Apr 17th, 2012
Wow, so this weekend was CRAZY. It had been our goal to brew two beers this weekend and still have some time to enjoy ourselves. Our good friend Chris was back in town after a long time away on business in Korea, so we were determined to see him, brew two excellent beers, and do some “market research” at some local tasting rooms.
The double brew day would consist of two beers we’d like to make regulars at the tasting room: our favorite ESB with some minor tweaks to improve the recipe and adapt it for larger-scale brewing, and a totally new West Coast IPA.
The brew day started out a little bumpy, when I miscounted the amount of ingredients we had, leading us to take off and waste two hours getting (lunch and) ingredients we didn’t need. Oh well, we’ll just have to make more beer next time! After that, things went more smoothly but not without incident. For some reason, our equipment wasn’t behaving the way it normally does, and in the past it’s always been incredibly reliable.
In any event, the ESB went swimmingly (jolly good!) and before too long we were on to the new IPA recipe. Our West Coast style IPA (I’m pretty sure there’s a law that we have to make one) will be an almost totally late-hopped beer. That should give it a deep hop flavor and the kick-in-the-face aroma you expect out of a WCIPA, and a first-wort-hop should give it all the IBU’s without too much kick-in-the-teeth bitterness you may also expect out of such a beer. We really had to rescue the IPA though, as our pre-boil gravity was way low- this beer will probably need a longer mash in the future. A touch of DME and a longer boil got the gravity back up, and then we commenced with the SERIOUS HOPPAGE.
This IPA uses six hops altogether, with the major flavor and aroma components coming from Cascade, Amarillo, and Chinook. 90% of the hops in this beer are added with less than 20 minutes left in the boil. If you count the dry hop additions, that goes up to 95%.
We can’t wait to see how this one turns out. It’s a totally new recipe, and thanks to all the different corrections we had to make, it’ll be tough to replicate if it turns into a gold-medal winner. It’s going to be fantastic no matter what, though. More to come on this brewday and more in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!