21 February 2016

posted by benjy edwards

For the end of the life cycle for this yeast, it is time for an IPA.  My favourite new IPA to come out commercially has been Sierra Nevada’s seasonal Beer Camp release for the spring, Tropical IPA.  The name is apt, as it is very fruity and citrusy.  Sierra Nevada kindly provides the ingredients on its website, so we know that it uses two-row, Munich, and honey malt, and the beer is bittered with Amarillo and combines Citra, Mosaic, El Dorado, and Comet for late hopping.  I have all of the hops except Comet, and so substituted Nugget for that.

We know the ABV too, so we designed the recipe for an original gravity of 1.062.  However, I believe that I added an extra 5 pounds of two-row to the mash, because we weigh base malt out in 5 pound increments and I lost count after 3 additions, and so probably added the fourth increment twice, using 30 pounds instead of 25.  The rest of the grist was 5 pounds of Vienna in place of Munich and 1.5 pounds of honey malt.  The result was a pre-boil gravity of 1.059 and despite a relatively low boil, still reached 1.066 OG.

Four ounces of Amarillo was added at 60 minutes, and then 1.5 ounces each of El Dorado, Citra, Mosaic, and Nugget at 10 and 5 minutes left, then 1.5 ounces each of Citra and Mosaic at flameout.  We chilled and racked to the full quantity of yeast after four previous pitches.  Sometimes we remove some of the yeast cake to avoid overpitching, but the cake wasn’t that large, and with an OG of 1.066, a lot of yeast is a good thing.  Blow-off tubes were fitted because with a full 6 gallons in each fermenter and that much fermentable sugars, a very vigorous fermentation is guaranteed.

We kegged the hoppy brown ale, and it is tasty, and although the higher mash temp left us with a bit of residual sugar, the high hopping rate means that it doesn’t taste sweet.  The beer is going to be less than 5% ABV, so I considered serving at least one keg on handpump, but decided against it, as we are more in need of co2 beers, not cask.  We dry-hopped one keg with the rest of the Cascade leftover from the boil, and used Centennial in the other.  The colour is perfect for a brown ale, so adding a couple of ounces of debittered black malt during wort collection was a good idea.

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