Doctor Duvel

I'm like a sommelier, but for beer.

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Location: Upstate New York, United States

Favorite Beers: Orval, Samuel Smith, Duvel, Hennepin, Oude Gueze, Chimay, Dogfish Head, Anchor Steam, and anything made by Trappist monks.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Cracking the IPA Code

So, having noted that my early IPA's were vexed to nightmare by attenuation issues bred of ignorance, I thought I'd correct the problem just for the sake of frugal yeast use. (There was an allusion there by the way). I figure if the Pale and Barley wines go well, I'll have a yeast cake of Wyeast 1056 still available and there's no reason not to throw a third beer on it. So I thought I'd peruse the options on the IPA front--I figure I'll brew this over spring break along with a Belgian Singel. Info gathering via a great old Brewing Techniques article. . .


British or American?

Oak or no Oak?

Go for a relatively neutral, all-about-the-hops malt profile, or look for a little color and a little balance, a la, say Celebration Ale or Victory's Hop Devil?

American IPA parameters according to David Brockington:
85-95% English or American pale ale malt (Prefer the former)
1-2% Caramel malt
5-10% Munich malt
1-4% Carapils
O.G. >1060
IBU >50

Easy on the Crystal/Caramel malts.

A small dose of wheat is also a nice touch for the head.

This article discourages 1056--add esters by mixing in a touch of something else? Of course 1056 is used for several IPA's I like a lot. . .

Use Burton salts? At any rate, a decent gypsum addition is mandatory

Mash regimen? I want some body, but pretty thorough attenuation. . .

Make that tiny shot of crystal a fairly dark crystal for complexity's sake?

Columbus hops are a really key addition in many great IPA's. Single hop variety thing aside, maybe incorporate some?

The malts for Hop Devil are Vienna, Caramunich, and Caramel from Weyermann, plus Centennial, Tettnanger, and Cascades. 1063 and 55. Could easily work out a quasi-clone with that much info if I wanted.

Anderson Valley (yum) is all Columbus and 1062.

Brockington uses a single infusion at 151.

My responses to these issues go something like this. To hell with England; this will be an American IPA. To hell with the oak; I'd rather concentrate on the hops for now. I'm leaning toward the leaner malt profile, but will order the best malts I can, emphasizing Munich and maybe a small dose of something offbeat like Biscuit or Cara-Vienne. I will barely use Crystal at all, just a little bit of something dark. I will throw in about 2 percent wheat. I've already got the Wyeast 1056 lined up and there are different schools of thought on that--will go with that for now, in favor of good, relatively neutral hop presentation. I'll add gypsum for sure. I'll keep the mash in the 150-152 area, keeping unfermentables under control. I'll bitter with Chinook, flavor with Columbus and Chinook, and dry hop primarily with Chinook. I love Chinook, but I think the Columbus will add complexity and something different. Cascades I'll save for another time.
All hops whole.

Consulting the oracle. . .

This leads to the following monstrosity:

For a gravity of 1063:

9.5 lbs Maris Otter
1 lb German Munich
4 oz Cara-pils
4 oz Wheat
3 oz Crstal 60L

Single infusion mash at 150-152. Or could do an upward infusion with a not-so-necessary protein rest, scaling through the 140's briefly.


For 92 IBU's (I think ProMash is exaggerating):

1 oz Chinooks (60 minutes)
1 oz Columbus (15)
2 oz Columbus (5)
.5 oz Columbus (dry)
1 oz Chinook (dry)

Is that too much? Dropping the bittering charge to .75 ounces returns us to a more rational 78 IBU's. That might be best. . . I'll consider.


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