White Death (Version 7) New England Style DIPA

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White Death was brewed on 10/10/16.  Well well well, here we go again!  I knew I wanted to brew another batch of this beer before long, and there wasn’t much I wanted to change about it.  Since the last time I brewed this beer, Chicago has had a few breweries come out with some truly great examples of the New England IPA style.  Breweries like Mikerphone and their Special Sauce beers, Hop Butcher’s Galaxy Bowl, and The RAM’s Juicy have all been stellar beers that I just couldn’t get enough of.  The more I had these beers, the more things I realized that I needed to tweak to get White Death to be 100% where I want it.

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A couple tools of the trade

One thing I wanted to improve was just the overall saturation of hop flavors and aromas.  Sadly for my wallet, this just meant more hops.  There’s basically a pound of hops in this recipe, and the vast majority of those are in the hop stand and dry hop.  I’m not sure if this is overkill or not, I’ll have to see once this is done and see if there’s anywhere I can scale the hops back a bit without losing any flavor or aroma.

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Me, giving the mash a good stir

Looking back, I love how I said I wouldn’t change much if anything with that recipe last time, and just look above.  What can I say, I love tinkering with my recipes, but I really think this will get me where I want to be!

As for the brew day itself, it went about as perfect as it gets.  I was with my friends Jason and Dave, so I had plenty of help when I needed it.  I hit my mash temp right on the dot.  I mashed for an hour and then sparged.  Once the boil got going, I had some time to relax and have a couple beers with the guys.

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Jason stirring the mash

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A nice fall day for brewing some DIPA

Below you’ll see my hop additions, and that’s without the dry hop!  I added Citra and Mosaic at 10 minutes left, and got my chiller going at flameout.  I brought the beer down to 180 degrees and added a hopstand charge.  I let those hops steep for 45 minutes, chilled down to pitching temperature, and took my OG reading.  Right on the money at 1.075!  I swear, this brew day went too good to be true, I’m waiting on some disaster with the yeast or I’ll drop the carboy at kegging or something.

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The boil and hopstand hops…there’s anoth 8oz for the dry hop!

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My brew assistants Jason and Dave

I’ve said it before that this is my favorite beer that I brew, and this is the most excited I think I’ve ever been about a batch that I brewed.  I really think this recipe nailed the style, and I executed everything on brew day.  Hopefully the repitched slurry of Wyeast London Ale III yeast do their job, and I minimize any oxygen pickup during dry hopping and kegging.

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Pale Malt (2 Row)
Oats, Flaked
White Wheat Malt
Carapils
Honey Malt
Corn Sugar

Apollo
Citra
Galaxy
Mosaic

Keg Update 10/18/16:  The beer was kegged on the second round of dry hops.  The FG came in at 1.014, right on target to get my 8% ABV!  The sample I took was absolutely fantastic tasting, tons of juicy hop flavor.  I can’t wait to see what another four ounces of dry hops does!

Tasting Notes 11/3/16:

Appearance:  White Death pours a deep golden orange color with a beautiful haze.  If you you dig New England IPAs, you’ll love this.  The beer beer looks like its glows under a light source, its really a beautiful beer.  The appearance really enhances the juicy feel of the beer.  The head is fluffy and white and maintained by lively tiny bubbles.  The head eventually dissipates and fades to the side of the glass where it clings as nice, sticky lacing.

Smell:  So, so juicy smelling.  Its like opening a blended bag of hops and putting your nose in.  It smells like a smoothie made of orange and a bit of generic citrus, pineapple, peach, berry, passion fruit and mango.  It’s just very juicy!  I feel like I’m overusing that term, but it’s really the best descriptor.  I love how the Galaxy hops really amped up that peach and tropical fruit aspect.  The yeast esters further compliment the fruitiness of the hops.  If you want floral notes or piney resin, look elsewhere.  This beer is like a glass of carbonated fruit juice blend with some alcohol.

Taste:  The bitterness is very mild and so smooth, but its enough to keep the beer from being too sweet.  The taste follow the nose with predominant flavors of orange, pineapple, mango, and peach.  There’s lighter hints of passion fruit, lemon zest, and a bit of berry.  Malt definitely takes a back seat here, but I love the way the sweetness and slight fruitiness of the honey malt compliments the hops.  The 1318 yeast provides a wonderful profile that really enhances everything else going on with this beer.

Mouthfeel:  Silky smooth from the wheat and oats.  The body is on the fuller side of medium, with lighter medium carbonation that enhances the creamy body.  Even the body of this beer is juice like, and it really enhances the aromas and flavors.  I feel like I’ve gotten close with previous beers in terms of mouthfeel, this is the first time I’m really nailed it on the head.

