100 Bottles of Beer — a Trio of IPA

Well, here we are nearing the end of our journey, only 13 brews left to take down and pass around. Let’s just get started with three different versions of IPA.

The first is just something I threw together with some leftover ingredients I had on hand, partial bags of DME, etc. Only the fresh vial of yeast was purchased specifically for this brew. I called it Leftover IPA.

Leftover IPA

4 lbs M&F Extra Light DME

½ lb Laaglander Extra Light DME

½ lb Laaglander Amber DME

½ lb Laaglander Dark DME

1.5 oz YCR400 Palisades whole cone hops (60 min)

.75 oz Magnum whole cone hops (60 min)

1 oz Pacific Gem hop pellets (5 min steep)

1 tsp Irish Moss (15 min)

1 tsp gypsum

WLP007 Dry English Ale yeast (6 months past use by date)

UCCS 1098 British ale yeast

Priming: ½ cup corn sugar & ½ cup Extra Light DME

Bring 2 ½ gallons cold water treated with gypsum to boil, remove from heat and add all DME. Return to boil. Add Palisades and Magnum hops and Irish Moss at times indicated for a total 60 minute boil. Remove from heat and remove hop bags, then, add Pacific Gem hops and let steep for 5 minutes and remove hop bag. Cool wort and transfer to fermenter with 2 gallons cold water, topping to 5 ½ gallons with more cold water. Pitch both yeasts, only used two because the WLP007 was so far past its use by date.

OG 1.038, which is pretty low.

Primary fermentation lasted for 5 days and racked to secondary for 14 days before priming and bottling. FG was 1.013 for 3.2% ABV. Very light for an IPA, but all beers do not have to kick your ass. The result was very nice, like a hoppy light amber. It had a nice hop flavor without a lot of bitterness. It was a very good use of several leftover odds & ends.

OK, now let’s get real serious about our IPA. Stone Brewing in Escondido, CA, which is very well known for their Arrogant Bastard, also brews an IPA they call Ruination IPA. I consider this to be the best bottled IPA I have ever tasted. They call it “A Liquid Poem to the Glory of the Hop.”

The September 2004 issue of Brew Your Own magazine published a clone recipe by The Replicator, Steve Bader. I just had to give this a whirl. So, with a few changes due to availability and my own brewer’s intuition, and a suggestion from the head brewer at Bristol, I came up with my own recipe, Rejuvenation IPA.

Rejuvenation IPA

15 lb American 2 row malt

1 lb American 15L Crystal malt

2 oz Magnum whole cone hops (90+ min)

2 oz Centennial whole cone hops (5 min steep)

2 oz Centennial whole cone hops (dry hop)

1 oz Crystal whole cone hops (dry hop)

1 tsp Irish Moss (60 min)

2 vials UCCS 1056 American ale yeast

Priming: ½ cup corn sugar & ½ cup Extra Light DME

Heat 3 ¼ gallons cold water to 160F and add crushed grains. The temperature dropped to 140F, target was 149F, so added two gallons 170-175F water. The temperature only raised to 145F, damn, not enough. I could not add any more water so let it mash for 60 minutes at this temperature. Lauter and sparge with 168F sparge water, collecting 7 gallons of wort. Add the Magnum hops in a hop bag and bring to boil. After 30 minutes boil time add the Irish Moss and continue to boil for another 60 minutes, total boil time 90 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 oz Centennial in a hop bag. Let steep for 5 minutes and remove all hop bags. Cool wort and transfer into fermenter. Pitch 2 vials of yeast. O.G. 1.060, target was 1.075, probably low due to inefficient mash at too low temperature. I should have used a full 4 gallons of 160F mash water.

After 5 days of strong activity in the primary, rack to secondary with Centennial dry hops. After 4 days in the secondary I added the Crystal dry hops at the suggestion of Jason Yester at Bristol Brewing. He said he did not know the quantity or ratio of hops used but has been told the brewer at Stone uses Crystal in this brew.

I left this in the secondary for a total of 21 days before priming and bottling. The FG was 1.009 for 6.9% ABV, about 1% lower than the target per the clone recipe.

The aroma of this beer was awesome, like fresh hops, and the flavor was — OH MY GAWD!

