation

 Commence run off into the kettle

Started the sparge, both the run-off and the sparge were conducted at a slow rate.

The sparge was adjusted as i went and after an hour we were complete at 85 degrees sparge liquor temperature.

While sparging i passed the time by mixing the FWH and the wort in the copper. Combined with the breaking apart of the hop blocks this should maximise the FWH effect on the final beer. The smell even at this stage was outstanding. Citrus, spice and genral hopness. Magic!

Once the boil was underway i had time to clean out the mash tun. Seventeen Kg's of wet grain takes a lot of cleaning.
The grain is now being fed to my mates chickens, the eggs are grand! When the boil finished i threw in the steep hops and let things cool down. Once the hops had started to settle to the bottom of the copper i started to recirculate the wort through the hop bed to clarify.

The hop bed recirulation is a recent addition to my brewing process. It is amazing how clean a wort can be achieved with a 10 minute hop bed recirculation.

Have a think about your own brewing process and system. If you can add a hop bed recirc to your process you will be amazed at the results. If you do it already then you know exactly what i'm going on about.

It was then simply a case of transfering to the FV and pitching the yeast. The yeast in this case is a 2nd generation US-05 repitch from my 'Nothing like lager 4.4%' brew. One of the guys 'Mysterio' on JBK posted on an apparent improvement to the yeast flavour profile using Us-05 on repitch. A 200 IBU IPA might not be the logical place to try for yeast sublety, nonetheless we will see what we taste next year.

Transfer and aeration
Yeast pitched
The magic happening

Once completed i took the rest of the day off. The next morning i made up my bundles of dry hops and whisky barrel chips. These were duely sterilised by being boiled in a pan for ten minutes and then added to the FV. I do my dry hopping in the primary vessel. The beer is kept clean be regular dumping of debris through the bottom of the conical.

 These HDPE conicals are cheap and easily available through the net(£100). I knocked the frame up for £10 worth of steel box section & Flatbar and a loan of my mates stick welder. If you decide to go down this path, make sure you buy one with a full width top, there are some on the market with a 4" neck, a pain for cleaning & sterilising.

7oz of Fuggles & EKG's on the left along with 8oz of wood chips on the right.
Sterilising for 15 minutes in a closed lid boil. The post boil water was black, i'm kind of glad that this didn't make its way into my nice pale IPA.
Hops and Oak shavings freshly dropped in, nice yeast head formed over night. That's one of the good things about repitched yeasts. Lag time is minimal.
 The spent hops were removed from the copper and were added to my composter.
I then cleaned out the copper and flushed through the pipework ready for next brewday.

As i have developed as a brewer my philosophy of brewing has also developed. I am now brewing in a way that nothing(?) goes to waste.
Hops on the composter- Spent Grain to the chickens- Cooling water on the flower beds- Yeast reused and organic brewing debris on the flower beds.
 I apply the same 'Natural as possible with minimal waste' to the ingredients. The only things i'd like to change now are the protofloc tablet and the Campden tablet. I can lose the Campden tablet by drawing off my liquor 2 days before and let the chlorine degrade itself. Not sure about the protafloc though? I am glad that no fish swimbladders were used in the making of this beer. I don't filter or fine my beers. Gravity works fine over a few days with the yeast i use. My mate Werner in Brussels works for InBev and he argues that my beers can't be that clear from gravity only. I look forward to getting back over to see him and bring him some samples.

 This last paragraph is to show how i do it and to get you guys thinking about your own processes.

The beer will be bottled with honey from My Mate Rod with the chickens Dads beehives(read it again it makes sense)! Will the beer be any better for all this apparent green-ness and general one with nature type approach? No idea, but the attempt has been made and i look forward to doing a side by side taste test with Meantime IPA around Xmas 2011.

Boring cost bit

17 kgs grain £17
40.5 oz hops £23
Yeast £0
WoodChips,heat, Misc £4
£44/110 bottles=44p per bottle 

Will the plucky Hop Paradigm Shift underdog stand a chance against the might of the £5.50 per bottle Meantime IPA? Who can tell, try back in a year and we'll find out! To be fair to the Greenwich boys, my legit cost is 66p per bottle to match the 75 cl volume of the Meantime IPA. Thank god for no overheads, staff, duty, building rental, maintenance.........
Edit 1st Nov 2010

I'm currently offshore in the Baltic Sea onboard the Far Samson.

 I bottled the IPA on the 22nd Oct two days before coming here. The fermentation took place at around 10 deg C and then a 2 day heat up to 19 to clean up any Diacetyl. It smells great and is outstandingly light in colour for what is a 6.4% massively hopped beer. I didn't count the amount of bottles as there was a rush on to get here but its a lot! I look forward to the teeth screaming sampling of one while its still off the scale in IBU's when i return home in December. Brewing truly is the hobby to end all hobbies.....

Final note, don't know if you guys 'n' gals have read Randy Moshers book 'Radical Brewing'? If not and you are a brew geek like me i can seriously recommend it. Its got so much brewing information and entertainment per square inch that it really should be two books. I gave it to my Dad to read(homebrewer in the 70's) and he loved it.
P.S I don't know Randy but his book is that good i'll give it a free recommendation.

Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass

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