Saturday, November 1, 2014

FriendsGiving pale Ale

2014 FriendsGiving Pale Ale

In the past year I have focused all of my hoppy beers to be more smooth than bitter.  The primary reason for this is because my beautiful bride does not enjoy the bitter side of the hop   Now my queen is carrying our first born child and cannot enjoy the fruits of my labors.  With that said, I figure now is a good time to dip my toe into the preverbal pool of the American Pale Ale. 

As Americans tend to do, I too, will go head first into this brew.  Needless to say, I have an alterior motive to this recipe and that is the recent collaboration between Lawsons ans Otter Creek, the Double Dose, IIPA.

Having scored one of only 100 bottles in all of MA (or so the very well intentioned barmen stated), I was blown away by the hop character of this beast of a beer.

The alcohol was masked with style and the hops were shining like the spotlight at the Luxor.  Amazing aroma of citrus and what I perceived as tropical fruit, dominated the beer and prepared your palette for the smooth and saisfying draw to come.  It was, in a word, GLORIOUS!

Being so new to the scene there is still no brave soul of whom has posted a potential clone to this mighty IIPA, but I will start the with this APA, and then be in touch with the brewers directly should no one else make the great leap to cloning this masterpiece.

So, what the heck are you going for?  Well, how about a beer that has a nice citrus/tropical fruit nose, a solid bitter hop, but not over the top and a malt bill to compliment, not detract.  On the malt bill I recalled a great comment in an IPA article I read stating that IPA's, if utilizing tropical character hops can accentuate those hops with the use of crystal grains. As you associate tropical smells with sweetness, the caramel character of the grain helps to draw out those tropical notes.  Brilliant!  Let's try that!

Onto the brew!

OG - 1055
FG - 1013
IBU - 50
BUGU - 1.0
SRM - 16

I have pulled from several resources in the creation of the grist.  Everyone has an idea of how to run with this, from Vinny at Russian River's "simpler is better," to Jamil's middle of the road version 2 row, English pale, 4.5% 20, 4.5% 40, 4.5% Munich, 2% victory, to your most complex of malt bills.  I'm going to side with the simpler side of things, but not quite as simple as Vinny recommends (I reserve that kind of simplicity for my full IPA's).

The carapils (2-3%) and wheat malt (2-3%) are a trick my new brew buddy Dennis 'Butch' uses to guarentee that precious, longstanding, credibility building head retention...and at 1.0 BUGU, I may need some help on that front, so lets roll with it!

3 tsp gypsum targeting ~ 115ppm calcium.

2-Row Extract (its officially winter brew process time) (75%)
8oz Victory (6%)
8oz C40 (6%)
8oz C80 (6%)
3oz carapils (2%)
3oz Wheat Malt (2%)
2oz roasted barley (color up) (1%) for last 10 minutes of steep.


Warrior (or Millenium)

(Too dry hop or not to dry hop, that is the question...on a big time crunch here as it is, but if this turns out right then I may have to go with the triple dry hop Chinook, Cascade and Citra)

Steep ~2lb grains. Heat 1G (2qts/lb) water to 170.  Turn off heat, drop in grains, cover and steep for 30 minutes.  Pull grains, drain and rinse with .5G warm-hot water. 
Residual wort = 1.25G

Bring 4.25G to a boil, mixing in extract slowly.  Begin hop schedule. Add in residual wort.  Final voilme after 60
Should be 4.5G.  Estimating .5G loss leaves 4 to fermenter.

Cool, put 1G distilled water ice in fermenter and transfer wort at 85 leaving 5G in fermenter plus starter gives about 5.25G.  

1G ice to 4G wort calculations 
100 goes to 86
90 goes to 78
85 goes to 62
80 goes to 57

Yeast - East Coast Ale - This choice came out of necessity as my beloved homebrew shop New Farm, had just gotten a new shipment in and this was an expiring yeast I was happy to take off their hands, as making a starter is no problem for me, but could be an issue for other, lets see what we get.

According to WLP, this yeast is much like 001, but attenuates at a lower rate and some say, "mutes hop character."  This considered lets tweek our recipe to accomodate these characteristics.  To get a more accentuated bite from the hops I'm going to up my normal 60ppm of calcium to 100+.  In this case it'll come in at about 115ppm.  This will help the hops to shine.  And to emulate an 001 attenuation rate , im going to add just .25lbs of sugar to get those last few points out of the yeast.  I'm not trying to totally dry out the beer as i would an IPA, just get to the high end of this yeasts attenuation. (75%).  This could be a mistake as the caramel sweetness is meant to balnce the tropical fruit character of the yeast.....and the beer showing an attenuation down to 1.012.  You know, this is why I write, to question myself, and in this instance Im going to let this yeast work without the sugar for just that reason, to allow just a llittle more residual caramel sweetness to balance thse tropical notes.  If your going to go with a concept, give it a chance to work.

With two brews going at the same time, I have reserved the stir plate for the bigger Stout, so I will make a 1000ml starter in a Ball Jar be doing the "intermittent shaking" method.  What I get for reproduction, I get, but I know I want them warm and ready to run.

Pitch at 65 and let her ride for 7-10 days, Keg and enjoy!  With the starter I'm hoping she finishes in 7 (I'll check FG at 5 and 7, if no motion, then I'll keg right then and perhaps get a dry hop in there) so there is some time in the keg to condition properly before the shindig.


Brew Day - 10/10/14

Preboil a little high so I added a little extra warrior to get that BUGU to 1.0

Gypsum - 3tsp

40 minutes and sparged with half a gallon.  

Additions all on time.
Cooling - using the frozen distilled water was a pain in the butt.

Starter was 24 hours. 1040. 800ml. Intermittent shake.  Was active at pitch.  66 degrees.
D2 - 5 - 73 (that's free rise as room is 72 and Edinborough in batch next to it, pitched at same time is at 68
D10 - 64 - 0 - 1012 - Im calling that good.  Keg it!

11/21/14 - It was a hit!  i am very happy with how this beer come around.  The color is a little dark for the style, but the malt bill held up the hops very nicely.  The head retention was appropriate.  No dry hop needed here.  

Next time, increase the BUGU to 1.25 by adding in the Chinook/Cascade at 45-30-15 and up the citra just a touch to accomodate the higher bittering.

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