I’m a nerd. Always have been. I’ve played video games for a couple decades and so it is easy for me to frame things in the context of gaming. In most role playing games your character is presented with various quests that progress not only the story but also the character.
In this vein, I’ve decided to start a quest series of sorts. These quests will start with a focus on beer styles and my attempts to nail down the style for myself. It may not fall exactly in a specific guideline, but I’m brewing the beer for me. I’ll be on the quest until I can complete all the steps of having the beer recipe completed (malt, hops, yeast, mash temp, etc.), and there will be a post for each iteration along the way. The first of these quests will be for an IPA.
My history with brewing an IPA has been a roller coaster of terrible to decent to needs work and everywhere in between. You’ll notice I never went above decent. One of my first batches of IPA was an attempt at a Russian River Pliney the Elder clone. That ended up just tasting like grass and had a lot of sediment in each bottle. Other attempts have been to bitter or not had enough hop character. This has been my greatest struggle as a homebrewer and is somewhat embarrassing being in the Pacific Northwest.
I’m going to start this quest from my most successful past IPA and let it evolve from there. To drive home the point again of how frustrating brewing IPAs has been, it has been two years since I’ve attempted this recipe. So I am going to brew it again as is and maybe I’ll get some improvement just from my improved processes over that time.
Recipe Specifications -------------------------- Boil Size: 6.72 gal Post Boil Volume: 5.72 gal Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal Bottling Volume: 5.50 gal Estimated OG: 1.064 SG Estimated Color: 5.6 SRM Estimated IBU: 80.4 IBUs Brewhouse Efficiency: 85.00 % Est Mash Efficiency: 85.0 % Boil Time: 60 Minutes Ingredients: ------------ Amt Name %/IBU 9 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) 78.3 % 1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) 8.7 % 1 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) 8.7 % 8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) 4.3 % 0.45 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [17.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min 34.8 IBUs 1.00 oz Nugget [13.20 %] - Boil 20.0 min 19.7 IBUs 1.00 oz Simcoe [13.70 %] - Boil 15.0 min 16.2 IBUs 1.00 oz Nugget [13.20 %] - Boil 5.0 min 9.7 IBUs 1.00 oz Simcoe [13.70 %] - Boil 0.0 min 0.0 IBUs 1.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Dry Hop 0.0 IBUs 1.50 oz Simcoe [13.70 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days 0.0 IBUs 1.0 pkg American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Electric Total Grain Weight: 11 lbs 8.0 oz ---------------------------- Name Description Step Temperat Step Time Mash In Add 5.03 gal of water at 160.3 F 152.0 F 60 min Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 2 min 168.0 F 10 min Sparge: Fly sparge with 3.79 gal water at 168.0 F
My goal for an IPA is a beer around 6.5% ABV with a firm bitterness and featuring citrus/tropical hop character. When this beer finishes up I’ll be able to judge it and make a change.