Thursday, September 10, 2009

Brewday - Hop Suey Double IPA

So I've got a freezer full of hop pellets. They were bought in bulk, or won in raffles, or were sample packets Hop Union sends to brewers. Anyway, I've got a lot of them. And some of them are getting pretty old. And I like big IPAs, and my dad likes big IPAs, so I figured I'd invite him over and we'd do a freezer-cleaner monstrously hoppy double IPA.

It all begins with Hop Suey. I went through the freezer and poured in any and all open bags of hop pellets until I had a whole pound. I didn't really keep track, it's not meant to be repeatable. But I think it contained:
  • Cascade
  • Chinook
  • Centennial
  • Santiam
  • Simcoe
  • Summit
  • Mt Hood
  • Maybe some Amarillos too
The base beer was based on the recipe by Vinnie at Russian River for Pliny the Elder. Certainly one of, if not the, best double IPAs produced. I definitely agree with his philosophy of: keep the grain bill light and simple, attenuate well, let the hops talk, and dry hop like crazy!


5.25 gallons. Est OG 1.077. Est FG 1.018-1.014. Est ABV 7.75%
  • 12 lbs Pale Malt
  • 8 oz Carahell
  • 4 oz Crystal 60
  • 1 lb Invert Sugar (add in last 15)
  • whirfloc tablet (last 15)
Mashed in at 151, then another infusion to 168.
Water Treatment: 2t gypsum, 1/4 t salt, 1 t Epsom salts.

Hops. You'll need one pound of Hop Suey.
  • 2 oz into the mash
  • 2 oz at 90
  • 2 oz at 30
  • 2 oz at 15
  • 2 oz at flame out
  • after a couple days when the krausen is down, add 3 oz dry hops. Let sit 5 days.
  • Rack to secondary and add 3 oz dry hops. Keg when done. I'll cold crash it overnight too to try and drop some of the hops out of suspension.
I used hop bags for the four boil additions. At the end you'll have a lot of hop trub which can be a pain in the butt and clog valves. My kettle draws through a hop back out the middle of the kettle, which works great for whole leaf hops, but I can't whirlpool pellets, so I had to use bags. If I could whirlpool I'd probably have made more smaller additions to increase the complexity. Still, at racking to the secondary it was tasting pretty darn good...

UPDATE 9/14/09

Kegged it yesterday, my but it's bitter. Great aroma and hop flavor, but the bitterness is a bit harsh. This was after it was cold crashed at 34 of course, and it got better as it warmed up. Still, I'm thinking it might benefit from a couple weeks' aging before drinking. In the future I might move the 90 minute addition forward to 60, or even drop it and add the 2 oz at 10 or 20. It's plenty bitter. FG was 1.014.

UPDATE 9/18/09

Tried it on tap. Mmmm not good. I think it needs some aging to drop the hops a bit. And some of them really were a bit past their prime, it's got a bit of cheese. And I was lazy and dryhopped a bit too long on the second addition, so it's a bit grassy too. Meh, some of those hops were pretty old, time to dump the rest.


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