3 August 2013

posted by benjy edwards

After an unusually long break mostly due to wanting to ride my bike when the weather here is so good, we started brewing again today.  Originally I had planned to brew our dark mild, since a low gravity cask ale is a good thing to ferment with the first pitch of the yeast, but we still have plenty of the Dark Ruby Mild on cask, so I switched the recipe to our second crack at the Blind Pig IPA clone from Russian River.  The first batch was great, but at the time I didn’t have any domestic two-row, so that was brewed with Maris Otter.  From people who have had the commercial beer, our version came out a touch darker and with more malt character.   Today we brewed it using Gambrinus pale malt, crystal 40, and carapils.  No changes were made to the hopping schedule, as that worked well the first time.

Target gravity for this beer is only 1.058, for a 6% IPA.  The mash went well, our pH was 5.5 with some lactic acid added, and we recirculated as usual and collected for the boil, adding the Columbus and Chinook bittering hops at 90 minutes as the brewer Vinnie specifies.  Then at 30 minutes some Amarillo goes in, and then Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, and Simcoe at flameout.  We let the hops go for a 10 minute steep before chilling.  Our original gravity was 1.057, so only 1 point shy of the target, and we got a full 6 gallons in each primary.  The fermentation was very active next morning, with both fermenters needing fresh airlocks after blow-offs.

The next planned brew is a double batch, one a session IPA or extra pale ale using only Mosaic hops, and a cask beer probably hopped with Citra.  I  am very excited to brew the Mosaic beer, after obtaining a pound of pellets from a local commercial brewery.  Mosaic are currently “unobtainium” for homebrewers, so this is a great opportunity.  I’ve had all-Mosaic pale ales from Sound Brewery and Fearless and they were both excellent.

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