2015 American Imperial IPA

>> Sunday, July 05, 2015

I have a whole bunch of hops in my freezer so it's time to use a bunch an brew an Imperial IPA. The hop schedule on this beer was inspired by my first attempt at brewing a sour IPA. It didn't sour up much but I really enjoyed the hop character and it took a silver medal at a comp last year. This one isn't exactly the same, but it's similar. One thing I've really liked in some of the more recent commercial IPAs is the lowering of IBU's. For a while there it seemed like everyone was doing everything they could to assault your palate with super high IBU IPAs. This IPA should have a firm bitterness, but it won't be too crazy.

This is the first time that I've ever tried using corn sugar in an IPA. The intent is to help dry the beer out, resulting in a more refreshing and drinkable beer. Also, I'm not using any crystal malts. Here's the recipe as I'm making it:

10.0 # Pearl Malt
2.0 # Crisp Dark Munich 20L
0.75# Dextrose
7.0g Magnum (60 min)
7.0g Columbus (20 min)
7.0g Mosaic (20 min)
7.0g Amarillo (20 min)
14g Columbus (1 min)
14g Mosaic (1 min)
7g Cascade (1 min)
28g Cascade (first hop stand, 165F for 30 min)
21g Amarillo (first hop stand, 165F for 30 min)
14g Citra (first hop stand, 165F for 30 min)
14g Mosaic (second hop stand, 140F for 30 min)
14g Citra (second hop stand, 140F for 30 min)
Yeast Nutrient
Vermont IPA Yeast (GY054)
28g Amarillo (Dry hop)
28g Citra (Dry hop)
28g Mosaic (Dry hop)

Mash at 148.5F for 60 min, 90 min boil, ferment at 68F, dry hop after primary fermentation.

Brewing Notes
Everything seemed to go well with this beer. I hit the anticipated OG exactly at 1.078.

Update 7/6/2015
Forgot to mention yesterday, I put the fermenter in my ferm chamber overnight and pitched the yeast this morning after aerating. It's starting to show signs of fermentation this evening.

Update 7/7/2015
Krausen is pushing up close to the airlock, so I hooked up a blow-off hose just in case.

Update 7/13/2015
Added the dry hops today.

Update 7/20/2015
I kegged this beer today with a bit of gelatin for fining. This beer smells amazing with tons of citrus, tropical fruit, pine and resin. Bitterness is there, but is not over the top. I can't wait for this beer to carb up so those tiny bubbles can release their hoppy goodness.

Update 7/26/2015
I pulled a sample off the tap today. It's really good, but I feel like a lot of the hop flavor and aroma dropped out. In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have used gelatin for fining.  It has some great clarity, but It's definitely lost some hop character.    

Update 8/4/2015
So I'm definitely disappointed with the way this beer turned out. Way too much hop character dropped out. It's much closer to a boring version of an American pale ale than an IPA.  I'll prob try this again with a couple changes. First, reduce the corn sugar a bit. Second, increase IBUs a bit. Last, don't worry about haze and skip the gelatin. 

Update 8/7/2015
I took a growler of this to a Grace Potter concert at Deer Valley the other day. It was way more hoppy than when I last tried it. This beer is proving to be a bit of an enigma. I think I'll still try the changes I proposed on 8/4, but this beer is more drinkable than I originally thought.