Viewing entries tagged
IPA

Boca Verde IPA

Just a quick blurb about my most recent brew, again I apologize for not being more of a blogosauras*, but things are crazy busy right now. Boca Verde IPA: Brewed 4/25

  • Expected OG: 1.068
  • Actual OG: 1.072 (my efficiency has been too good lately!)
  • IBU: 90+
  • Expected FG: 1.016
  • Actual FG: 1.015
  • ABV: 7.5%
  • Fermentables: Pale 2-Row, American Wheat, Carapils and Turbinado sugar.
  • Hops: Bittering – Columbus.   Flavor/Aroma – Centennial, Citra, Simcoe. Dry Hop – Citra, Simcoe, Columbus
  • Yeasties: WLP001 California Ale

Suffice it to say I've never used this many hops in an IPA before, the flameout/whirlpool hop additions were insane! That makes it a fairly expensive beer to make, and my expectations are high. Sampled tonight upon kegging and adding the second round of dry hops, and it was good enough for some serious fist pumps by myself in the garage. Could be the best beer I've ever made...we'll have to see.

*one who blogs a lot

6/2/13 Edit: Not the best beer I've ever made. Certainly a good beer, but there was a CO2 issue in my system and the kegs sat flat for a few days, that's what I'm blaming on the change in flavor and aroma from my first tastes.  Will try this beer again though, probably knocking off ~.8%ABV and 20IBU.

Catching Up

Apologies for the blogging hiatus all you on the edges of your seats, this may not satisfy, but I needed to post something to catch up. What's been going on in beer and breweries: Events:

1.) Board-member Mike and I went to a few Zwicklemania events, this is a super-fun day for people that like breweries - you get to tour breweries, I got a lot of great input from brewmasters, and you get loads of free swag and samples (HUB was the most generous by far). Don't miss it next year - WE MIGHT BE OPEN BY THEN!IMAG0995

2.) Grocery-Store Blind IPA Tasting. Always fun to nerd out and taste 10 regular ol' IPAs and rate them while trying to guess what you're having. So humbling, I got 2 out of 10 right and strongly supported the drinkable Bridgeport IPA. 10 Barrel Apocalypse won the night for me personally, pretty solid beer. Check out the host Dustin's blog for the full recap.

Brewing:

Since last post I've brewed the Rufus Red (one of my favorites), a German Pilsner which will be ready in like 8 weeks, and a single-hop pale with Ahtanum hops. Let me know if you want the recipes, no time to get into that now. I entered my recent IPA - the "Father Figure" in the blind IPA tasting, and despite not personally liking it very much at all, it beat out a few heavy-hitters, so that's always a good time.

Brewery:

Momentum has slowed a bit, I'm still waiting to hear back from the State that we've been approved as a nonprofit corporation, I feel like that is the last step really needed before kicking off fundraising. Yes, we need your money. We're up to five committed board members at this point, and that is perhaps the most exciting thing to me right now, spreading this vision and getting others excited and talking about it on their own. I'll do a post introducing those involved at some point.

Lastly, I don't know if you've heard of the Facebook or not, but if you have, Like us so we feel better about ourselves and you get more Ex Novo info.

Homebrew Tutorial for Dummies and Other Regular People Too

Homebrew Tutorial for Dummies and Other Regular People Too

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As I was brewing alone yesterday, I had time to relax and take some photos of my homebrew setup for a tutorial and your viewing pleasure. This will help if you were curious about what my homebrew process is - which is nearly the same as a brewery's process, just scaled way  down and crude as far as technology goes. It all starts with the mash tun + malted barley+ water. My mash tun is a 15 gallon keg with the top cut off. The perforated false bottom you see helps me open that valve after the mash and get clean wort out, leaving the used grains behind.

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You fire up the water to ~162F, dump the grains in and stir - then hang out for an hour (great time to enjoy a beer), applying heat as needed to keep the mash temp around 152F. The purpose of the mash is to convert the starches in the grain to sugars, producing the sweet liquid called wort which is the malt base of the beer.

