It's not often that we're blessed with the presence of multiple Hong Kong Homebrewing Contest Champion Tom Hanson, but he somehow agreed to join us on our latest brew day (don't believe us? Check the gallery!) In all seriousness - an absolute pleasure.
Water has been something that has been our minds a bit recently. Having notched a few batches under our belts, it felt a bit rich to pretend that Hong Kong tap water was simply fine to brew with without adjustment. In particular, it looked like problems such as less than stellar efficiency and commonly an astringent hop quality might be related to off-kilter mash and boil pH. Armed with a fistful of brewing salts, a shiny new pH meter, and a lot of fiddling with Bru'n Water, we were ready to tackle the issue head-on - and ended up sitting on a mash pH of 5.6. Well, we'll get better at it (although this may already be an improvement from prior batches). Acidulated malt, acid or buffer additions going forward may be options.
We'd been meaning to brew a riff on the Mad Fermentationist's take on a Northeast IPA for a while, having become enamoured with the juicy, hazy hop bombs from recent beer tastings. The style appears commonly brewed with a kind of English strain (Conan), but we opted for good old California Ale yeast. (If we were being pretentious, we'd make a reference to how John Kimmich had once mused on taking Heady Topper on a west coast ride with WLP001, but clearly we're above that) We opted for hop shots for the bittering charge, given the amount of beer we would already lose to the copious hop additions.
While we were at it, we also decided to bottle the sour cherry saison we had brewed a few weeks ago. It seems to have come out quite decently so far - bone dry (1.004 FG) and pleasantly tart, with a hint of stone fruit and a nice saison profile. Look forward to cracking one of these open in a couple of weeks.
At our request, the LHBS had ordered a ton of souring bugs and sour blends. Looks like our next beer will also be a sour!
Northeast IPA Recipe Specifics ------------------- Batch Size (Gal): 5.50 lbs Total Grain (Lbs): 13.00 lbs Anticipated OG: 1.050 Anticipated SRM: 3.2 Anticipated IBU: 60.9 Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes Grains ---------------- 0.80 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine4.2 % 8.00 oz Oats, Flaked4.2 % 4.00 lb White Wheat Malt30.8 % 7.00 lbsBriess 2-Row Malt 53.8 % Hops ------ 3.00 ml Hop Shot @ 90 min 2.00 oz Citra (pellet, 13.4% AA) @ 0 min 2.00 oz Mosaic (pellet, 12.6% AA) @ 0 min 2.00 oz Citra (pellet, 13.8% AA) @ dry hop 2.00 oz Mosaic (pellet, 12.6% AA) @ dry hop Yeast ------ WLP001 California Ale Yeast Mash Schedule ----------------- Mash @ 155f for 55 min Notes ------- Brewed 22 May 2016 Treated 7 gallons of filtered water with 0.5 Campden tablet Heated 7 gallons treated water to 166f and added grains. Added 6g gypsum and 6g calcium chloride at dough-in. Attache sous vide circulator and set to 155f. Iodine test showed starch conversion in around 30 minutes. Total mash time of 55 minutes.Cold sparge with 1 gallon of distilled water. Allowed flameout hops to steep for 10 minutes before chilling. Post-boil volume of approx. 4.8 gal. Topped with distilled water to reach 5.5 gal. Measured OG at around 1.048. Shook to aerate, let cool to to 70Fbefore pitching liquid yeast. 25 May 2016:Added 2 oz citra dry hops