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.


Bri said...

That looks like a tasty IPA. I haven't done an IPA or a beer with that many hops yet. I'm going to be brewing an IPA soon but haven't started looking for a recipe. I'm considering doing a double batch seeing as I've emptied my SNPA and my other kegs are all on reserve. I fear there is little to no beer in them. Man I've been thirstly lately.

What beer did you leave me. It has an M1 on the cap. I want to know what it is before I crack it. You must have told me what it was before you left that night but I was 2 sheets to the wind at that time.

You've perked my interest with Bear Republic beer. Now I have to go get some.

Matt Andrews said...

I love IPAS!!!!!!! There I said it, it's out there and I don't care who knows it!! I love brewing them too, add more malt and hops and there you go!! I've loved mixing hops to get a fantastic blend of hops, it's so good and becomes this smooth blend of hops and fresh malts! Sorry, I'm drinking a Rye IPA that is tasting really good right now!!

I have a hard time brewing lighter beers, I love getting the "fuller" flavor. I guess that comes with what kind of beers I normally drink! ha! I also think it's nice to tell people about that little bit higher percent of alc in there!! haha! The one style I haven't brewed is Belgian, and that's my favorite to drink. I want to brew a tripel soon.

Too bad about your hops, but this year will be a good rooting year for your hops and next year they should take off!!

wait, did I read dryhopping with 6 ounces? Holy sacks! Can't afford that one is right!! A couple years ago maybe, but man that's got to fill a room with aroma!!

enjoy! Brew on!!

richt said...

I also am an IPA and high gravity fan. Hops are too good to not put a large amount in your beer. I did the blend with the DIPA, but now I've backed off and am trying out some new hops and just doing single hop brews to get a better feel for what goes with what. I'm really looking forward to this Simcoe IPA. The amber I've got kegged is a damn fine hopmonster too. Gotta love the west coast style ambers!

Bri, that beer is probably a Wee Heavy (it's probably a W, not an M1, it's hard for my sausage fingers to write on those tiny little caps). Feel free let that bad boy age.

Bri said...

Hey RT, so I was able to pick up some Bear Republic today. I found the Hop Rod Rye and Racer 5 as you did. I'm looking forward to kicking those back.

How is kegging going for you? I've really enjoyed having mine so far. I havent' had 4 full kegs on tap yet and I need to work on that.

Is the Simcoe Ipa still in primary? I haven't tried that hop yet. I like what you're doing testing hops individually on batches. My SNPA was all cascade. The next brew I'm planning will be Bell's Two hearted and that will be all centennial. After that I'm not sure what I'll be brewing but the Simcoe hop looks appealing.

I taste tested the Bourbon Barrel Brown last night. It's a complex flavor with plenty of after taste. So I'm going to wait another week or two to try it again to let it settle and age a bit more.

richt said...

The Simcoe IPA has been kegged and it will not last long. Simply put, it is the best beer I have brewed. I kegged it on Monday and left Wednesday for a camping trip and filled up a growler before I left and it was total happiness sitting in front of the fire sipping a fine brew out of a nalgene that I made. I'll make a full post about this beer later.

SWART said...

Just a heads up that labor day weekend I will be making a visit to the Bear Republic Brewery in Healdsburg, CA. Its nice to find such a nice place in the midst of all the wineries in Sonoma. I hear that is a nice lineup of seasonal available for tasting!

Bri said...

That's awesome swart! Just yesterday I was thinking about doing another beer tour. Let us know what it's like...

Have you brewed anything lately? I'll be doing an IPA tomorrow night. I ordered a pound of centennial leaf hops from northern brewer, so i'm going to hop the crap out of this beer.

richt said...

Jeremy, you suck, and I am totally jealous.

Brian, a pound of Centennial should be just enough for a good IPA.

One of these days I'll write a legitimate post and not just some smarmy little comments.