9 November 2013

posted by benjy edwards

This summer there was a time where we had three double IPAs on tap, but as we’re now down to a couple of gallons in the last keg, it is definitely time to brew more.  The recipes for the double batch today are Boathouse IPA using hops of which we have a surplus and a first attempt at Fat Head’s Hop Juju imperial IPA.  The theme this year has been to clone award-winning double IPAs, most if not all of which I have never actually tried, due to their unavailability in Washington.  I considered brewing Heady Topper from The Alchemist in Vermont, but it includes Apollo hops, which I didn’t have until a pound happened to arrive yesterday, earlier than I had expected to receive it.  Instead I chose the Hop Juju, which won the gold medal at this year’s GABF in the double IPA category.

The hops here are Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Simcoe and Citra, while the malt is two-row and two types of crystal.  I used caravienna and crystal 40.  A total of 66 pounds of malt was mashed in the 26 gallon kettle, with target original gravities of 1.064 for the IPA and 1.082 for the Hop Juju.  I had planned to add a pound of sugar to the double IPA to achieve the gravity, but due to getting a higher-than-target pre-boil gravity on the first runnings for the double IPA, I skipped that sugar addition and put it into the IPA boil instead.  Actual gravities ended up being 1.081 for the Hop Juju and 1.062 for the Boathouse IPA.  Each batch was hopped with a pound and a half during the boil, and the Hop Juju will be dry-hopped twice, once in the primary and again when kegged with Citra and Centennial.  The hops used in the IPA were Sterling for bittering, then Belma, Chinook, and Columbus for late hop additions.

The two batches brewed a week ago were kegged, and the IPA with Brian’s homegrown hops was dry-hopped with his Centennial.  The Harvey’s Best Bitter clone was not dry-hopped, as I have found that it more closely resembles the real thing without a dry hop.  Gravities for both batches were low, 1.009 for the bitter and 1.012 for the IPA.  This yeast is doing a great job of attenuating, perhaps partly due to making sure that the temperature is raised as the fermentation vigor abates.  Today may be the last batches for the yeast, certainly at least for the double IPA fermentation.

The brew day went very smoothly, with only one boil-over on the IPA as it reached the start of boil.  I happened to be scooping out the mash tun when it happened.  Both batches started fermenting quickly, and by the end of the night the Hop Juju already needed blow-off tubes.  The IPA blew the airlocks off its carboys on Sunday morning.  I considered removing some of the yeast from the primaries before racking the fresh wort onto the yeast cake, but ran out of time during the boil, so we used the whole cake.  The fermentation would have been less violent if some of the yeast had been removed.

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