With an annual holiday tradition just barely missed (039, 032, 021, 004), a bunch of hops in the freezer and a general dissatisfaction with the last two batches (043, 044) I thought I’d give this recipe another crack.
The hops seemed pretty solid, but between the fermentation issues and more caramel malt than I should have used, I decided to go super light on the malt. I’m also working on a theory that Citra is contributing more sweetness than it ought to, so I cut back on that a lot.
I also thought I’d try to keep my Therminator clear on this batch by adjusting my additions. Instead of a 60m bittering addition I moved that up to mash hopping, and instead of late additions I did a 30m post-boil hop stand in a bag so I could remove before draining the kettle. Which meant a hop-free boil, which felt a little weird.
Aiming for a 149F mash temp, I mashed in intentionally lower than the previous two batches, which led to almost a perfect 149 average through the entire hour. The wort tasted a bit starchy and didn’t quite pass the iodine test at the end, but seemed close enough.
Fermentation was quick, after two weeks I was down to a lower-than-expected 1.005. Even at that gravity a big krausen lingered and wouldn’t drop, so I had to risk some diacetyl by cold-crashing; worked okay, no perceived diacetyl in the finished beer.
On racking I tried out a new trick I’d read on the local forums: siphon into a quick-disconnect attached to the out valve of a purged corny keg to minimize oxygen pickup. Went a bit slower than normal, but it worked extremely well. Which makes me think the slight oxygen I got off this batch when fresh might have come from the 5oz dry hops I threw into the keg; it seemed to go away with a bit of time, but I think I might switch back to almost-finished fermentation as the time I’ll throw in the dry hops in future batches.
- 8.75lbs 2-row
- 0.25lb wheat
- 1.3lb dextrose
- 6.1oz Columbus
- 4.5oz Simcoe
- 3oz Mosaic
- 3oz Centennial
- 1.5oz Citra
- Brewed: 11 Jan 2015
- Boil length: 60 mins
- Batch Size: 6 gallons
- Boil Size: 5 gallons
- Primary: 15d
- Secondary: —
- Target OG: 1.072
- Target FG: 1.012
- OG: 1.067
- FG: 1.005
- ABV: 8.3%
- IBU: 77
- SRM: 4
I think I’m over-complicating the hops on this recipe. What started as an initial sweetness cut into any complexity I might have been getting. With time it faded into something a little spicier and more interesting, but this was never amazing.
The lack of boil hops wasn’t a problem; it was plenty bitter and balanced, and the aroma was pretty large, if not amazing. After two months enough hop aroma had faded that a bit of DMS from the longer hop stand started creeping back in.
A bit of starchy graininess plagued this batch too; I suspect the lack of conversion at 60m has something to do with that, but a few conversations have also pointed the finger in the direction of the maltster (Gambrinus). I’m pretty sure it was the former, especially considering the next batch.
Overall this one was a 6/10. A few pours were good, but it was mostly disappointing.
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