Sunday, February 10, 2013

Batch #14 - Triple C/J IPA (All-grain)

This brew is a rewind back to batch #10 which I think is probably the best one I've made so far.  My fiancee's son and a friend of his wanted to learn the process so I thought this one would be worth a revisit.  They both like hoppy beer so I thought this one was worth of a re-do.

10 lbs. 2-Row Pale Malt
12 oz. Cara 8/Caramel Pils
8 oz. Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L
1 oz. Chinook Hops (60 minutes)
1 oz. Chinook Hops (15 minutes)
1 oz. Cascade Hops (2 minutes)
1 oz. Citra Hops (Dry Hopping)
1/2 tsp. Yeast Nutrient
1 Whirfloc tablet
1 pkg. American Ale Yeast (Wyeast Labs #1056)
4 oz. Corn Sugar
8.5 gallons of drinking water
20 lbs. ice (for chilling wort)

  1. Optional - Prepare a yeast starter at least 24 hours in advance of brew day.  This isn't really necessary since the ABV for this batch will be around 6.5%.
  2. Clean and sanitize all equipment that will come in contact with your beer.
  3. Prepare your strike water by heating 14 quarts of water or 3.5 gallons (1.25 quarts of water per pound of grain) to a temperature of 162-170 degrees.  Aim for 169 degrees.
  4. Add about 4 quarts of your strike water to the mash tun to heat it up and begin adding your crushed grains and the remaining strike water.  Stir thoroughly to avoid dry pockets (dough balls).
  5. Once the mixture is thoroughly combined check the temperature to ensure it is approximately 152-154 degrees.  If not, adjust by adding hot or cold water.
  6. Once your mash is at the proper temperature add 1 tablespoon of pH stabilizer, stir and close the mash tun and let steep for 60 minutes.
  7. Prepare your sparge water by heating 5 gallons of water to a temperature of 170 degrees.
  8. Optional - check for starch conversion by performing an iodine test or simply taste the mixture.  If conversion has taken place the mixture will taste sweet.
  9. Perform vorlauf by slowly collecting the first runnings of your wort and adding them back to mash tun.    Take care to not let grain bed collapse by draining too quickly or dumping first runnings back in the mash tun with too much force.  Repeat this step 5 or more times until the runnings are free of grain debris and running relatively clear.
  10. Collect your first runnings into your brew pot by allowing all of the wort in your mash tun to slowly drain out.  Take your time and be careful to not let your grain bed collapse.
  11. After your mash tun has drained close the valve and add all of your sparge water to the tun and stir.  Do not worry about disturbing the grain bed as you are going to create a whole new grain bed for the second runnings.
  12. Repeat Step 9 above (vorlauf) and collect enough wort until you have about 7 gallons of beer.
  13. Return your brew kettle to burner and bring wort to a vigorous boil.
  14. As soon as the beer begins to boil add 1 oz. of Chinook hops for bittering and boil for 60 minutes.
  15. With 15 minutes left in the boil add:
    1. Whirfloc tablet.
    2. 1 oz. of Chinook hops.
    3. Wort chiller to the boil to sterilize.
  16. During last 10 minutes of boil add 1/2 tsp. of yeast nutrient dissolved in small amount of warm water.
  17. With 2 minutes left in the boil add 1 oz. of Cascade hops.
  18. Terminate boil and chill to fermentation temperature of approximately 70 degrees.
  19. Take a specific gravity reading and record.  Target SG is approximately 1.059.
  20. Estimated post-boil volume is 6 gallons.
  21. Transfer to fermentation carboy.  Strain if desired.
  22. Optional - add boiled water to achieve desired volume.
  23. Pitch yeast and aerate well using pure oxygen.
  24. Attach blow-off tube and ferment until complete according to hydrometer readings (at least 3 weeks).
  25. After 2 weeks of fermentation, add 1 oz. of Citra hops for the dry hopping process.  Let these hops age in the primary fermenter for 7-10 days.
  26. Prepare priming sugar by boiling 2 cups of drinking water and add 4 oz. of priming sugar.  Be careful not to scorch.  Boil for 5 minutes and add to bottling bucket.  Add wort, stir gently for 1 minute and bottle.
Notes, Results and Lessons Learned:
  • Brew Day - February 10, 2013
  • Bottling Day - March 9, 2013 (27 days total fermentation)
  • Tasting Day - March 17, 2013 (8 days in the bottle)
  • OG - 1.060
  • FG - 1.020 (This should have been closer to 1.011.  Bottled to early? Stuck fermentation?)
  • ABV - 5.25%
  • Notes:
    • I didn't dissolve the yeast nutrient in warm water before pitching it into the wort. I doubt this will be an issue but wanted to note it.
    • I increased pre-boil wort volume from 6.5 gallons to 7 gallons.  This seemed to produce the right amount of post-boil wort to generate the desired 6 gallons of fermentable wort.
    • Added 1 oz. of Citra hops for dry hopping on February 24, 2013 (two weeks into fermentation).  Dry hopped until March 9, 2013 (13 days).
    • I expected the FG to be closer to 1.010.  I hope I don't have any bottle bombs!
    • Consider a yeast starter next time or letting the fermentation go longer.  If so, agitate to keep the yeast going. 
The Verdict:
  • I went ahead and popped the top on this one a little earlier than I normally would have (only 8 days in the bottle) and it was plenty carbonated.  My thought was that since it most likely didn't finish fermenting as far as it could have there was plenty of sugar left for bottle conditioning.  My hunch was right in that it was perfectly carbonated.  I decided to refrigerate some to stop them from carbonating further.
  • So how did it turn out?  Very good!  Beautiful aroma and smooth taste.  One of my best.  Plus, Jordan liked it - ;-)

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