Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sir Reginald's SMaSHing IPA (and a new cider experiment!)

First wort hoping kept this full pot from boiling over!
Hey all! Those of you that keep up with my twitter feed (@cuttshomebrew) have probably seen some of the updates from the last couple of brews, but I thought it was time to log them officially and give a little more information about these upcoming beauties. First of all, my new technique of yeast harvesting worked wonderfully well, and the WLP002 culture from the Husky Lad Mild Porter stayed clean, made a good starter, and is now fermenting vigorously away at the beautiful English IPA I cooked up. I am very excited to have such an easy and reliable new method for harvesting (and reharvesting) yeast, because I definitely have zeroed in on my favorite "house" strains for English (WLP002) and Belgian (WLP500) ales, and it's really nice to save some money on batches, as yeast is one of the more expensive elements of homebrewing.

I had a lot of fun brewing up this beer. I did a long (~2 hours) mash at 152°F, and then, instead of the usual bittering addition, I did some first wort hopping. This is a technique I've used in other beers to nice effect, where you add the hops to the hot wort in the boil kettle as you collect the runoff. Because the wort is hot but not boiling at this stage, certain volatile hop oils and compounds are extracted more effectively, resulting not only in an effective bittering component after boiling, but also more complexity in the flavor and aroma of the finished product. Additionally, this also helped to prevent a boil over in a very full pot. First wort hopping was one of the Top 10 Tips for a Super Hoppy Beer that I followed for this recipe. I also followed Callahan's advice of adding the aroma (flameout) addition once the beer cooled below 180°F and then doing a relatively long (~15 minute) steep of the aroma hops before chilling. I must say, whenever I smelled the hops hitting the hot wort, I got really excited for an EKG hop bomb of a beer. The starter made with the harvested yeast from the porter got the batch going really nicely, and it has been happily and vigorously fermenting for the last several days. Here is the simple yet specific recipe:

Sir Reginald's SMaSHing English IPA:
Projected ABV: 7%
Projected SRM: 7.6°L (a deep golden color)
Projected IBU: 46

14 lbs Maris Otter


3 oz East Kent Goldings @FWH
1 oz EKG @20 minutes
1 oz EKG @15
1 oz EKG @10
1 oz EKG 15 minute steep @180°

1 oz EKG dry hop 7 days
1 oz EKG dry hop 5 days
1 oz EKG dry hop 3 days

Awww yeah.

Prior to my brew day, I was really catching the fever while waiting for the starter to reach its full potential, so I finally whipped up a batch of graff, a type of cider that uses malt to achieve a desirable level of body and residual sweetness. I used the very popular Brandon O recipe on Homebrewtalk.com, combining 1 oz torrefied wheat, 1 lbs crystal 60, and 2 lbs of malt extract with 4 gallons of apple juice to make 5 gallons of delicious homegrown alchemy. I threw in some dry Nottingham yeast that took off like a shot and fermented like crazy for quite a few days, kicking off some really nice apple aromas. The other key with graff is that it is supposed to be very drinkable very quickly, so I should be enjoying it soon. I am very excited about this project, because while I have had some decent success making homebrewed ciders, I have never done more than a gallon or two at a time, and they've never come out quite exactly right. I really enjoy cider, and I know that many others do as well, so it will be nice to have a good, reliable recipe for draught cider.

The graff cider bubbles away
More updates to come soon! Prost!

1 comment:

  1. I just brewed up a SMaSH American Amber myself. I think this IPA is next up! ;)
    Check out my brew at: