Brew Log – COSMOS: a black IPA

 If you wish to make an IPA from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

There’s a bunch of expensive hops languishing in my freezer. This is an attempt to begin to use those up. I would consider myself a big fan of hoppy beers, but I’ve never brewed one that truly wowed me. They are good beers that typically have quite nice balance and intensity of hop flavours, but the aroma from dry hopping tends to fall off rather fast. This beer is hopefully an attempt to change that – in the next two weeks I will be purchasing a kegging setup, and this may be the first beer I keg, saving some time that I would have spent bottling, and hopefully better preserving the hop aromatics.

About the hops: I’m using Apollo and Galaxy. Apollo is cheap and relatively abundant, and I really like its grapefruity and dank characteristics. Galaxy is very expensive and powerfully tropical. I think that they will combine to produce a citrus-forward, fruity and dank IPA. There’s a theme to this beer, in case you haven’t noticed. I’m more of a Sagan guy, personally…

This wort ended up a bit stronger than I anticipated, so I may have some issues with residual sweetness, having not added any sugar to create a more fermentable wort. I hope that US-05 does its usual job and dries the beer out nicely while also accentuating hop bitterness. At the same time, I’m not a big fan of black IPAs that are just regular IPAs with a bit of carafa III or whatever for colour, so I think the inclusion of oats and midnight wheat will give the beer some body and a slightly different character.

We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars.

COSMOS: a black IPA (4 gallon)

Estimated OG (70% efficiency): 1.074
Actual OG: 1.082
Estimated IBU: 68+

Fermentables:

10 lb / 82% 2-row pale malt
1 lb / 8% flaked oats
12 oz / 6% midnight wheat
8 oz / 4% carafoam

Mash at 152F for 60 minutes (BIAB)

Hops:

1 oz Apollo (19.5% AA) @ 60 min (~68 IBU)
1 oz Apollo, 2 oz Galaxy @ Hop Stand, 30 minutes @ ~170F
2 oz each Apollo, Galaxy and Simcoe @ Dry Hop, 5 days

Yeast: US-05 (2 properly rehydrated packets)

Extras: 1/2 tsp carrageenan, 1 tsp yeast nutrient

Ferment low-mid 60s until fermentation slows, then raise to high 60s to finish.

Brew Log

2014/09/21: BIAB brew. Mashed in to 152F with 21.5L water at 160F.  Temp dropped to 151 after 6o minutes. Sparged the grain bag with 2L of 170F water. Pre-boil OG was 1.068 – ~80% mash efficiency! Why so high? This is going to end up being more of a double black IPA, but that’s OK. there’s plenty of IBUs to back it up. Hop stand for 30 minutes at 170F. For such an affordable hop, Apollo smells great – like a more grapefruity and less dank Columbus. I’m definitely going to do something fun with the remaining Apollo after this batch. The Galaxy addition was potently fruity, with tons of passionfruit, peach and citrus. Chilled the wort to 65F and pitched 2 rehydrated packets of US-05. Affixed blowoff and fermented in basement (ambient temp consistent at ~62-64F). OG is 1.082 – definitely higher than planned, but welcome nonetheless.

2014/09/24: Started blowing off after about 18 hours, lots of kraeusen and blowoff activity.

2014/09/28: Kraeusen fallen, took a gravity reading. Down to 1.017 (80% attenuation so far). Aroma is fruit forward hops, a bit of grapefruit and chocolate. Flavour is still a bit sweet but there is tons of chocolate and citrus hop flavour. I think I may bump up the Apollo dry hop to balance out the fruity Galaxy a bit more.

2014/10/26: I need to stop leaving hoppy beers so long… Dry hopped with 2 oz each of Apollo, Galaxy and Simcoe. Should be very citrusy and fruity. Will keg later this week.

cropped-yeast-anton_van_leeuwenhoek.jpg

– Richard

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