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American West Coast IPA

22 Mar 2017 | brewing

I’m not a big brewer of IPAs, they have so far accounted to 2 out of about 110 batches brewed. Those 2 were both this recipe and I’ve been flattered by a couple of friends who asked for it. So, this seems like a reasonable place to start posting beer recipes.

This beer is all about hops and I’ve decided that I really like Centennial. The recipe is based on Russian River’s Pliny the Edler with a number of tweaks that I can’t remember the reasons for or sources of. I haven’t tried Pliny the Elder so I can’t say anything about how similar or otherwise mine has turned out. Mine pours with a thick, slightly off-white head and a mix of fresh hop scents including piney and floral notes. The tastes is resinous, it has a surprisingly moderate bitterness, and a moderately dry finish.

Infusion mash

12.75 lb Two-row pale malt (color 2.0 L)
12.0 oz Crystal 15 (color 15.0 L)

In my system I used about 5.3 gal strike water and kept the mash at 150F for 60 mins. I use a batch sparge and collected 7 gal wort at 1.058 SG after combining approximately equal size first and second runnings (~86% efficiency).

Boil

2.0 oz Columbus (67.8 IBU, 15.2 %AA, 60 min)
2.0 oz Centennial (40.1 IBU, 9.0 %AA, 60 min)
1.0 oz Simcoe (27.4 IBU, 12.3 %AA, 60 min)

1.0 oz Columbus (26.1 IBU, 15.2 %AA, 30 min)

1.0 oz Simcoe (13.6 IBU, 12.3 %AA, 15 min)
1 tsp Irish Moss (15 min)

1.0 lb sucrose / table sugar (46.0 points, 5 min)

1.0 oz Centennial (0.0 IBU, 9.0 %AA, 0 min)
1.0 oz Simcoe (0.0 IBU, 12.3 %AA, 0 min)

Reduced volume to 6.5 gal in a 60 min boil. By-the-books this recipe gives is 175 IBU, 5.9 SRM and 1.070 OG. I got 1.068 OG and I imagine the hop utilization is very much lower than the formulas predict, so I consider 175 IBU simply an amusing number.

Fermentation

Safbrew US-05 - yeast cake from previous low gravity brew
1.0 oz Centennial (8.7 %AA)
1.0 oz Simcoe (12.3 %AA)

Initial fermentation at 65F, ramped up to 70F over 5 days. Got 1.010 FG which is about 85% apparent attenuation and about 7.8% ABV. I added the dry hops after fermentation had quietened down, about a week, and left for another week before racking off the yeast and trub. I bottled after another week (4oz corn sugar in 5gal to carbonate) and left the bottles a couple more weeks before starting to sample. Stars and stripes bottle caps seemed obligatory.

Bottle caps