Sunday, August 17, 2014

Batch 9: Simcoe MIPA Iteration: Primary Fermentation

The fermenting ramped up within 48 hours of pitching, and there was obvious airlock activity for three full days after that. I don't think the starter really started so I'll go back to the larger water volume for the next try. I racked the beer to the 5-gallon carboy for secondary fermentation after 8 days in the primary and measured the specific gravity at 1.019. The sample I took with the thief tasted amazing! The Simcoe taste much rounder than the Centennial hops. I detected plum notes. I'm planning to let the beer condition for two or three weeks before bottling. I'll dry-hop an additional 0.67 oz. of the Simcoe hops during the last three or four days.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Batch 9: Simcoe MIPA Iteration: Brewing Day

Here was the program:
  1. Boil 4 gallons of water the night before, and set aside to cool.
  2. Steep 10 oz. of CaraPils in 3 gallons of water for 30 min. at 160º ±10º.
  3. Add 3.3 lb. of Golden Light LME (minus the 2/3 cup used for the starter), and stir till dissolved.
  4. Bring to boil until break (approx. 20 minutes).
  5. Hop.
    1. 0.66 oz. Simcoe hops T-60 min.
    2. 0.66 oz. Simcoe hops T-45 min.
    3. 0.67 oz. Simcoe hops T-30 min.
    4. 0.67 oz. Simcoe hops T-15 min.
      1. Add half a tab of Whirlfloc T-10 min.
    5. 0.67 oz. Simcoe hops 0 min. for 10 minutes off heat
  6. Add 6.6 lb. of Pilsen Light LME [1] at knockout, and let stand for 10 minutes.
  7. Chill wort with ice bath and frozen water in soda bottles to below 70º.
  8. Add wort to pail, and top off with cooled boiled water to just over 5 gallon-mark (or approx. 3 inches from top of pail).
  9. Measure original gravity.
  10. Pitch White Labs California Ale V Yeast 051 [2] starter [3].
  11. Aerate the wort by pouring back and forth between sanitized pails.
  12. Siphon into 6.5 gallon carboy primary fermenter, and affix airlock.
  13. Let ferment for two weeks in swamp cooler at 68º ±2º.
I am using a few things for the first time this batch. I'm pre-cleaning with PBW. I'm also trying a clarifying agent (i.e. Whirlfloc). We'll see if either make a significant difference. I used a penny to control the boil for the first time as well, which seemed to help.

The original gravity was 1.063. I expect the final gravity to be around 1.019, which should put the ABV around 7%. I'll be dry hopping an additional 0.67 oz. of hops during secondary fermentation.


[1] I'm only using the Pilsen Light LME because my local homebrew supply store didn't have enough of the Golden Light LME, but the clerk assured me that it wouldn't make much of a difference.

[2] Likewise, I'm also using the White Labs yeast instead of the Wyeast American Ale II because they were out of the latter, though the clerk told me that they are the same strain.

[3] I followed the same directions for a yeast starter as before with a few changes. I used a White Labs vial instead of the Wyeast slap pack for the first time, hence no need for activation. I used 500 mL of water instead of 1500 mL. This leaves a lot more headroom in the 2 L growler, which made aeration much easier. We'll see if the higher concentration of sugars proves problematic. I pitched the yeast into the starter just under 48 hours before pitching to the primary.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Batch 9: Simcoe MIPA Iteration: Ingredients

I've decided to fiddle some with the 'Merican IPA recipe, which solely uses Centennial hops, to teach myself about a few different hop varieties. Here is a preliminary list of hops that I'd definitely like to try:
  • Chinook
  • Columbus
  • Galena
  • Horizon
  • Magnum
  • Nugget
  • Simcoe
Here is the first in the project with the Simcoe hops.
  • 3.3 lb. – Golden Light liquid extract ($12.29)
  • 6.6 lb. – Pilsen Light liquid extract ($24.59)
  • 10 oz. – CaraPils grains ($1.92)
  • 4 oz.   – Simcoe hops ($8.09)
  • 1 vial  – White Labs California Ale V Yeast 051 (same strain as Wyeast American Ale II #1272) ($8.55)
  • 4 oz.  – corn sugar ($0.25)
The total cost after tax was $55.69, or about $1.11 per bottle.