Perfecting this beer has become my white whale, my never ending quest for perfection. The problem is, I always mess something up or change too much. I still have sky high hopes for this batch, and it may still be the finalized recipe for this beer that I was hoping to find, but I made one error that I need to touch on before I get on with this: I used the wrong base malt!
My LHBS sells a number of different base malts in bulk out of big containers. In my haste to get in and out in a reasonable time since I was running late on this brew day (Much like the post about it, this beer was brewed 09/20/15), I saw Canada Malting Pale Malt. In my rush to get my things together, I didn’t realize I got the Canada Malting Superior Pale malt, thinking instead I had their regular 2 Row. This malt is kilned slightly darker than your standard 2 Row. I had intended on just going with 2 row this time around, and getting that golden orange color from a half pound of light Caramalt. I now have a beer that is potentially darker than I intended. I say potentially because I was shooting for an SRM of about 5 to 5.5, now I’m around 6 to 6.3. I’m not even sure in reality I’d notice the difference, but I’m a beer perfectionist so things changing from the plan on brew day threw me off. This could still turn out exactly like I want it to though, so I’m trying not to get ahead of myself here and make changes that don’t need to be made. The Superior Pale is supposed to be a really nice base malt, so this could be a fortunate mistake and I may end up loving it.
The other changes I made (Intentionally this time) to this batch from the prior ones is balancing the Citra and Mosaic more with the Columbus and Simcoe. The last batch was a bit harsher and resiny, and I wanted the fruity characteristics to come through more so I bumped the Cirtra and Mosaic additions up. I also used Warrior as my bittering hop. Columbus for bittering was just a touch harsher than I wanted in this beer.
This is also the first batch of White Death to use Wyeast 1318 London Ale III rather than Conan. I came to this decision after doing my side by side yeast comparison of the two in an otherwise identical pale ale (Read about that here). 1318 is just awesome and I’ve used it a few times in lower OG beers. I can’t wait to try it in a DIPA.
As has become typical for me, I had a higher chloride water profile to smooth out the mouthfeel for this beer. If you are reading this and haven’t read my other posts, I’ve been trying to chase the mouthfeel and body from guys like Hill Farmstead, The Alchemist, Trillium, Tree House, and Tired Hands. I think yeast selection and water profile are huge components to that. Really, I’m trying to make the quintessential Northeast DIPA here. A smooth mouthfeel, smooth bitterness, and a fruity juice like hop quality with a bit of earthy dankness to go with it.
The brew day itself was the usual. Our neighbors came over to hang out for a while, so did my brother Kevin and his family. My wife came back from a Las Vegas trip just in time to help me mash in, so that was great! I hit my numbers on the dot. I cooled the beer to 180 for my 30 minute hopstand and then transferred it to the carboy. I dry hopped with the first dose right as fermentation slowed around day 5. I’l keg it in another day or so with the second round of dry hops and then get carbing!
Ca+2 Mg+2 Na+ Cl- SO4-2 HCO
139.3 6.8 22.3 199.0 118.1 0.034
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Estimated OG: 1.074 SG
Estimated Color: 6.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 113.2 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
11 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Ale Malt 2-Row (Briess) (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 76.4 %
1 lbs Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 2 6.6 %
1 lbs White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 3 6.6 %
8.0 oz Caramalt (Thomas Fawcett) (15.0 SRM) Grain 4 3.3 %
5.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 5 2.1 %
12.0 oz Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM) Sugar 6 5.0 %
2.00 oz Warrior [15.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 90.7 IBUs
1.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 8 7.2 IBUs
1.00 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] – Boil 5.0 mi Hop 9 7.4 IBUs
1.00 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 10 7.8 IBUs
1.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 m Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.50 %] – Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] – Steep/Whirl Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
Dry Hop split into two doses
2.00 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 16 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 17 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] – Dry Hop Hop 18 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Hop 19 0.0 IBUs
2.0 pkg London Ale III (Wyeast Labs #1318) [124. Yeast
Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 15 lbs 1.0 oz
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 17.89 qt of water at 163.7 F 152.0 F 60 min
Kegging Update: I transferred this one into the keg over the weekend for the second round of dry hops. I do a closed transfer under C02 for all my beer, and for whatever reason I lost my siphon. I think the bottom of the cane may have gotten clogged with some trub, but even after clearing it and checking the dip tube and poppet on the out post of the keg that I was transferring the beer through, I couldn’t get the siphon started again. I was pissed! This is my favorite beer I make, and there was about a six pack or so left of beer still in the carboy. I was not going to waste it. I used my old autosiphon to put the beer in some glasses, cooled it down, and then used the neighbor’s sodastream to carb it up. I lost about another beer worth of foam, but at least I was able to drink most of it over the course of the evening. I also noticed the beer was a bit darker than I wanted, but not by much. I likely will go with plain 2 row next time, or cut or lower the caramalt. Still, the beer tasted awesome already. The FG came in at 1.013, giving me my 8% abv I shoot for with this beer.
Tasting Update 10/13/15:
Appearance: As I had suspected, this beer turned out just the slightest bit darker orange than I’d prefer it be, but that’s pretty nitpicky of me. The color is still in the ballpark of what I was going for, and its still a pretty beer. It pours a nice orange color with a good white head.
Smell: This beer smells fantastic. Very heavy on citrus and other fruity aromas such as orange, a bit or grapefruit, passion fruit, pineapple, and some subtle dankness. Some subtle yeast esters are under all the hops.
Taste: This is great stuff! I love the London Ale III with this beer, I’ll be keeping it for sure. There’s a firm, but pretty smooth bitterness. When I brew this again, I may still dial the bittering charge back a bit more, but its still not harsh. The hop flavors follow the nose, lots of citrus and some tropical fruits. There’s a bit of sweetness that’s pleasing in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Pretty much perfect for this beer. So smooth and silky. Nothing I’d change in this regard. Nice medium body on this, but it still finishes dry enough to be refreshing. This thing is chuggable for an 8% beer.
Overall: This beer is 95% there. The last 5% is really just dialing in the details. I do think I’ll try regular 2 Row next time with just a bit of crystal to shoot for an SRM of about 5. I’ll dial the bittering charge back a bit, but the flavor and aroma hops are all spot on. This beer is so juicy in taste and feel, it just brings a smile to your face! The water profile seems to be right on as well. Wyeast 1318 London Ale III was fantastic in this brew, and I’m glad I went with it over Conan. I’m very confident the next time I brew this beer, it’ll be the finalized version barring any mistakes by me!