Overall:  Yes!  Yes yes yes!  This is truly the beer I’ve been trying to make!  The almost pound of hops I put in this beer truly turned out to be worth it.  This beer is so saturated with hop flavor and aroma, I’ve never brewed anything quite to this level.  The addition of Galaxy rather than Amarillo really played well with the Citra and Mosaic.  It was an improvement for sure with what I was going for.  I think the higher percentage of oats and wheat really made the body perfect on this one.  The dry hop is right on the money.  I’d love to shave a couple ounces of hops off somewhere if I could to keep the cost down, but I don’t want to lose anything from this spectacular beer.  I might up the Apollo at 60 to .5 oz, then do an ounce of Apollo at 10 and save all my flavor and aroma hops for flameout and dry hops.  I also might be around the end of this pitch of 1318, though that doesn’t factor into the actual recipe design.  I’ve never had this beer even get close to clearing at all until the very end of the keg on my last batches.  I just harvest slurry from my fermentor without washing it, and I’m thinking I’m getting more and more flocculant pitches.  Every three or four days I need to agitate the keg a bit to get more of those hop oils and yeast back into suspension.  That seems to be the key with beers like this.  It loses some flavor when it clears since there isn’t much going on behind all those wonderful hop oils.  This beer is the best beer I’ve made…..period.

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White Death Version 6- New England Style DIPA

DSC_1048White Death 2

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.

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Me on the left, Steve doing the bag squeezing!

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.  DSC_0812

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My helpers for batch one of my two part brew day!  Steve, Jason, and Brie!

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

Recipe Specifications
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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

Ingredients:
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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
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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!

White Death (Version 4)-Northeast Style DIPA

White Death 4

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This beer was brewed on 06/12/15.  As the title suggests, this is my fourth crack at this recipe.  The funny thing is, if you go back and look at the first take on this beer it will resemble this one more than versions 2 or 3.  I’ve gotten away from trying to get this more like a Heady Topper like beer specifically and more like a general “Northeast Style IPA.”

A Northeast IPA isn’t really a sub-category of IPA or DIPA, but it may as well be due to the similarities these fantastic hoppy beers in that part of the country have.  I’ve had hoppy ales from The Alchemist, Trillium, Lawson’s, Hill Farmstead, Treehouse, Bissell Brothers, Foundation, Tired Hands, and a few others from the Northeast.  Not bad for a guy living in Chicago.  The hoppy beers from these guys are exactly what I want for my beers and specifically my “flagship,” White Death.  A lot of the beers from these guys are light colored, hazy, have a creamy soft mouthfeel, low in harsh bitterness but huge on hop flavor.  That’s not to say you can’t find beers like that in other parts of the country, but these breweries in the Northeast seem to just “get it” when it comes to the hoppy styles.

While not truly sub-categories of IPA, most people will admit that there is East Coast IPA and West Coast IPA.  The standard East Coast variety tends to be a bit darker and maltier, maybe using more specialty grains, a bit fuller bodied, and not usually total hop bombs.  Think Dogfish Head 60 or 90 Minute IPA as a good example of this.  The West Coast IPA’s are usually a bit lighter in color and body, bitter, dry, and are huge in hop flavor with little in the way of malt.  Think Stone IPA and Pliny the Elder.  The Northeast IPAs seem to find a balance, taking the best parts of these two IPA types and combining them into an amazing whole.  Most of them have a hazy blonde or orange color that ranges from 4 to 7 or so on the SRM scale.  The mouthfeel of a lot of these beers is absolutely incredible.  They have a smooth, creamy, and soft mouthfeel that sets them apart from other IPAs.  The bitterness on these beers is noticeable, but rarely too assertive.  These beers tend to load up on late and dry hops to get huge flavor and aroma.  The balance of flavors a lot of these breweries pull off is incredible.

I’m trying to get White Death to encompass all the things I love about the beers from this part of the country.  I’m still using the Heady Topper Conan strain on this beer since I love the fruitiness and mouthfeel the yeast leaves.  I’m still chasing the incredible body that beers from Hill Farmstead, Trillium, and Tired Hands seem to have so I made a few adjustments with this goal in mind.  I added some of the oats back into the recipe from the 1st version as well as adding carapils to keep the beer from drying out too much.  I also changed the water profile by upping chloride and dropping the sulfate to smooth things out further.

