Looking back at how proud I was of my Green clone, I decided to take another stab at cracking the code that is Julius from Tree House Brewing Co. A close friend received a huge grocery store bag full of old assorted hop pellets new in. I nabbed up a haul of Citra, Amarillo, Columbus, Apollo, Centennial, and a few others. Score!
Borrowing from my current IPA’s, I decided to simplify the grist. Following my notes from the last attempt, I noted that the color was a little dark, reduce or eliminate dextrose, and increase Munich… well, I don’t have Munich today – I have Vienna. Close enough. Back then, I was not controlling fermentation temp very well. Now, I have a temperature controller in action. Also, I used the Omega DIPA yeast which I was not a big fan of. My house cultures of Conan are better performers.
5 gallon batch
I mashed in using RO water treated with Calcium Chloride and Gypsum in a 2:1 ratio at 154F for 60 minutes. The Chloride contributes to the soft, pillowy mouthfeel. I then batch sparged at 168F for 20 minutes and then began my boil. I decided to forego the 60 minute addition in favor of a 20 minute addition to get more flavor than bitterness out of the Columbus. Following the boil, I dumped in 8oz of a citra/amarillo blend. I then oxygenated the wort using my drill/stir attachment for 60 seconds and pitched my Conan.
This time, I did not pitch my dry hops during peak fermentation. Instead, allowed the beer to ferment at ambient temperature for 7 days. On day 7, I turned the heat up to 70F and added 4oz of citra/amarillo to the fermenter. 4 days later I transferred to my conditioning keg and cold crashed for a week. The beer was then close transferred to my serving keg, blast carbonated and poured. Keg hops were not added as I don’t get that “in your face” aroma from Julius. Then again, it’s been nearly a year since I’ve had Julius (please send me some).
Here it is. Round 2. Lessons learned and changes made. Initially, I was worried at day 10. Before dry hopping, I tasted the beer and the hop flavor was weak… My saturation levels were nowhere near the NEIPA’s I’ve made in the past or of commercial comparison. I also get an overwhelming sulfur aroma coming from the beer. This is surprising since there are a good amount of dry hops.
After two weeks in the keg, not much has changed. I feel that due to the long (45 minute) whirlpool, some DMS got into the beer. Minimal alpha acids were extracted due to the 170F whirlpool and the late (20 min) boil addition. I feel this contributed to the problem.
The moral of the story is that the whirlpool addition at low temperature for a long time is overhyped. Going forward I will stick to kettle additions and flame out additions and chill as quickly as possible. If I do a whirlpool, I will keep it on the hot side for a short period of time as I have had success with in the past. As for the old hops, never again. There was a reason why they were free. Yuck.
I’ll revisit a proven recipe next time around. In the meanwhile, I’ve got 4 gallons of stink-beer to go butt chug.
Two weeks have lapsed since kegging and initially trying this beer. I took a pull last night and the sulfuric aroma has dissipated. The nose is now citra/armpit. Perhaps this was just some gnarly citra? I’ve heard that citra can sometimes get “catty”. Perhaps this is what I smelled. The taste has also cleaned up a bit. I attribute this to the cold conditioning aiding the Conan in flocculating down. The beer is now a drinkable pale ale. However, this is nowhere near Julius in any sense. The haze on this makes me question the oat addition in this style. It just looks different.