1 December 2012

posted by benjy edwards

For the last batch using this yeast culture, and the last batch of the year, I was torn between brewing another batch of a cask ale, the dark mild, which is a fantastic beer for this time of year, or doing a super hoppy IPA, which would alleviate some of the storage space problems we’re having due to so many pounds of hops from this year’s harvest.  In the end, I came up with a compromise, a super hoppy cask ale.  The recipe was originally a homebrew, but was brewed as a collaboration between Stone, Ballast Point, and the homebrewer and originator Kelsey McNair.  Stone published the recipe in their recent book about the brewery.  It’s a 1.042 American pale ale with massive late hopping so it tastes more like an IPA.  There are a few of these types of beers popping up, being named things like India Session Ales or session IPA.

The malt bill is domestic two-row, medium English crystal, carapils, and honey malt.  Because I’ve been getting lower than expected extraction from the Great Western two-row, I bumped up the amount of base malt for this beer, and ended up with too high of an original gravity: 1.048 instead of the 1.042 target.  This will be on the strong side for a cask ale, perhaps around .5% ABV higher than the 4.2% of the collaboration release.

Hops are Columbus at 60 and 30 minutes for bittering and flavour, and then Amarillo and Simcoe at 10 minutes, followed by a knockout addition of Amarillo, Simcoe, Centennial, Citra, and Columbus.  I opted for a total of ten ounces of hops at flameout, but since that is such a massive amount, I added half of them with 3 minutes left in the boil, and then the other five ounces when I turned off the heat.  The kettle sat for a ten minute steep before chilling.  Despite 21 ounces of whole hops in the kettle, we had no trouble running the wort through the chiller, which just shows that it is entirely the fault of the pellets when we do have a stuck or slow runoff.

The recipe also calls for Amarillo, Simcoe, Centennial, Citra, and Columbus as a dry hop.   Speaking of dry-hopping, the Double Jack IIPA brewed last weekend was dry-hopped in the primary fermenters with one ounce each of Amarillo, Simcoe, Cascade, and Centennial four days after pitching.  The Boathouse IPA brewed from the same mash was kegged today, and dry-hopped with an ounce of Columbus and an ounce of Citra in each corny keg.  This beer finished dry, it was down to 1.008 after one week.  It should clock in at 6.6% when tapped.  I am going to let the kegs sit at room temperature for a week or two, since some say that the dry hop is more effective at warmer temperatures, and we don’t need the beer soon anyway.