Imperial Black Rye IPA brewed for the 2015 Black Friday Comp

Have been meaning to post this for a couple of weeks, it was put on the LAB forum back on the 26th September when I was still planning to brew this beer but never got round to putting it on the blog so here is – a slightly edited version of the LAB post.

A few months back the Black Friday homebrew competition was announced and it immediately moved brewing a black IPA well up the list of things to brew.

A fair bit of research into the general style followed and I came up with the following its basically a clone of a well-known US beer I have never tried, but with a change to the dryhopping, and obviously using all British malts!

It should be fairly easy to guess the beer being cloned from the yeast, mash schedule and grist and the title of the blog post, if you did not guess it, its Firestone Walkers – Wookey Jack!

Info on the brewing process

So the yeast – to get the WLP002 to attenuate to where I want it I will be mashing in at 63degC for 60min, then ramping up to 68degC for 10min before ramping up to 76degC for mash out. The idea here is to make the wort as fermentable as possible. Its going to be a 50L batch and I’m working on 75% mash efficiency as the OG will be a little higher than standard worts I normally produce.

The boil will be for 90min before transferring to the whirlpool for a 30min rest, the wort will then be knock out to the fermenter at 17degC. Yeast will be pitched at 17degC and allows to ferment at 19degC for approx 5 days, the first lot of dryhops will then be added and the temp will be allowed to rise to 21degC for the diacetyl rest, for 3-4 days, the yeast and first dry hop will be dropped out of the cone and the second dryhop will be added for 3 more days.

The fermenter will then be crash cooled for 7days before bottling/kegging.

The Grist/hops

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
14.30 kg Pale Malt (2 Row) low colour UK (4.0 EBC) Grain 1 75.5 %
1.92 kg Rye Malt (9.3 EBC) Grain 2 10.1 %
0.58 kg Carafa III (1300.0 EBC) Grain 3 3.0 %
0.58 kg Mindnight/black Wheat Malt, Bel (1000.0 EBC) Grain 4 3.0 %
0.58 kg cara rye (100.0 EBC) Grain 5 3.0 %
1.00 kg Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 EBC) Sugar 6 5.3 %
20.00 g Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] – Boil 90.0 min Hop 7 15.5 IBUs
30.00 g Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] – Boil 30.0 min Hop 8 7.2 IBUs
30.00 g Citra [12.00 %] – Boil 30.0 min Hop 9 10.2 IBUs
30.00 g Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 10 2.8 IBUs
30.00 g Citra [12.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 11 4.0 IBUs
150.00 g Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 30.0 min Hop 12 19.5 IBUs
150.00 g Citra [12.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 30.0 min Hop 13 27.6 IBUs
1 million cells  per ml per deg Plato English Ale (White Labs #WLP002) Yeast 14
100.00 g DH1 Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] – Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 15 0.0 IBUs
100.00 g DH1 Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] – Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 16 0.0 IBUs
200.00 g DH2 Simcoe [13.00 %] – Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 17 0.0 IBUs

Yeast nutrient and Whirlfloc added at 10 min to go in the boil. Water profile – IPA from the book Water adjust to hit correct mash pH.

And the vital stats

Est Original Gravity: 1.077 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.015 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 8.3 %
Bitterness: 85.9 IBUs
Est Color: 75.1 EBC

This beer was bottled and keg on the 4th November, the bottles were bottle conditioned at 23degC for 4 days before I had to post them off to the competition as I was going to be out of the country after this for a bit. Not ideal but they had pretty much carbonated by this point. The keg version of the beer was tasting fantastic after it had been force carbonated, quote from the misses was along the lines of “best beer you have ever brewed” so all looks promising for the competition!

I also have a 20L Pin of this which I am looking forward to drinking at some point soon – hopefully shared with a few friend!

Will post the feedback on the beer after the comp results have been announced!



Update 28-11-2015

Well this did pretty well at the Black Friday competition, it came first in its category and the came 2nd in the Best of Show.

