Friday, 20 December 2013

Illustrious IPA, A great Brewday!

Hi all,

As the title says, I had a great brewday yesterday. Brought a couple of new ideas to the brewday and went wild with hops, more about that later.

First thing was a kilo and a half of Maris otter malt baked in the oven at 150 degrees for 30 minutes, what a smell! If you have not tried this then i would suggest you do. A lovely biscuit smell throughout the kitchen and a slight darkening of the grain colour.

Grain in the kitchen

 Pre baking
 Post baking
 Mash tun comparison with the other grains for colour
 Talking of which we are using Wheat,Vienna and Munich malts alongside the MO
The grain baking has been a new departure for me as i wished to impart a bit more depth into the finished product and i like the idea of DIY in all i can do. A further departure was the addition of 100 grms of Chinook hops to the mash tun to see if they would add anything to the finished beer. Also half a handful of Chocolate malt for colour.

 Chinook have a good sized hop cone but it came a s a surprise to see how much they swelled during the mash.
Another surprise was the insulation value of the layer of hops. In my previous post on this beer i said i would be keeping the word  'Sumptuous' in mind while brewing. With this in mind and looking for a big mouthfeel i ran on at 81 degrees which settled for the rest at 72.5 degrees. During a 90 minute rest i lost 0.3 of a degree. Hops rock!

Keeping the S word in mind i also caramelised the first runnings.The first gallon or so out of the tun was reading 1.080 and showing excellent colour.
1st Runnings pre-caramelisation

1st Runnings post caramelisation

Recirculation & main run off started
All went well with the sparge and i continued with a full on 'burner screwed to the max' open lid boil to induce further colouring and caramelisation of the contact area burned sugars.

That S word again in this case in the form of a single Star Anise and a Omani Black smoked lemon. These were added a few minutes before end of the 100 minute boil.
There were a couple of late boil additions of hops but main bulk went in a flame out and through out the cooling period.  Again for that S word i waited two hours for all the hop oils to be transfered to the wort before moving the wort to the FV's
At this point i was feeling rather conflicted, i had imagined this wort being fermented on US-05 but as the brewday went on and my layering of hop additions took on a life of their own i kept hearing a whisper of 'Belgian' at the back of my mind. With scant regard for my sanity or longterm liver prognosis i threw caution to the wind and ran the 1st 5 gallons into a glass FV along with a kilo of sugar and added my faithful Duvel/Chimay/Brett C split
Check out the colour on this beer, dark as my heart!

Huge amount of yeast development going on

Yeast and sugar stratification with an SG of 1.060

Back in the land or normalacy i used my unBrett'd Duvel Chimay on the unaugmented remaining 15 gallons of wort. This had a SG of 1.042. 

I haven't brewed for a few months and this was a cracker of a brewday, heck i even enjoyed the pump swap out at the end for transfer to FV, a nice little surprise from Bacchus! This will be a long cool ferment and i am excited to see what Belgian yeasts bring when fermented cool. I have deliberately left the recipe to the end of the post.

Illustrious IPA
6.5 kgs Maris Otter
1.5 kgs Baked MO
5kgs Wheat Malt
4kgs Munich Malt
2kgs Vienna malt
100 Grms Chinook Mash Hops
100 grms Glacier FWH
100 grms Chinook FWH
!00 grms Challeneger FWH
100 grms Magnum FWH
100 grms Chinook 10 mins
250 grms Columbus 5 mins
750 grms First Gold Aroma hops
300 grms Amarillo Aroma hops
100 grms Simco Aroma hops
100 grms Nelson Sauvin Aroma hops
1 Star Anise
I Omani Black lemon
Theoretical IBU 199.9 :)
SG 1.042
+1kg Sucrose 1.060
Expected abv's of 4% and 7.1% respectively

During the post brew clean up i removed a volume of spent hops sufficient to fill four 2.5 gallon builders bucket. I can in all honesty say that i did not total the hops used until i wrote this blog. I was basically going on nose and 'feeling' it. That's my art and it was nice to break free of the percentages and figures in software brewing.
2.1 kgs is in my book (and if not your book let me know)! an excessive amount of hops for a 20 gallon batch. I may (will) also dry hop this beer. It will be interesting to see how the bitterness comes through particulary in the lower ABV beer as the ratios are wildly out of proportion. I am hoping that the mash and First wort hopping reduce the impact. If not, time will mellow it to something nice i am sure. I see no reason why Sumptuous cannot apply to lower ABV beers, i hope that my grain choice, baking of grain & caramelising along with high mash temperature will balance the hop charge and the lower abv will be incidental. 
The stronger batch will be interesting as an experiment in Brett C's impact on monstorously hopped beers. Its all been a blast and i will update in early 2014 as to the next step for this beer. Once again, Merry Christams and a  Happy New Year to you all. :)


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