I just couldn’t wait and had to open up a bottle of “Grant Us Eyes,” our hazy IPA with Nelson & Mosaic hops. It hasn’t quite been two weeks in the bottle, but it is developing very, very nicely. I did a carbonation and taste test yesterday (1/31). Here are the results:
Bottle date: 1/20/2018 Carbonation: 2.4 Volumes
Aroma: Fruit medley; apricot, mango, and grapes up front with a nice passion fruit and peach aroma on the backend of the smell. It’s very tropical and it’s a very dense smell. A lot going on, but you can definitely smell each distinct hop aroma.
Appearance: A hazy golden orange, really nice color.
Body: Probably the softest or “cloudiest” beer we’ve ever made. I think we nailed the water profile for this one. Incredibly smooth and keeps you coming back for more… or to use one of my favorite words: crushable.
Taste: This is where the beer shines (thankfully). Huge notes of grape (white wine?), apricots, and mango up front. Then on the backend you get this juicy flavor of peaches mixed with berries. There is a distinct grapefruit and passion fruit flavor as you swallow. Very well rounded and you can taste all of these hops upon drinking it.
Overall, extremely pleased with how this beer came out and hopefully everyone else will be when we are serving it our Super Bowl party. Cheers.
First brew day of the New Year, so let me get this out of the way and say “Happy Brew Year,” ok, that’s my only terrible pun in this post… maybe… no promises. Anyhow, for our first brew day we are brewing one of more “well-known” beers. “Grant Us Eyes” is a NE style IPA with Nelson and Mosaic hops. This will be the 3rd iteration of the beer and I tweaked the recipe a little bit to hopefully bring out the vibrant character of the hops a little more.
With the start of a new year, it’s good to set goals for yourself. This year we are going to attempt to do a few things we haven’t before:
If you follow this blog, you’ll know that we have been starting our water chemistry with pre-weighted additions. This year, we are going to do away with that and calculate the water profile and mineral additions ourselves. We decided to use this brew as our taking off point.
152F 60 Minutes 60 Minutes
Grain Bill: Hops:
11# 2-Row 6 oz Nelson
.5# Cara-pils 6 oz Mosaic
.25# Honey malt
1# Flaked Oats
Mineral Additions: Yeast:
3.6g (CaS04 – Gypsum) Wyeast 1318 London III
7g (CaCl2 – Calcium Chloride)
Estimated Original Gravity: 1.058 – 1.060
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.014 – 1.012
Estimated ABV: 5.96% – 6.29%
Actual Original Gravity: 1.060
Goal: Hazy IPA with notes of grape, grapefruit, and citrus. Soft body that encourages drinkability.
It was a beautiful day for a brew day this past Saturday; a brisk 74F with a nice breeze and slightly overcast. You can’t ask for better weather during the first brew day of the year. We started off by heating our strike water up to about ~164F. We have been having trouble with the SS Brewtech Mash Tun holding temperature so we opted to pre-heat it this time, especially with the type of weather outside. It started off at 151F and some change, but eventually heated to 152.3F and held for the full hour. We weighed out our strike water mineral additions and dissolved them in while it was heating up.
We spraged out at 166F and collected 7 gallons of wort. We did mainly late additions with this batch, which is also a bit different than what we normally do with this beer. We did a 10 minute addition of 1oz Nelson and 2oz Mosaic. Once that was done we did a flameout/hopstand of 2oz Nelson and 1oz Mosaic. We are going to do a dry hop on 1/10/18 of 1 oz Nelson and 2 oz Mosaic, then another dry hop on 1/16 of 2 oz Nelson and 1 oz Mosaic. We got the cryo hop version of our Mosaic hops, so hopefully they pack a bigger punch.
Collecting the wort
Adding the first batch of hops
Once the boil was over we chilled the wort through our plate chiller and pump (which is a real game changer) to about 77F. Next we added the yeast to the wort and put it in the fermentation chamber that was chilled to 66F. After about 18 hours there was already activity from the yeast, so they were obviously very happy.
Now that we have the inaugural 2018 brew day out of the way, we can start setting up for the next brew day! It will most likely be on 1/20.
Bottle: “Grant Us Eyes” V3.0
Bottle: “Destination: Terror” – Tart Saison with honey and lime zest
Brew: “One with the Shadows” – Stout*
*Stouts have so far been our Achilles heel. We haven’t brewed one that we were 100% happy with as of yet. We are hoping to rectify that with our next brew day. I’m thinking we are going to make a huge starter this time to avoid stalled fermentation.