After working with both Golden Promise and Pearl malt a few times each, I’ve found I prefer the Golden Promise.  Much like in the 1st version of this beer, I went with a 2 Row and Golden Promise mix.  Golden Promise has a sweet bready flavor that I really like, and I was tempted to use a higher portion of it, but in the end I went with a 50/50 split with the 2 row just in case that sweetness would take from the hops.  I still like the Pearl malt, but I find it more grainy rather than bready which is what I want in this beer.  I kept the pound of White Wheat I’ve been using in this recipe.

I simplified the hop bill a bit by cutting out the Apollo hops and upping the Columbus additions as well as using Columbus for bittering.  I actually like Apollo hops a lot, but my LHBS doesn’t stock them and I got tired of having to pay for shipping just for hops.  I tried to make Simcoe and Columbus the stars of the show more, with Mosaic and Citra supporting.  With Conan yeast adding fruity flavors in addition to the Mosaic and Citra, I felt loading more Simcoe and Columbus would bring out more of the pine and dank notes to balance the fruit.

This brew day was done on a Friday night, with just me and Kristin.  I love my busy brew days with my friends, but this was a nice low key change of pace.  This is my favorite beer I make, and I wanted to be focused on my process to get it perfect since this will be its first trip to the keg.  The brew night went perfectly, no steps were missed and no mistakes were made.  I hit my 152 mash temp on the dot.  I boiled for 60 minutes and chilled to 180 to do a 30 minute hopstand.  The OG came in at 1.075.  The first round of dry hops went into the primary at day 5.  They’ll sit there for 4 or 5 days until I rack to the keg for the second round of dry hops.

Here’s my water profile:

Ca+2           Mg+2         Na+         Cl-         SO4-2          HCO
153.6           0.0            0.0          194.9      104.0            0.000

Recipe Specifications
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Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.25 gal
Estimated OG: 1.075 SG
Estimated FG: 1.015 FG
Estimated Color: 5.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 95.1 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 73.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
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Amt Name Type # %/IBU
6 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 39.8 %
6 lbs Pale Malt, Golden Promise (Thomas Fawcet Grain 2 39.8 %
1 lbs White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 3 6.6 %
12.0 oz Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain 4 5.0 %
8.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 5 3.3 %
5.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 6 2.1 %
8.0 oz Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM) Sugar 7 3.3 %

1.50 oz Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.50 %] – Boil 60 min Hop 8 70.1 IBUs
2.00 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 9 15.6 IBUs
1.00 oz Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.50 %] – Boil 5 min Hop 10 9.3 IBUs
2.00 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
1.50 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
0.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 m Hop 14 0.0 IBUs

1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] – Dry Hop 1
1.00 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Dry Hop 1
0.5 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] – Dry Hop 1

0.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Dry Hop 2
0.50 oz Mosaic -Dry Hop 2
1.00 oz Simcoe – Dry Hop 2
1.00 oz Columbus – Dry Hop 2

2.0 pkg DIPA Ale (Omega Yeast Labs #OYL-052) Yeast

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 15 lbs 1.0 oz
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Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 18.20 qt of water at 163.7 F 152.0 F 60 min

Update 06/24/15:  The beer went in the keg last night for a second round of dry hopping.  It’ll sit there at room temp for 4 more days and then I’ll remove the hops and get carbonating.  The gravity sample came in at 1.014, right where I was hoping.  The sample tasted great.  One thing I noticed was the bitterness on this version.  I don’t think I’d ever bittered with Columbus until now and the bitterness is a bit sharper than Warrior or Apollo.  That’s not to say I don’t like it, and it’ll be interesting to see how it is with another week of conditioning and with carbonation.

Tasting Update 0717/15:

Appearance: The beer pours a beautiful hazy golden/orange color.  This version looks just like the previous batches.  The beer is hazy, which is fine by me for this type of beer.  Kegging helps the head stick around nicely and the beer leaves nice lacing on the glass.

Smell:  This batch had heavy orange citrus aroma.  There are hints of grapefruit, pineapple, and peach as well.  There also a heavier pine and earthy element to this batch.  The aroma of this one was pretty strong, I like what layering the dry hops does for this one.

Taste:  The bitterness in this version is sharper than previous ones from the use of Columbus as a bittering hop.  Its still a great beer, but the bitterness is a bit sharper than I’d prefer.  Some people would like this, but I want the flavors in this beer to be a bit rounder.  The bitterness of this beer lingers longer than I’d prefer.  This version of the recipe is very resiny.  There’s a bit less fruit than previous versions, but its still there.  The fruity hop flavors follow the nose with orange, grapefruit, peach, and pineapple.  The malt body has a nice bready flavor thanks to the Golden Promise, but I may just go with straight 2 row for simplicity’s sake next time.

