Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cascadian Dark IPA 1.25 Gallon Extract Batch

Cascadian Dark IPA 1.25 Gallon Extract Batch

Cascadian dark ale prior to bottling.

For this session I brewed a cascadian dark ale, using the second version of a homemade diy hopback. You may have seen a few of my other diy hopback designs, but this one proves the simplest and least expensive. The jars I use as hopbacks are sold to wineries to determine the malic acid levels in wine before, during and after malolactic fermentation. They are known as gas chromatography jars, below is an image of one aswell as the recipe for this cascadian dark ipa:

1 gallon glass chromatography jar.


 Centennial/Amarillo Hopback CDA
14-B American IPA
Author: Orion Chandler
Date: 3/27/2012

Size: 1.25 gal
Efficiency: 75.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 225.81 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.068 (1.056 - 1.075)
Terminal Gravity: 1.017 (1.010 - 1.018)
Color: 20.2 (6.0 - 15.0)
Alcohol: 6.67% (5.5% - 7.5%)
Bitterness: 60.0 (40.0 - 70.0)

2.0 oz (6.3%) Caramel Malt 40L - steeped before boil
1.0 oz (3.1%) Chocolate Malt - steeped before boil
1.0 oz (3.1%) Carafa Special® TYPE II - steeped before boil
1.75 lb (87.5%) Dry Light Extract - added during boil, boiled 60 m
.1 oz (5.6%) Amarillo® (9.5%) - added during boil, boiled 60 m
.1 oz (5.6%) Centennial (10.1%) - added during boil, boiled 20 m
.1 oz (5.6%) Amarillo® (9.5%) - added during boil, boiled 20 m
1.0 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (1/5 tablet) - added during boil, boiled 15 m
0.75 tsp Gypsum - added during boil, boiled 15 m
.25 oz (13.9%) Amarillo® (9.5%) - added during boil, boiled 10.0 m
.25 oz (13.9%) Centennial (10.1%) - added during boil, boiled 10.0 m
.25 oz (13.9%) Amarillo®(Hopback) (9.5%) - added during boil
.25 oz (13.9%) Centennial(Hopback) (10.1%) - added during boil
.25 oz (13.9%) Amarillo® (9.5%) - added dry to secondary fermenter
.25 oz (13.9%) Centennial (10.1%) - added dry to secondary fermenter

Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.5.23

11/13/2012- Tasting Notes Prior to Bottling:
 Note: -Beer sampled at 68 degrees F with no carbonation-

Hoppy and malty, just a wonderful aromatic quality! I get a slight spiciness and hot alcohol aroma aswell. Hops, hops, and more hop aromas! I get a subtle chocolate and roasty essence from this beer, it is just barely there, but nice. I almost get a hint of vanilla.

Bitter with a slight hop forward character. Hops hit you first thing, the flavor is intense and wonderful. Mid-palate the dark malts arrive and linger but with a subtle intensity. Chocolate character is just slightly there. The balance of this beer seems to be slightly more hop forward. The layering of the Amarillo and Centennial is delicious. I am happy so far with this beer, can't wait to try it once it is bottled and carbonated. 

Deep brown/black. This beer is a nice roasty color, deep brown with no redness and just the beginnings of black.

While I neglected to shoot video of my new hopbacking process, I will try to explain it. By purging both the jar and a plastic siphon tube with CO2, you eliminate the potential for hot side aeration while siphoning into the jar full of hops. My thinking was that if I siphon the hot wort into the jar and let the hops steep, I could remove the volatile hop oils that contribute to flavor and aroma, but not let them escape as the lid is airtight. While leaving the lid closed, I rapidly cooled the jar in an ice water bath with salt water. The entire contents cooled to from 180 to 60 degrees F in less than 30 minutes. Once it was cool I pitched into my fermenter. I am happy to say that the sample I pulled today had an intense hop aroma that went well with the dark malts in my grain bill.

I also tried something I haven't tried before, I fermented cool at 65 degrees F trying to keep as much delicate hop aroma in solution with a gentle fermentation.Then when the yeast was 90% attenuated, I made a point to add my dryhops and increase the temp to 70 for 4 days. My thinking is that at higher temperatures more hop flavor may be extracted from the hops, and by dryhopping in this manner for a shorter period of time less vegetal or "grassy" notes extracted from the hops. I also roused the dryhops daily by gently moving with a sanitized spoon and also added CO2 daily to prevent any oxiadtion issues. By adding the hops in the last tenth of fermentation, I was hoping the yeast would eat up any oxygen added by dryhopping while avoiding much loss of the aromas I extracted. Also, by ramping up the secondary fermentation temperatures to 70 I am hoping the yeast will convert diacetyl so that I have a low ester beer with absolutely no hints of butter.

From the hydrometer sample I pulled, the gravity was 1.013, I was only looking to finish at around 1.017. By fermenting cool, then ramping the temp up by 5 degrees over 4 days and near the end of phase 1 of fermentation, it looks like this really gave a leg up to attenuation. I am proud to say that the hop aroma in this beer is the best I have ever had in any homebrew I have ever brewed. With the combination of cool primary fermenting and using a hopback, the hop aroma and flavor is massive! By fermenting hot in the secondary phase of fermentation this brew is well attenuated with no esters or buttery diacetyl.

One drawback I have noticed however was that the beer is substantially more bitter than my target recipe. I attribute this to steeping the hops for 15 minutes before beginning to cool them in the brine solution. Next time I will cool it immediately and just remember that the hops will steep just fine while cooling down. If anyone is looking for a cheap design for a homemade hopback, try the method I outlined above, you won't be disappointed!I will post back with tasting notes in a few weeks when this is done carbonating.

Please check out the tasting notes once this brew had a chance to mature.

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