527 Celebration Ale (2014)

This is my annual IPA to celebrate me and my wife’s wedding anniversary on May 27th.  The recipe will always be a DIPA, but the recipe will change each year.  For the 2013 vintage I brewed my first DIPA.  It was a disaster!  I was just getting into all grain, and used too much Munich and crystal malt.  I didn’t use any sugar, and used too small an addition of bittering hops.  The result was more like a cross between a DIPA and a barleywine without being good for either style.  Thankfully, after some IPA experimentation and learning some about water chem, I finally started getting my hoppy beers where I wanted them.  This beer was my fist DIPA that I felt like I actually knew what I was doing and exactly what I wanted to achieve.

I can’t remember anything about the brew day by this point, since i brewed it in late April.  I don’t recall anything out of the ordinary.  It was a 2.7 gal stove top batch with my MR Beer keg being used as the fermenter.  I do remember that this was my first time doing a hop stand at the end of the boil, and it had great results.  I did the dry hop in two stages.  I put the first round in with 7 days before bottling, and left those in four four days.  I then pulled the hop bag out, and added the second charge of hops with three days left to bottle.

Here’s the recipe:

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size (fermenter): 2.70 gal   
Estimated OG: 1.076 SG
Estimated FG: 1.014
Estimated Color: 5.5 SRM Estimated IBU: 200.5 IBUs Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 % Boil Time: 60 Minutes Ingredients: ------------ Amt Name Type # %/IBU 3 lbs 8.0 oz Brewers Malt 2-Row (Briess) (1.8 SRM) Grain 1 48.5 % 3 lbs Pale Malt, Golden Promise (Thomas Fawcet Grain 2 41.6 % 4.0 oz White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 3 3.5 % 2.5 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.2 % 0.75 oz Caramalt (Simpsons) (35.0 SRM) Grain 5 0.7 % 4.0 oz Corn Sugar (Dextrose) [Boil for 2 min](0 Sugar 14 3.5 % 1.50 oz Apollo [17.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 165.5 IBUs 1.00 oz Zythos [10.90 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 7 35.1 IBUs 1.00 oz Zythos [10.90 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 Hop 8 0.0 IBUs 0.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 m Hop 9 0.0 IBUs 0.50 oz Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.50 %] - Hop 10 0.0 IBUs 0.50 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] - Steep/Whirl Hop 11 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Apollo [17.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 Hop 12 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Citra [12.00 %] - Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 15 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.50 %] - Hop 16 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] - Dry Hop 4.0 Hop 17 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Zythos [10.90 %] - Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 18 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Apollo [17.00 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 19 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Citra [12.00 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 20 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.50 %] - Hop 21 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Hop 22 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Zythos [10.90 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 23 0.0 IBUs 1.0 pkg Dry English Ale (White Labs #WLP007) [35 Yeast 13 - Name Description Step Temperat Step Time Mash In Add 8.70 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F 75 min

Tasting Notes:


This beer initially turned out great.  It poured a really nice looking hazy orange color.  It had a WONDERFUL mango and tropical fruit smell.  The taste followed, the Citra hops were the dominant aroma and flavor, but the other hops added some depth.  The beer had a nice smooth mouthfeel and just a hint of malt sweetness. 

I did learn a lesson here that contributed to my previous failures in previous IPA’s done in my MR Beer keg.  Oxidation sucks.  I’m not sure the LBK is a good fermentation vessel for a super hoppy brew.  I’m not sure if its because there’s no airlock, or maybe the shape of the keg and more beer is exposed to the head space, but I’ve had oxidation issues with every really hoppy beer I’ve done in that keg.  After a couple weeks, this beer noticeably darkened.  The hop flavor dulled some, but the beer was still good.  I also decided that unless I start kegging and can purge with C02, I’ll only do one dry hop charge.  This means less opening of the fermenter and less disturbing the beer.  I like doing small batches of big beers to keep costs down, and because I don’t always feel like an 8 or 9 %abv beer, but from this point on I think I’ll save the hoppy brews for my other fermenters! 

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