Mouthfeel:  This is an area that improved over the previous versions.  I’m really like liking the higher levels of chloride in my hoppy beers.  That combined with the oats, wheat, and yeast really do wonders for the body of this one.  The beer has medium carbonation.

Overall:  This beer took a couple steps forward in some areas and a couple steps back in others.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still really happy with this beer, but there are things I’d like to change before I brew it again.

Lets start with what works.  Kegging helped this beer in a number of areas.  Its held up way better than any of the batches of this that I bottled.  The aroma has been clearer and more powerful.  The flavors seem a bit bolder.  The mouthfeel is smooth, almost creamy, but still dry enough to stay very drinkable.

As far as improvements go, it’s mostly fine tuning at this point with one or two bigger things.  I’m going to bitter with a cleaner hop next time like Warrior, the Columbus was too sharp for my tastes.  I went a bit heavy on the Columbus in the flavor and aroma additions as well.  I need to bring some of the fruity notes from the Mosaic and Citra back into focus, this batch was a bit more resiny than I wanted.  For the malt, I may try going just 2 row as the base.  I’ll keep the wheat and oats, and likely add a bit of caramalt in place of the carapils.  The last charge is a maybe: yeast.  I really like Wyeast London Ale III when I used it in my summer ale.  I plan on doing a side by side with London Ale III and Conan in an APA as a test before I decide this for sure.  I really like both yeasts, and it will be the only way I can choose between the two.

All in all, this was still a great beer and I know what I need to do to perfect this recipe.

White Death 3.0

White Death in glass 3

White Death 2

Another batch of White Death is on the way!  This beer was brewed on 01/03/15.  I had posted my last take on this recipe in the fall, and had said there wasn’t anything I’d change.  In the time since that post, I drank a whole bunch of Heady Topper, and wow that beer is just crazy good.  White Death, while not supposed to be a direct Heady clone, was always intended to be in the ballpark, and my last batch came close. However, after having a case of Heady at my house I realized my White Death wasn’t quite 100% where I wanted it.  The flavors are there, but I wanted a touch more bitterness, and to try and get that great drinkability that Heady Topper has.

With those goals in mind, I made a couple of changes to the recipe.  First, this is a 3 gallon batch!  So if you’re reading this (There’s bound to be one or two of you right?)  and thinking of brewing this beer, I just cut everything in half from my normal batch size.  I’ll talk about why I did a small batch in a bit.  Downing a can of Heady is an easy thing to do.  The beer is bitter, but it doesn’t linger on your palate and leaves you wanting more.  The beer is dry, but still had a nice mouthfeel.  In an attempt to emulate this drinkablity, I dropped the oats and caramalt from the recipe, and hope that the grainy bread like flavors from the Pearl malt and White Wheat will be enough of a malt backbone.  I feel like the caramalt was used in such low quantity that it shouldn’t be missed here anyway.  I also mashed a bit lower this time, 150 degrees for an hour.  Another change I made was the addition of Mosaic hops, and the subtraction of Amarillo.  I like Amarillo hops ok, but I haven’t really been blown away by them, while I have really enjoyed everything I’ve had that makes big use of Mosaic.  Even having Heady, which as far as I know doesn’t have Mosaic hops, there are aromas and flavors that remind me of Mosaic, and nothing that really struck me as Amarillo.  My LHBS doesn’t have hop extract, so I went back to bittering with Apollo for this one.  I also tried adding more gypsum to this batch than I’ve ever used before.

As far as why I did a small batch?  I still have about 6 bottles of my old batch in the fridge.  They have not held up well.  6 gallons of a beer that is best fresh was too much, especially since I had several other brews ready at that time too.  I had about a case left when I could see the beer darken some and the hops started fading.  The beer is now a shadow of what it was fresh, a dull copper as opposed the the bright golden orange it was.  I’d rather brew just a case and love every sip, rather than brew two cases and have to power through the last 12 packs worth that’s gone south.  Hopefully when I get a keg system eventually this concern will be a thing of the past since I’ll be able to purge everything with C02 to minimize oxidation.