Stone may call Ruination “A Liquid Poem — ” but I called this, “A Druid Prayer to the Glory of the Hop.” Honestly, the hoppiness was great, strong but not overpowering, and the malt and body seemed a little weak, but the overall balance was very nice. Carbonation was light but very adequate. Had some chill haze but not out of character for a true IPA, especially one as heavily dry-hopped as this was. Again, excellent, but was it a match for the real thing, Ruination IPA? I never did a side-by-side comparison to be sure.

Our third IPA was a completely original recipe dredged from the depths of my hop infused mind. A completely over the top Double IPA using a single variety of very high alpha (18.1%) hops, and a lot of them. It also employs a more complex two step, extract late addition method.

Summit Double IPA

10 lbs plain light DME

1 lb British 53L Crystal Malt

11 oz American Crisp Caramalt

1 lb 5 oz Organic Brown Rice syrup

1/3 oz Burton Water Salts

2 oz Summit hop pellets (90 min)

2 oz Summit hop pellets (60 min)

2 oz Summit hop pellets (30 min)

2 oz Summit hop pellets (10 min – split addition)

1 ¼ oz Summit hop pellets (dry hop secondary)

1 tsp Irish Moss (10 min)

3 vials WLP099 High Gravity Ale Yeast

3 oz oak chips (secondary)

2 lb 10 oz Organic Brown Rice syrup (tertiary)

Priming: ½ cup corn sugar & ½ cup Extra Light DME

Add milled crystal and caramalt to one gallon cold water and heat to 160F. Strain into kettle with one gallon cold water treated with water salts and sparge grains with ½ gallon 170F water. Bring to boil and add 6 lbs DME and return to boil. After all DME is fully dissolved, add hops as indicated at 90-60-30 minute intervals. Add Irish Moss and 1 oz hops at 10 minutes. At the end of 90 minute boil, remove all hop bags and continue boiling.

While this boil is on-going, in a separate kettle, heat one gallon water, rice syrup, and 1 lb DME to boil and add to first kettle. Continue boiling until volume is reduced by about one quart. Cool wort and transfer into primary fermenter.

Add cold water to the kettle in sufficient quantity to bring volume in fermenter to 5 ½ gallons. Bring to boil and add 3 lbs DME and return to boil. After all DME is fully dissolved add 1 oz hops and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, remove hop bag, and cool the wort. Pitch 2 vials of yeast in the primary and add the cooled wort. Volume in primary should now be approximately 5 ½ gallons. OG 1.085

It took about 48 hours for the fermentation to become very active. After eight days, rack to secondary with steamed oak chips and dry hops, both in hop bags. The oak chips were steamed over boiling water for 30 minutes and then sparged with the water. The gravity at this point was 1.034, 6.75% ABV. But, the yeast still has some work to do. This is without a doubt, a hop monster.

After one month in the secondary the gravity was 1.030, 7% ABV. We are not done yet. Rack to a tertiary fermenter with 1 lb 5 oz rice syrup dissolved in one liter water heated just to boiling and cooled before adding to fermenter. Dry hops and oak chips were left behind in the secondary. This addition raised the gravity to 1.036.

The fermentation picked up again very nicely and continued for about 12 days. The gravity is now at 1.028, 8% ABV. I wanted at least 9%.

Add 1 more vial of yeast and another 1lb 5 oz jar of rice syrup, this time dissolved in only a half liter of water so as not to dilute it as much. Gravity increased to 1.034.

After 15 days I racked this to a fourth, quaternary fermenter to let it do a final clearing. Gravity is now at 1.029 which gives me almost the 9% I wanted.

I left it in the quaternary for nearly a month which adds up to about 3 month’s total fermentation before finally priming and bottling. FG was 1.025 for 9.5% ABV, surpassing the 9% minimum I wanted.

The flavor of this was a bit hard to describe, both very sweet and very bitter at the same time, somewhat like a Barleywine but not really. The carbonation was right on and the color was a bit dark for an IPA with moderate but acceptable chill haze. And, the alcohol content was very obvious.

After about 2 ½ months, the bottles became a bit over carbonated. Not gushers, but very foamy when poured. Upon having a bottle of Arrogant Bastard, I realized that is what this beer tastes like — times 3 or 4 in all aspects — malt, hops, and alcohol. It was just completely over the top, too much of a good thing.

Upon retrospect, when I finally finished the last bottle, I decided it was not too much of a good thing. It was a much too good thing!

OK, there’s three very different IPA for you to ponder. That leaves only 10 more bottles to pass around. We are nearing the end my friends.

Keep on Brewin’ —

To be continued —