It scored 43 points and comments were generally all positive, however both judges said the bitterness at the end was a little astringent so this can be worked on for the next batch but to be honest I would change very little else in this beer.

I will now work through the remaining 30L I still have at home – what a hard ship!

All in all pretty happy with how this one turned out as it was the first batch of BIPA I have brewed and most of all I’m a real convert to using WLP002 in big hoppy beers, it really complements the hops, is more than capable of attenuating to get the beer to finish dry and just add a level of complexity that has been missing in some of my beers fermented with WLP001. Let the British yeast experiments continue.



The English ale yeast experiment continues – Wyeast 1318

For the past few months I have been brewing pale ales with a range of different yeasts and as a follower of The Mad Fermentationist blog I thought it was about time I tried Wyeast 1318. The author of the blog Michael Tonsmeire has been brewing several beers with Wyeast 1318 one of which is called Hop Juice – Northeast IPA which from his description sounded like the perfect IPA.

Not wanting to simply copy the recipe on the blog I took an old pale ale recipe I have brewed many times and swapped the yeast to 1318 and changed the dryhopping schedule so that I dryhopped it while the fermentation was still very active.

The Pale ale had an OG of 1.046 and was dry hopped with a generous amount of Citra and Amarillo. This was a 50L batch and used a mash efficiency of 85%. The grist and hopping schedule is below.

Grist and hop schedule

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
11.23 kg Pale Malt (2 Row) low colour UK (4.0 EBC) Grain 1 100.0 %
10.00 g Citra [12.00 %] – Boil 90.0 min Hop 2 7.1 IBUs
150.00 g Citra [12.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 30.0 min Hop 3 31.4 IBUs
50.00 g Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 30.0 min Hop 4 7.4 IBUs
1.0 pkg – 4L starter London Ale III (Wyeast Labs #1318) Yeast 5
150.00 g Citra [12.00 %] – Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 6 0.0 IBUs
50.00 g Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] – Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 7 0.0 IBUs

Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color

Bitterness: 45.9 IBUs
Est Color: 6.5 EBC
Measured Original Gravity: 1.046 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.011 SG
Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.7 %

The mash was at 64degC for 60min and the boil was for 90min. The wort was then pumped to the Whirlpool for a 30min rest before being knocked out to the fermenter. The wort was oxygenated at 1L per min for 2min. Yeast was pitched at 17degC and allowed to rise to 19degC, on day 4 the dryhops were added and the temp increased to 20degC for a further 4days. At this point the fermenter was crashed to 2degC and the yeast/hops dropped out of the bottom dump valve on the conical. The final gravity being 1.011.

Following 7days at 2degC the beer was transferred to 2 x corny kegs and force carbonated. One interesting thing is that normally after 7 days at 2degC I would expect the beer to be fairly clear but not this time it still had a very distinctive haze! Comment from The Mad Fermentationists blog seem to be correct, dryhopping during the active fermentation phase with this yeast really do have a drastic effect on beer clarity. The picture below shows the hazy beer, this photo was taken about a week after the beer had been kegged and placed in the kegerator at 5degC.

IMG_1597This really is one of the most refreshing pale ales I have brewed, it comes in at about 4.7% but drinks so easily its unbelievable, it is a true session pale ale, the aroma has a big citrus hit with everything you would expect from a big whirlpool and dry hop addition of Citra, but the Amarillo just restrains it nicely, it kind of takes the sharp corners off the Citra which can sometimes be unpleasant in Citra only beers.

And the bit I was not ready for was the depth of flavour when you take a mouthful; it really is like tropical/citrus fruit juice on the tongue! The one thing I think it does need is a little more mouth feel, I think an addition of something like 5% Carapils and may be 2-3% of Caramalt would take care of this, as too would mashing a little warmer say 66degC – but I think I would sooner mash at 64degC to keep the ferment ability and just add a small percentage of speciality malts to and the malt complexity to the beer.

I’m that impressed with this beer that the yeast will soon be getting another outing, this time an all Simcoe IPA which will come in at about 6%.