Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ahhh, Summer

Woke up early this morning and brewed myself an all Simcoe IPA. I used Mike McDole's IPA recipe from the Jamil Show, changing only the Munich malt to Vienna (I have a bunch on hand), and the hop variety but not the schedule. Here's what it looks like:
  • 7 lbs Briess Pilsen DME
  • .5 lbs Crystal 60
  • .5 lbs CaraPils
  • .25 Crystal 120
  • .25 Vienna
  • .75 oz Simcoe (60 minutes)
  • 1.5 oz Simcoe (15 minutes)
  • 2 oz Simcoe (5 minutes)
  • 2 oz Simcoe (dryhop)

You math whizzes might have noticed that the hop amounts came to 6.25 oz, and you're probably thinking, "hey, where did that extra quarter ounce come from?" Fat sack, dude. A very nice surprise at 6 am in the morning. A quarter ounce isn't much, but I'll take it in these desperate times we live in. McDole's recipe calls for dryhopping with something crazy like 6 ounces of hops, but I can't afford that, so I'm going with the 2 ounces but I will shake the fermenter every day to keep extracting those aromatics like he suggests. I'm looking very forward to drinking this one.

I've got both kegs filled and carbed. Why the heck did I wait this long to start kegging? The Amber is awesome, although I wish I would have dryhopped with 2 ounces of Centennial instead of just one, and the Blonde is quite good also. The blonde is on the high side of the guidelines for gravity in the style, so it's a tad heavy for a summer beer, but it tastes pretty good nonetheless. It's pretty weird to be drinking a beer with only 25 ibus though; everything else I've been drinking and brewing lately is at least twice that. I think I'll brew another blonde this summer but with Argentina Cascades instead of Northern Brewer.

As far as my hopyard goes, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that they're all growing, but there's quite a bit of bad news. I don't have enough sun where I planted them so none of them are taller than chest high right now. Unfortunately I broke the tip off the tallest bine on my Cascade, and the tallest bine on my Centennial was broken off at the ground. The Zeus is pretty small, but still growing. Hopefully the other bines start shooting up to compensate!

Aside from homebrew, I've also had the opportunity to sample some brews I've been waiting to try for a very long time. Brian hooked me up with 2 bottles of Stone Ruination (I owe you bigtime!) and I was impressed. On the way home from Milwaukee I also picked up Bear Republic's XP Pale Ale, Racer 5 IPA, Red Rocket, and Hop Rod Rye. The XP was a very nice APA with an awesome Cascade/Centennial aroma. Racer 5 was also very good, just a hair under Ruination on my top 5 list. One of these days I'll do a side by side with Red Rocket and my Amber. I picked up the rye for research. If I like that will push me faster into partial mash. My battery is dying and my glass is empty, I'm out.