8 January 2012

posted by benjy edwards

No brewing this weekend, but today I casked the five gallons of Boathouse Bitter we brewed a week ago from the second runnings of the Double Jack IIPA clone.  Gravity was down to 1.011, so it should be just over 3% ABV after conditioning.  I dry-hopped it with two ounces of Styrian Goldings.

Speaking of the Double Jack, on Thursday, after four days of fermentation, I dry-hopped each of the two primary fermenters with 1.5 ounces of Cascade and 1.5 ounces of Centennial whole hops.  Using a large funnel, it was surprisingly easy to get the hops into the necks of the carboys.  I will give the dry hops at least a week of contact time  before racking to kegs and dry-hopping the beer again in the serving vessel.  Total weight of hops for this beer is in excess of two pounds, or more than 6 pounds per barrel.

1 January 2012

posted by benjy edwards

Another year has come along already, and what better way to welcome the new year than to brew some beer?  Today’s batch is a clone of Firestone Walker’s Double Jack imperial IPA, which is my favourite commercial double IPA.  It is hoppy, well-balanced, and the high 9.5% alcohol content is well hidden.  It will be a challenge to get this right, but a worthy effort to have this on draught at home.  Based upon how this first attempt turns out, we can alter the recipe and re-brew it to hone in on the real thing.

The recipe is said to be domestic 2-row, Munich, and light crystal, so we used the first of the Great Western Northwestern Premium pale ale malt.  Having never used this base malt before, it was difficult to know what level of extract we would get, so I was not surprised that our gravity was off: almost ten points off, actually, which is quite a lot.  Target was 1.089, itself on the low side, actual original gravity was 1.080.  This should still yield an alcohol content of 8.5% or more, which is enough to do some damage!

The total mash was 38 pounds of malt, and there was still sufficient sugars left in the mash to yield 5 gallons of a smaller beer, with an original gravity of 1.033.  This beer, Boathouse Bitter, was hopped with Admiral for bittering, and Styrian Goldings  whole hops late for an anticipated 40 IBU.  This beer was pitched with extra yeast from the Boathouse IPA, the bulk of which is fermenting the Double Jack batch.

The hops are Chinook and Columbus for bittering, and Cascade and Centennial as the late hops.  I added enough for a calculated IBU of 200.  There will be copious dry-hopping as well, starting with hops added to the primary fermenter after a few days, and followed by more hops in the kegs.

The Boathouse IPA brewed two weeks ago was kegged and dry-hopped with homegrown Cascade and Centennial.  The  beer was quite hoppy when sampled out of the primary, with a nice flavour that bodes well for after further conditioning.

Brewing Santa brought a new oxygen aeration system, which we used for the first time today.  We injected oxygen for 40 seconds into each Double Jack fermenter, and 25 seconds or so for the Boathouse Bitter.  Given the long lag phase of the bitter, I think that 25 seconds may not be enough, even for such a low starting gravity.  The amount of yeast pitched should have been sufficient to get it started earlier.