19 September 2009

posted by benjy edwards

The last batch for this yeast culture is the Simcoe IPA, version number five.  Simcoe hops are in short supply right now, but we have some on hand that should be used, and haven’t had the Simcoe IPA on tap for quite a while.  I ratcheted down the gravity from the last version because based on the Alpha King brew I expected to get a higher extract, but was surprised to see an extra seven specific gravity points (target OG 1.060, actual OG 1.067).  1.060 is a bit low for an IPA, so 1.067 was a good result.

Hops are Galena for bittering and then massive amounts of Simcoe at 30, 15, and 0 minutes in the boil.  Overall, a total of 23 ounces of hops went into the brew, not including the dry hop.  That’s almost 4.5 pounds of hops per barrel!

We kegged up the Alpha King after two weeks in the primary, the last three days of which the beer was chilled.  Heavy dry-hopping is the norm for Alpha King, so an ounce each of Cascade, Centennial, and Nugget went into one keg and three-quarters of an ounce each of Cascade, Centennial, and Summit were used in the other.  Gravities were on the low end, at 1.012 and 1.013.

6 September 2009

posted by benjy edwards

We haven’t had a clone of Alpha King on tap for quite a while now, so today we brewed the 18th batch of it.  Recipe was largely the same as previous versions, adjusted for the hops we have on hand.  This time we used Nugget for bittering, Centennial and Cascade for flavour, and Cascade at the end of the boil for aroma.  We added half an ounce of debittered black malt at the end of the mash to adjust the colour a little bit, as it seemed a touch pale during recirculation.

I planned to reduce the alcohol content for this batch, but it didn’t turn out that way.  For some reason we reached 1.063 for the original gravity while our target was only 1.058.  The alcohol content should be just like the commercial beer now, though, rather than a bit less.

The Bishop’s Farewell brewed when Brian was visiting was racked to a couple of corny kegs and dry hopped with an ounce each of Cascade.  Gravities were low, at 1.010.  At least one will be served via handpump, the other may be force-carbonated and sent to Virginia for the rowers’ reunion.