Up next into the mash kettle will be my Little Bastards take on an American IPA. This bad boy should be citrus charged due to my selection of hops to be used in this recipe. The characteristics of said hops should produce primarily orange and tangerine flavor notes, with perhaps a bit of lemon and grapefruit. The blend of 2-row and pale ale malt should provide a solid base to balance the 2 full ounces of hops, and the C-40 will lend a background flavor layer of caramel/toffee. Too much citrus? We shall see...all I know is that I have never had an IPA quite like I hope this one is supposed to be!
Hoppy Kitty - brewed on: 9/25/2011 - Briess 2-Row: 3 lbs 9 oz - Briess Pale Ale Malt: 2 lbs 4 oz - Briess Caramel 40: 7 oz - Briess Carapils: 2 oz - Summit pellets: 1 oz (1/3 @ 60, 1/3 @ 10, 1/3 dry) - Amarillo pellets 1 oz (1/4 @ FWH, 1/4 @ 20, 1/4 @ 12, 1/4 @ 7) - Pacman yeast slurry anticipated at 75% eff: OG 1.063 - IBU 65 - ABV 6.1%
brought 4.25 gallons of water up to 160° for mash in, and then held temperature around 155° for about 65 minute. about 10 minute mash out at 169°. the grain bag will then be left to drip over the kettle as the wort is brought up to a boil, and the FWH of Amarillo hops will be added. once the boils starts rolling, begin hop schedule!
actual stats: OG 1.058 (69% eff...BOOOO!) - 67 IBU - ABV 5.6 lower OG due to mashing higher? eh, something like that I'm sure. the sample from the hydrometer tube seemed promising though. a little residual sweetness came through despite all the hoppy break material still floating around.
ferment through 10/13/11 - dry hop for 2 days (put them in on the 11th), then get to racking to the LBBP's first ever KEG!!! ~update: fermentation has been going pretty smoothly, and the temperature have been pretty steady around 68° give or take. there was one small spike to 70° that lasted a few hours, but that was already after the initial vigorous fermentation stage had come and gone. the smell of hops was EXCELLENT during this time as well. better get to cleaning that keg... ~update: keg is CLEAN and some star san is sitting in right now. will pressure test this evening, then rack the IPA!
KEGGED!!! on 10/13/11 - CO2 blast and head spaced purged, keg into fridge to chill for a day, then looking to give this about 2 weeks on 12 PSI via the "Set in and Forget it" force carbonation method. this should give it about 2.5 volumes of CO2 at the 38° I am trying to keep the beer at inside the kegerator - which makes the first sample right around Halloween!
Sampled on 11/2/2011 - Did you notice the lovely pair of Perlick chrome faucets that are the new gateways to LBBP draught beer goodness! ;-) I am thinking that this beer actually finished a bit lower in the FG than I originally anticipated (can't say for sure because I don't ever take that reading), and I say that because the body of this beer is a bit more on the thin side than intended. Not in a bad way though, because this IPA was really an easy drinker! I poured out a half glass (because I could!) and got a nice full finger of head that was a bit sticky and left a bit of lacing. The color is a light orangy-amber that I really couldn't get a nice picture of due to the lighting, but you get the idea!
The aroma was reminiscent of an orange grove: a blend of the citrus fruit itself, a bit of rind, and a touch of fresh cut grass...quite pleasing I think. The taste followed suit and is definitely hop forward. It is worth noting that the bitterness was really smooth as well. Despite the IBUs in the mid 60's I must have done something right because the balance was excellent. A soft caramel flavor followed the hops to round out the taste as the sip finishes. Another pat on the back was the wife saying "mmm...that is a nice one!" as opposed to "ick! that is really beer-y!" which is the usual response to her tasting an IPA. About five weeks from brew days, and this is definitely ready to drink! I think I will definitely re-brew this baby, maybe add a dash of C-60 to bolster the caramel flavor. Other than that, I could not be hoppier! ~ba-dum-ching~
~update 11/13/11 - the "fresh hoppy" character that was so evident when this keg was tapped, unfortunately has dissipated over the past 10 days. I guess that is bound to happen when a dry hop is part of the flavor builder. It is still a good beer, don't get me wrong, but FRESHNESS played a huge role as far as the "hop punch" to your nose and palate is concerned. ~next recipe~