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.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

IPA: Final strategies

I'm sipping from two IPA's for inspiration and trying to come up with a truly sound hopping strategy for my first real IPA, given that my other ones were from kits and not all that successful. I've got a recipe I wrote here a couple weeks ago and a version I touched up while drinking with Jeremiah, which is always a dangerous way to write a recipe. The two IPA's are Dogfish Head 60-Minute and Smuttynose, the former a dark-hued (in aroma and flavor, not color) brooding, fuller bodied IPA, the latter an explosively floral, bright, perfumey, flirtatious, highly attenuated IPA. Ideally I'd like to have some of the best of both worlds but really don't know how to manage the hop additions.

Balance is really sort of a pisser, since it's hard to evaluate what kind of IBU's you're really going to get. Beers planned on ProMash have come out pretty well so far, so I'm going to assume their estimates are close. My beer is currently at 1065 with 75 IBU's which I think is probably cool. I want to have huge aroma, which should be largley handled just by my aggressive Chinook dry-hop. I like the idea of first wort hopping, and as long as I have a massive amount of whole flower Chinooks I think I should do a first wort hop with an ounce of them, removing them before the boil. I think that will not add much bitterness, plus I anticipate yielding more beer than I planned and if I have to dilute at the end, I'd rather over-shoot the hops.

So the core bitterness derives entirely from Chinook. The flavor takes a swing in the direction of relatively moderate additions of Columbus, supplemented by a punch from the first wort hopping with Chinook. A healthy late addition of Columbus and a very large hit of Chinook finishes things off. The dry hop will, I think, be 1.5 ounces of Chinook, which is a lot. Could even go for 2, but that might obliterate everything else in the nose of the beer.

Here's what I hope is the final recipe:

This is called "Eastern Thing" India Pale Ale, in tribute to the Dude:

Sam Elliot: Sometimes you eat the bar, and, sometimes, well, he eat you.
Jeff Bridges: Is that some kinda Eastern thing??
Sam Elliot: Far from it. . .

For 5.5 gallons:

Grain bill (1065):

10.45 lbs Maris Otter
1.1 lbs Munich
.52 lbs Wheat
.28 lbs Cara-pils
.21 lbs Crystal 60L

Hopping (77 IBU):

1 oz Chinook (first wort hop)
1.2 oz Chinook (60)
.5 oz Columbus (20)
.5 oz Columbus (10)
.5 oz Columbus (5)
.5 oz Columbus (0)
1.5 oz Chinook (0)
1.5 oz Chinook (dry hop)

The Chinooks are all flowers, the Columbus all pellets. The mash will be a single infusion at 150-152. Irish moss near the end, teaspoon of gypsum in the mash. Piece 'o cake.


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