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There's a lot going on in the picture above, so bear with me. After the mash is complete, I rinse the grains (process called sparging) from above with 170F water (pot on far right) while I'm pulling wort through the valve on the bottom into that white bucket. For a 10 gallon batch, I collect ~13 gallons of wort,  and I dump that into my boil kettle - which is another keg (on the left) with the top cut off. Heating the wort collected along the way saves loads of time - boiling 13 gallons is not quick.

I bring the wort up to a rolling boil, then start my boil clock - which is usually 60 minutes. Here hops are added for bitterness, flavor and aroma - depending on when during the 60 minute cycle they are added. I use this ghetto contraption to hold the hops during the boil so they don't get in the piping and clog things up.

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Commercial hops primarily come in two forms: dried whole-leaf style, and the pelletized version (looks like rabbit food). There are pros and cons to each, but the end product tastes the same. I use both, depending on what's available.

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Still with me? So we boiled the wort for an hour, adding hops along the way to get our desired taste profile. At this point, the beers you may or may not have consumed catch up to you and you typically forget something in the last 10 minutes which makes for the only really stressful part of the brewing process. Now we're at the end of what's called the 'Hot' stage, where sanitization gets taken care of by heat. After this, everything gets a little more fragile - and some rouge bacteria or unsanitized equipment can ruin a batch. To take this boiling wort down to room temperature where the yeast can get to work - you have to use a chiller or heat exchanger of some sort, or else the process will take forever and bacteria will likely get to work before your yeast can. I use a counter-flow chiller which runs my cold hose water over a copper coil containing the wort on its way from the kettle to the fermenting vessel (carboy in my case). This takes the wort from boiling temps to ~65F in the time it takes to transfer via gravity to the carboy. It's awesome.

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After this you pitch your yeast of choice, and as soon as the yeast starts working, you start having beer instead of wort. This is what my temperature-controlled basement bathroom/laundry looks like now:

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The 10 gallons I brewed last night need blow-off tubes for when the yeast gets excited, and there's some dry-hopping of the Pale going on in the background. Start to finish, the process takes me a little under 4 hours - well worth it for 80 pints of beer. I'm looking forward to sophisticated brewery equipment and high levels of consistency...but something tells me I'll sort of miss my homebrew setup someday.

If there's anyone still reading after all that and is still interested in what I brewed, it was a new IPA recipe which still needs a name - after I taste and approve of its existence.

Quick Specs: 1.075 OG, 71 IBUs, 8.3 SRM

Ingredients:

  • Malts: Pale 2-Row, Caramel 40 and 60, Carapils and Victory. Victory!
  • Hops: Bittering – Warrior.   Flavor/Aroma – Belma, Citra, Simcoe. Dry Hop – Belma, Simcoe
  • Yeasties: Wyeast 1056 slurry vs. BRY-97 slurry

It may be a little big to fit under the 7.5% abv threshold for IPAs, but it's still winter, and bigger beers rule the streets.

2/20: Finished at 1.016, for 7.7%ABV, dry hopped for 8 days with a second addition for 5 days since I had some centennial and simcoe lying about. Flavor is very fruity, but the alcohol is too forward, needs to mellow out for a week or two. Named it "Father Figure IPA" for the upcoming life change and George Michael's hit.

Not There Yet

I tried to sneak one in and put two of our staple beers (Continuous Pale and Rufus Red) on the beer rating website Ratebeer and I was happy they let me register Ex Novo to add my beers - mostly to put a claim on the names. Looks like they do their research though, as they were taken down within 24 hours - seems they only want "legitimate" "breweries." Soon enough Ratebeer, soon enough. In other news, I've been working on an IPA recipe that I really believe in. Despite being my favorite variety of beer, I don't feel like I've ever nailed down an IPA that I want to staple-ize. This one will feature the brand-new hop variety Belma, out of Yakima county. The producer's description reads like this:

"A very clean hop, with a very orange, slight grapefruit, tropical (but not mango/guava, more like pineapple), strawberry, and melon."

Let's do this thing.