Monday, September 1, 2014

90 Minute Nor'Easta'

Inspired by Dogfishhead's prolific, creative, and hell, visionary ways, I constructed a recipe that had one sole purpose, to use as much of my Northern Brewer hops as possible.  A bulk order has left me with a hop that deserves to get used sooner than later and later was coming up quick.  So...

How about we do a continuous hopping of just Northern Brewer hops, 90 minutes, and engineer this puppy to give me that smooth IPA profile I so much enjoy, smoooth.  How???

The plan was as genius as it was simple, or just increase the continuous hop rate as the boil moved forward.  In other words, making the beer's hop profile derive more from the "late hopping"characteristics of the hop than early hopping.

I pulled up Dogfishhead's 90 Minute IPA and aligned their BUGU with my own to get a similar bittering, and then I played with my brewing software until I came to a hopping schedule that was easy and  manageable.  

90-60: .5 oz - Gotta layer in that vegetal  character, but not too much!
60-30: 1 oz
30-0: 3oz
Dry Hop: 2 oz

6 oz's of hops, yes, that should do the trick. 

OK, we have the hops figured out but what about the yeast?  Well, I dont have any 001, but I do have some 3rd gen 1469 Yorkshire!  Hmmmm, English IPA anyone?  Never made one, and there is no time like the present.

A quick perusal of the style guide for some general outlines and I was off and running.  The rest...

Water - London profile
Yeast - moderate to high esters (personal choice) as Id love to see the yeast character push through the hops, and compliment, not overwhelm
Malt - a moderate malt backbone, darker than your standard IPA.

Done!  Where did we land.....?

OG - 1069
FG - 1009
ABV - 8%
IBU - 63
SRM - 6 (should have colored it up more)

2-Row - 15lb
Bisquit - 1lb
Sugar - 8oz

All went quite well with the boil, except at 10 minutes my new brew buddy Sandwich Dev, unknowing of the effect of hop schedules, tossed in the rest of the 30-0 hops...So I decided to up my dry hop from 1oz to 2oz to compensate for the potentially lost hop aromatics.  And, its another reason to toss in more hops!  Who could complain about that?

I got a 65%+ efficiency which is mind boggling to me as i could not even get 60% on another beer made the same way on the same day and nearly the same size!  More hmmmmmmmmm.

Into the fermenter she goes.  As per usual I was trying to keep the fusels low, but on this summer day i was never quite able to get her below 70 and logistics of my schedule dictated the pitch was happening whether I liked it or not, so in they went!  

A standard lag of about 18 hours off of the super thick 1469 slurry and she was ripping!  Free rise landed at 75 and the rest is still to be seen.

Keg, carb and dry hop! (yes, this dry hop goes in the keg).  At the cooler temps of a kegged dry hop I have had no trouble with the vegetative character of a long, warm dry hop, especially if you drink the stuff!  It may hangout as long as two weeks before its time to toss in another beer (as i only have two kegs) and the rest will get bottled.  So, once again, no worries on the vegetal character. and time will tell....

9/15/14 - FG of 1009, kegged and conditioning. Initial tasting is too yeasty to do her justice.  She needs 7-10 days.

Tasting notes:

9/22 - Beer is definitely green - banana notes apparent, i think its the yeast more than anything.  More time and a few more beers need to be pulled to clear.

10/8 - these tasting notes are being done after the fact.  Needless to say this beer went down like a dream and was enjoyed by all.  Yes, 5G of 8% 90 minute IPA was taken down  by you and eric and phish and others in less than 3 weeks....and Dev never even got a bottle!  Dam it Dave!  We owe him one for that....
A - straw, mostly clear.  Head was white but did not hold long
S - smell had some banana notes, never could figure that one.  Perhaps growth from the English yeast and a higher ferment combined with the hops?  Not sure.  Anyway, it also had a dankness and mildly pungent hop aroma.  Not very piney, but very earthy, slightly fruity.  Pleasant, not overpowering. Additional Columbus hops added at 1G never really took hold.  I would like to see more complexity in future iterations.  More on that below.
T - Glorious!  After 10 days this beer really shined!  The fusels were totally masked and the alcohol was hidden.  Smooth on the palate, slight hints of fruit, dry, highly drinkable.  1.0 BUGU is very easy on the palate for me.  The hops were earthy, woody, slight pine, and perhaps vegetal notes could be derived.  Estery for sure.  Banana again...once it was pointed out it was hard to miss.  It wasnt very complex, and not surprising, but it was very very good, not great, but very good.
M - dry - easy to drink - reaching for another pint was a dream, but the following mornings were not:)
O - Overall Id say I was very pleased with how the beer turned out.  It was well received.  I nice aroma, not overwhelming, but too much banana ester left you a bit confused before you drank it.  This is by far my biggest complaint.  Each pint was smooth on the bittering, as planned, and finished dry allowing for a pleasant experience.  the alcohol was well masked and the malt backbone was very sufficient.  I definitely like 1.0 BUGU on Imperial IPAs. We will go higher in coming iterations.

1. Change the yeast to 001.  No brainer there.
2. Hops - layer in Amarillo for bittering to add that grapefruit note, then Centennial/Cascade at 10.  This will leave an earthy start from 90-60, then add complexity in the bittering/flavor of grapefruit over the woody/earthy/piney NB Hops and finish with the citrus.  Dry Hop with Columbus/Cascade/NB



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