New England IPA’s are the latest and greatest craze in the craft beer world and there is no denying it. They were started on the East Coast (as their name would infer) and focus on a different aspect of IPAs; a fruity, or even “juicy” side. Beers like Heady Topper, Sip of Sunshine, and Susan helped bring this style to life. NEIPA’s are typically unfiltered and have yeast that heavily flocculates giving the beer itself a “hazy” appearance. There is still a lot of research to be done regarding these hazy IPA’s, including why are they hazy? Yeast, Hop residue, and additives such as flour have all been cited as reasons for their appearance, and they all hold some merit. There is no “right” way to make a NEIPA, at least before you start dry-hopping.
One thing about NEIPA’s that are so polarizing is the fact that their very appearance goes against what most brewers are taught from the time they first start brewing: clarity is important. Some commercial examples of these beers look like the trub was dumped directly from the fermenter in your can or bottle. They aren’t particularly nice to look at, but they taste great. The typical west coast “dank” that IPA’s are commonly associated with is all but gone with this style. This is because of a ton of late hop additions in the boil to emphasize the hop flavor and not the bitterness. Typically you see NEIPA’s made with Galaxy, Citra, Mosaic, Denali, Huell Melon, and Amarillo hops—hops that are associated with tropical fruit tastes and smells.
That was a very long winded introduction, but I hope it was at least informative. With that said, this past weekend we re-brewed one of our NEIPA recipes “the Gathering Storm.” We changed things up a bit this time and instead of using Simcoe hops we opted for Mosaic. The first two times we brewed this it was a bit too bitter, and I suspect Simcoe was the culprit. We also changed all of our hop additions around—before we were using a half ounce of hops at first wort and then hopping everything else at 20 minutes, 5 minutes, and a whirlpool. For this iteration of this beer we did not use any bittering hops and waiting until 10 minutes left in the boil to start hopping, with much larger quantities.
5 oz Citra (10 minute 1.5 oz, Flame out 1 oz, First Dry Hop 1.5 oz, Second Dry Hop 1 oz)
5 oz Galaxy (10 minute 1 oz, Flame out 1.5 oz, First Dry Hop 1 oz, Second Dry Hop 1.5 oz)
4 oz Mosaic (Flame out 1.5 oz, First Dry Hop 1.5 oz, Second Dry Hop 1 oz)
One other thing I’d like to note: this is the first time we have used WY1318 in any of our NEIPAs. We’ve used it in our Blonde (Dry Hop Naked) but not in the NEIPAs. Why? We always wanted to try something different and see if we can replicate the style with a less “traditional” yeast. We’ve used; WLP090, WLP023, WLP005, WLP644, and WY1335 all of which have had decent results (aside from the WLP023, that was a stinker). So we figured we’d give it a try this time.
We warmed our strike water to 163F and used our BRAND NEW SS BREWTECH MASH TUN. Man, it feels great to say that. We’ve been waiting to pull the trigger on it for so long and with the Cooler mash tun developing a leak (re: I broke it) it was finally time to splurge. It worked like a dream and held a constant 152 for most of the mash time. We had a bit of difficulty with the sparge arm but with a gravity set up it’s to be expected. We are going to do some test runs next time.
I’d say this brew day was pretty boring… I mean that because without any hop additions until nearly the end of the boil it gave us a lot of time to talk about future plans and upgrades. We added our first hop addition with 10 minutes left in the boil and it smelled incredible. We haven’t used Citra or Galaxy in sometime and it’s always a treat when they start boiling and releasing those sweet, sweet tropical fruit notes.
Once the boil was over we added our next hop addition as a hop stand. We dropped the temperature from 210F to about 185F and held it there for 30 minutes. Once that was done we got as much wort out of the hop spider as we could and began to chill the wort to pitching temperature. The temperature was dropped from 180F to 68F in about 10 minutes, incredibly efficient. We pitched our yeast package (pre-swelled) right after and hit it with 20 seconds of oxygen. Put it in the fermentation fridge and let it rest. Our first dry hop addition will be 8/9 and the second will be 8/15. We are hoping to have this bottled by 8/17, which is the day before we leave to Oregon for the eclipse.
We are still waiting for our results from the brew competition held by Maltose Falcons, once we get them we will definitely update you! Cheers.