Well I sure have taken some time away from brewing to handle some things around the house before summer got away. As previously seen in my travels to Trader Joe’s I landed a few other items of interest that I intend to put into an IPA: Mango and Coconut. I had purchased my grains and crushed them almost 2 weeks ago.. I know I’m going to experience some sort of decreased efficiency; just how much was the real question. My original recipe called for Citra, but I was fresh out. Rather than postpone brew day further, I went with the last of my “tropical” hops.. EXP 06277 aka Denali aka Nuggetzilla.
Let me start off by saying that Brulosophy did a great write up using EXP 06277 from a fresh bale cut. The results piqued my interest enough to order a 4oz bag of pellets. These hops smell incredible. Picture Citra meets everything good coming out of the southern hemisphere. They play very nicely with Amarillo in a 1:1 ratio.
I typically use Brewer’s Friend software, but find it to be a bit lacking in determining water volume. Since my volumes have been all over the place I decided to try Beersmith. I downloaded the app to my phone. I’ve noted some pros and cons to each. The phone app of Beersmith is limiting when it comes to grains and hops information when compared to Brewer’s Friend. Perhaps I’m using this wrong? Any information would be appreciated. I put together my recipe in each application and determined my appropriate water volumes in Beersmith.
I began by warming my mash tun and collecting the determined RO water volumes. I made some slight adjustments using calcium chloride and gypsum as indicated by EZwater. This would be my first time adjusting the mash.
Brew day was uneventful, which is always welcomed. Columbus was added as FWH. Amarillo / EXP 06277 blended in a 1:1 ratio was added at flameout, steeped for 20 minutes at 170F, and dry hopped immediately prior to pitching my yeast. The aroma was unreal coming off that kettle.
I’ve gotten a few emails as to why I dry hop when pitching yeast. When I do this, I’m not noticing any significant loss or gain in aroma. I’m simply doing this so I don’t have to open the fermenter until it’s time to transfer to the keg. The less oxygen contact, the better. The difference is negligible, I’m sure but this is one less step for me to take.
Pale Two Row
Harvested from Tree House cans Julius and Green
Following my findings with time using yeast derived from Tree House (I believe it to be Conan), I picked up some Biofine Clear from the fine folks at Northern Brewer. I’m finding that the Tree House yeast is changing for the better as I use it. This would be its 3rd generation. It starts faster, finishes faster, finishes cleaner, and drops better. I need to rig up my new Inkbird temperature controller and fermenter heater wrap to see if I can pull some more fruit esters off of this yeast. Perhaps in future batches I’ll explore this.
Following a 10 day fermentation with 2 days for the yeast to play cleanup, I added Biofine clear to the fermenter and cold crashed for 48 hours. The beer was racked to a keg purged with C02. Keg hops were added along with 32oz Mango juice. 3oz Coconut was added in a muslin sack. The keg was purged of oxygen, burst carbonated, and allowed to sit for a week before taking my first pull.
I’ll start by saying that this beer has the ideal appearance. The nose on this one won’t come up and hit you. As it warms the beer opens up a bit to reveal a bit of floral/tropical hop with a slight hint of coconut. The mouth feel is light and slippery. This is a very refreshing beer. Perfect for the dog days of summer that it was brewed on. The EXP 06277 hops really pair well in this. I do wish that they were more prominent. As with my previous batch, I believe I need to increase my whirlpool additions. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t bad at all. As always, I’m looking for ways to improve. I feel that increasing the hops in the Whirlpool and adding more coconut is the way to get there. Not bad for a first run. This will get another go next summer.