Here we go again!!! This is the sixth version of this beer, and I’m confident after brew day that this will be the final recipe version. We’ll see if that prophecy comes true when I taste this beer, but brew day went very smooth, I was on the money for the most part with my ingredients and my process. The only hiccup on brew day was I accidentally put an extra teaspoon of gypsum in the mash. It shouldn’t have too much of an impact on the final beer, but I figured it worth mentioning.
If this is your first time reading this blog then let me introduce you to White Death. White Death is my favorite beer that I make. It’s my house DIPA recipe that I intend on coming back to with regularity. If I was ever to start a brewery, this would be my flagship. Its the beer that I want as close to perfect as it gets. White Death is a New England or Northeast style DIPA. Think beers in the style of Treehouse, Trillium, Hill Farmstead, The Alchemist and so on. If you’re unfamiliar with this style of IPA, the characteristics of these beers are a soft mouthfeel, a typically golden orange color, higher levels of haze, and an often juice like hop profile, huge on aroma and flavor while having restrained bitterness. I’ve become obsessed with this style of pale ale, but sadly there are few examples around Chicago. That means I just have to brew my own!
Like I said, this is version 6. This beer began as a Heady Topper rip off using Conan yeast and a similar grist, just a hop bill tailored more to my taste. Every subsequent recipe has gotten less like Heady specifically, and more tailored to my taste in this particular style. This latest and hopefully final version of the recipe leans more towards Trillium and Treehouse beers. Super juicy, super hazy, and super smooth. I eliminated Columbus and Simcoe from this version, and subbed in Amarillo to compliment the Citra and Mosaic. These three hops are all very citrus forward, more orange than grapefruit, and the three have tropical notes as well. The Citra and Mosaic should even lend some pungent dank notes in addition to the fruit. While this beer began with Conan yeast, I used Wyeast 1318 London Ale III in the last batch and it was my preferred yeast so that came back here. I cut the sugar down to a half pound here down from 12 oz to try and keep more in the body. I also upped the wheat in the grist to two pounds. I’m really pleased with the design of this recipe and I can’t wait to see how this pans out.
The beer was brewed on 04/30/16. The brew day itself was really smooth aside from the one water chemistry hiccup mentioned above. I mashed in at 152 for an hour. I was a couple degrees above my target of 150, but I figured I usually lose a degree or two over the hour. I did my version of a batch sparge for 15 minutes, and got my boil going. This batch was boiled for 60 minutes, and I added the first round of hop stand hops right at flame out.
I let those hops sit for 15 minutes and then chilled the wort down to 180 degrees. I then added the remaining hopstand hops and let those soak in for an additional 30 minutes. I then chilled the beer down to 65 degrees, filtered the beer through a strainer going into the carboy to get the hop sludge out, took a hydrometer sample and pitched my 1318 yeast. My OG came in right on the money at 1.074. Don’t you just love it when that happens!
The beer will ferment at 68 degrees. Here’s my water profile for this after the extra addition of gypsum I accidentally added:
Ca+2 Mg+2 Na+ Cl- SO4-2 HCO
167.5 5.7 4.0 157.0 168.4 0.5
Boil Size: 7.00 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.75 gal
Estimated OG: 1.074 SG
Estimated Color: 5.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 60.0 IBUs
Est Mash Efficiency: 73.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
12 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 76.8 %
1 lbs Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 2 6.4 %
1 lbs White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 3 6.4 %
8.0 oz Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain 4 3.2 %
5.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 5 2.0 %
5.0 oz Caramalt (Thomas Fawcett) (15.0 SRM) Grain 6 2.0 %
8.0 oz Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM) Sugar 7 3.2 %
1.00 oz Warrior [15.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 44.8 IBUs
0.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Boil 12.0 min Hop 8 7.5 IBUs
0.50 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] – Boil 12.0 m Hop 9 7.7 IBUs
1.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 m Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
1.50 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] – Steep/Whirl Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Amarillo [9.20 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
Dry Hop 1: 1 oz each of Citra, Mosaic, Amarillo added at day 5
Dry Hop 2: 1 oz each of Citra, Mosaic, Amarillo added at day 10 when beer is kegged
2.0 pkg London Ale III (Wyeast Labs #1318) [124. Yeast 13 –
Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 15 lbs 10.0 oz
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 18.90 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F 60 min
As always, I’ll keep this post updated when I transfer it to the kegs and then another for tasting notes!
Kegging Update: This beer was transferred onto the second round of dry hops in the keg on 05/11/16. The hydrometer sample showed an FG of 1.014. That gives me an ABV of 7.9%, right in line with my usual 8%. I’d have liked this to have gotten down to 1.013, but I doubt the difference would be noticeable. The sample already tasted great, a ton of hop flavor without a lot of bitterness. Even without carbonation, I can tell this beer will have a nice mouthfeel. I can’t wait to see what the additional dry hops will do. I’ll post the tasting notes when this beer is carbed up and ready to go!
Tasting Notes 05/27/16:
Appearance: Golden/orange hazy beauty! If you are a fan of hazy IPAs, this is a gorgeous beer. I love the color of this style when held to the light, this beer practically glows! A thin white head that sticks around and nice lacing that clings to the sides of the glass with each sip.
Smell: Loads of juicy citrus and pineapple. Notes of orange, tangerine, grapefruit, mango, pineapple, and papaya. This beer smells amazing! The juicy aroma just begs you to dive in to drink this one. The large amount of hopstand and dryhops make this an expensive one to brew, but its so worth it.
Taste: A soft initial bitterness, just enough to let you know its an American Double IPA. In line with what you’d expect from the New England Pales. The bitterness gives way to huge orange citrus, pineapple, mango, and passion fruit like flavors from the hops. There’s just a hint of pleasant graininess from the malts in the finish. As usual, Wyeast 1318 London Ale III adds some pleasant fruit esters that perfectly compliment the American hops.
Mouthfeel: Really smooth and soft. Medium carbonation. This beer drinks smooth and almost creamy, but it still finishes dry enough that it leaves you craving another sip. Way more drinkable and refreshing than an 8% beer has any right to be and I love it!
Overall: My favorite beer I brew finally came together EXACTLY how I wanted to! The extra gypsum in the mash didn’t negatively impact the beer in any perceptible way, and the brew day and fermentation came together exactly as planned. I’m thrilled with this beer. I honestly cannot think of a single thing I’d change. I feel like I say that with a lot of the beers I wind up pleased with, but I’m a tinkerer. This is finally a beer I’ve fine tuned enough that there is nothing I’d change at all here. This brings me to an exciting new challenge, and that’s being able to re-brew this beer with consistency. I’ll make this beer again and again, and my goal now is to maintain the quality of this brew and keep my process consistent! If you’re reading this blog and are looking for ideas, try this out. Like I said, its my favorite beer I brew and this is the best batch to date. Consider this recipe locked in!