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.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Pliny the Room-Mate

So, back in Berkeley, over spring break, I had a few pints of Pliny the Elder and I rather adored it. If you're not in the know, this is one of the four or five quintessential double IPA's in the country, brewed by Russian River and not really available outside CA. I made a double IPA back in November and I don't mind saying that it's fabulous. Mine is kind of on the elegant end of the DIPA stlye: explosive hoppiness to be sure, but also restrained, sleek, not all that malty, wickedly alcoholic... It kind of wants a brandy snifter.

Pliny, and this is not a knock, is more of a pub DIPA. It has its contemplative side, but it's also brash and inconsiderate; it sits down at your table and has its way with you... I think it's amazing and, seeing as how its (supremely gifted) brewer has freely diseminated his recipe amonst the home-brewing community, I had/have vague designs on cloning it.

Here's the problem: I felt like making a DIPA Saturday, and I really didn't have the right stuff. I had no Centennial, a critical hop for the recipe, and I didn't want to demolish my stock of Simcoe, which would've created a critical set-back for the varietal hop project, seeing as how an all-Simcoe IPA is up next. Also playing into the preparations for this brew day was the realization that I have a seriously excessive amount of hops kicking around and that, while they can live happily in the garage from November until March, at some point you've got to thin the herd...

Thus, I borrowed the gist of Vinnie Cilurzo's grain bill and general procedures, but I completely changed the hopping to work with what I had. The result? Pliny the Room-Mate:

OG 1073-4
IBU 187 calculated, not including mash hops or first wort hops

Grain bill:

14.4 lbs F.B. Pale Ale malt (I bought a sack of this and was running low on Maris Otter)
16.3 oz Cara-Pils
19 oz table sugar
2.3 oz Simpson's Medium Crystal (55 L)
2.2 oz Baird's Carastan

I mashed all this at around 150-1 with 1.5 oz of Chinook in the mash.
I also first-wort hopped with 1.5. oz of Columbus.

Here's the rest of the hops:

1 oz Chinook (90)
2 oz Warrior (90)
1.5 oz Northern Brewer (30)
1 oz Chinook (20)
1 oz Columbus (20)
1.2 oz Northern Brewer (0)
1.2 oz Mt. Hood (0)
1 oz Chinook (0)
1 oz Cascade (0)
1 oz Columbus (0)

I've not decided on the dry hops, but there will be a minimum of 6 oz dry hops, emphasizing the main C-hops, maybe with an Amarillo accent.

Brewing with that many whole-flower hops was a total bitch by the way. Anyway, it won't be Pliny the Elder, but it will be big, hoppy as all hell, and ready in about 6 weeks. Bottle or keg?


Blogger Trina said...

In the news....

Your extra hoppy beer may be strong enough for this... but I think you still have to drink ~10 pints a day of it. Your prostate may be healthy but you liver won't survive!

11:28 AM  
Anonymous doctorduvel said...

Yeah, EXCEPT that coffee rebuilds alcoholic liver damage!

11:33 AM  

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