First and foremost, I lost all photos associated with this brewday. New technology is in my grasp!
With my last two batches (brewed on the same day) coming up a little light in bitterness and aroma, I’ve decided to increase my whirlpool hop additions. Typically, I calculate 5% utilization for anything over 180F over a 30 minute time period. It’s my personal belief (and experience) that when whirlpool hops are added at flameout temperatures, there IS a bitterness extracted. I think back to my first attempt at brewing a NEIPA. Being at this time there was no information available about this style, I decided to go crazy and add all of my hops at flameout and let them steep for an hour before transferring to the fermenter. So there it is! One pound of belma went into the kettle at flameout. This beer was so bitter it was undrinkable. It did work great at cleaning stainless steel though.
As time passed, I found that less is more in the whirlpool considering all other hop additions. I continue to find a happy spot with a FWH addition, 5 minute addition, a relatively mild whirlpool addition, and massive dry hopping during fermentation. This is my method for saison and clean, pale ales.
I ran into a can from The Veil Brewing Co. named IdontwanttoBU. Essentially this is a 0 IBU beer from what I gather. This inspired me to go back to revisit my failed experiment from 10 months ago. I scored a gnarly deal on a 1lb bag of citra hops and was on my way, ready to rock again.
Pale Two Row
Fawcett Oat Malt
White Wheat Malt
Citra at FO
Citra WP at 180F for 45 minutes
WY1318 London Ale III
As I prepped my equipment late in the day, I noticed that I had forgotten to pick up RO water for my mash. I proceeded using tap water against my intuition. I mashed in at 156F for a full body. After a 60 minute infusion, I batch sparged at 168F for 20 minutes and then ran off into my kettle. To my extreme disappointment, I had only achieved a corrected pre boil gravity of 1.048. Beersmith calculated my pre boil gravity to be 1.070. Whatever is in this Detroit water is destructive to my mash. I will stick to using RO water. To combat this, I added 3/4lb dextrose and then started my boil.
After 70 minutes boiling, I reached my target volume and added my first dose of citra hops. I then steeped for 20 minutes allowing the temperature to naturally drop to 175F. At this time, I added another massive dose of Citra. This time, 30% more than at FO. I allowed this to stand for 20 more minutes before syphoning off to my fermenter, aerating with my drill and stirring attachment, and pitching my 1L starter of Wy1318. I then added my final dose of citra hops. At this point there was 12oz of Citra in my 3 gallon fermenter. I attached my temperature controller to my heater wrap, set for 68F and let it rip. As fermentation slowed, I slowly bumped the temperature up to hit 70F where I held for 48 hours prior to transferring to my “BRIGHT KEG”. I essentially used Keg A as a Bright tank. Follow a week’s dry hopping and cold crashing; I transferred off to Keg B, the Serving Keg.
Lately I have been using my Tree House yeast almost exclusively. I have not used 1318 in quite some time and want to revisit it. I’ve grown accustomed to the esters that I’ve been getting from my Tree House/Conan culture and wanted to mix it up to give 1318 a fresh take.
I had a little backup on my kegging equipment waiting for my oaked stout to condition so this one sat in primary for about 2.5 weeks before crashing and kegging. No keg hops were added. Not sure what happened here, but this one is gross. This one is not reminiscent of a NE IPA. As a matter of fact, it’s going down the drain. Perhaps the Citra was old?
There are lessons to be learned in failures (unless you’re the Detroit Lions). In this case, is the importance of boil, and aroma additions. Flame out, whirlpool, and dry hop additions are just one tool in the box. On their own, they are not very effective. The craft of making a world class beer is using all of these tools in harmony to craft something greater than the sum of their individual contributions. Looks like we’ll have to wait another few days for the other keg to carb up! I sense a cellar raid coming soon. PS – not a fan of WY1318 in NEIPA. I’m sticking with Conan from here out.