I did this brew as the first half of my two batch stove top brew day.  The brew day itself was uneventful, which is usually a good thing.  It was just me and the dog, so I wasn’t distracted, and kept the beers to a minimum (Boooooooo!).  I mashed in at 150 for an hour, sparged, and boiled.  I did an hour long hop steep.  I put half my flameout hops in immediately after the boil, and added the other half for the 30 minutes it was cooling.  I had to do an ice bath for this one since my chiller is set up for a garden hose attachment, and it was snowing out so I didn’t feel like dealing with that.  I took my hydrometer reading and it came in at 1.073, right around where I wanted it.

Here’s my water profile

Ca+2   Mg+2   Na+   Cl-   SO4-2
185.9   0.0       0.0    42     388.7

Recipe Specifications

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Batch Size (fermenter): 3.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.075 SG
Estimated FG: 1.013 FG
Estimated Color: 5.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 135.7 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 74.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
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Amt Name Type # %/IBU
7 lbs Pearl (2.5 SRM) Grain 1 88.4 %
8.0 oz White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 2 6.3 %
2.7 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 3 2.1 %
5.0 oz Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM) Sugar 3.1 %

1.25 oz Apollo [17.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 4 115.5 IBUs
0.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 6 6.5 IBUs
0.50 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] – Boil 5.0 mi Hop 7 6.6 IBUs
0.50 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 8 7.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.50 %] – Hop 9 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 m Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] – Steep/Whirl Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Apollo [17.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 Hop 13 0.0 IBUs

0.50 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Hop 16 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 17 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 18 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] – Dry Hop Hop 19 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Apollo [17.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 20 0.0 IBUs

1.0 pkg DIPA Ale (Omega Yeast Labs #OYL-052) Yeast 14 –

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 7 lbs 14.7 oz
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Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 9.59 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F 60 min

Bottling Update on 01/17/15:  FG of the beer was 1.012, right where I wanted it.  The hydrometer sample tasted and smelled amazing.  It really did remind me a ton of Heady Topper, and while I may not have been going for an exact clone, this tasted damn close.  The only negative here was I only got 21 bottles from this batch. I took the siphon out as soon as I started getting some hop material up with the beer.  I left what was probably another few bottles worth in the carboy, but with all that hop material from the huge dry hop, I didn’t want to risk sucking that into the bottling bucket or agitating the beer.

Tasting Notes on 01/25/15:  I feel that this beer is best to drink as soon as its carbonated, so this was about a week after bottling.  This beer is great, plain and simple, and I feel it’s most likely the best beer I make.  This third batch is even better than the last one, and the subtle changes from the lat batch are the difference.

Appearance:  This beer pours a very hazy golden orange color, almost like a glass of orange juice.  The beer pours with a fluffy white head that slowly dissipated into a consistent thin head that lasted the whole glass.  The brew left nice lacing on the glass.  Exactly how I like my IPAs to look.

Smell:  Huge hop aroma on this beer, complimented by the Conan yeast.  I get aromas of pineapple, passion fruit, some pine, earthy dankness, citrus, and a nice dose of peach from the yeast.  Huge aromatics on this one.

Taste:  There’s a nice bitterness upfront, but it quickly gives way to waves of hop flavors.  The tastes largely follow the nose with some tropical fruits and earthiness.  I get a lot of pineapple and some citrus and some peach.  The back end has a nice sweetness to it.  I’m glad I dropped the oats and caramalt, the Pearl and White Wheat provide enough base to give the beer a nice malt base to let the hops play on.

Mouthfeel:  I was worried that cutting the oats and caramalt would have a negative effect here, but thankfully I was wrong.  The beer is a just slightly drier, but it’s definitely more drinkable than the last batch.  As a matter of fact, this beer is dangerously drinkable for an 8% beer.  The mouthfeel is still sturdy enough to keep the beer from ever feeling thin.

Overall:  This is as good as any commercial IPA I’ve had in my opinion, and as a very Heady Topper like flavor to it, but not close enough that it would be a clone, which is fine.  I like what the Mosaic hops added here, and I can detect their presence in the beer, where I feel like the Amarillo in the previous batches got lost in the shuffle.  The beer didn’t lose anything from simplifying the malt bill, and I think it was an improvement.  I love this beer, and the only way I feel it could be improved is through kegging to minimize oxygen pickup.  The only things I might try when I get around to brewing this one again is to increase the bittering charge just a bit more, and then I’d like to eliminate the 5 minute additions.  I’m not sure whether they really add anything substantial that I can’t get from the hopstand, and I’d love to try and cut the cost of this beer a little since those hops add up in a hurry.   This beer is just crazy good though, and I wouldn’t change anything else!

Final Beer Stats:   

Measured OG: 1.073

Measured FG: 1.012

SRM: 5.1

IBU: 136.6

ABV: 8.1%