I love IPAs. By far my favorite style of beer, although I like almost all styles of beer. I have decided to use some different base malts to increase my understanding of different kinds of malt and the effect they have on the beer. This time I switched out the standard 2-row barley for Vienna malt and through in a little rye just for the hell of it. Vienna malt is used primarily in lagers as a base malt. People debate the ability of the malt to convert on its own, but I had no problems.

There will be a few of these malt variants done in the coming months. I really want to do a 100% Victory malt IPA, so expect that soon. This beer was so different from a malt point of view, a real departure from the last couple of recipes I posted, that I wanted to keep the hop bill rather pedestrian. I have a pound of whole leaf Amarillo hops (which is a hop I normally love) but these are looking a little rough around the edges so I combined it with a new bag of cascade pellet hops. Cascade was the hop that got me into hoppy beers (Thank you Mitch Steele…I am a fan). The yeast cake from the previous two beers (Recipe #1 and Recipe #2) is used for this beer as well. I promise I will make a beer with a different yeast soon enough.

Batch # 2013.21
5 Gallon Batch
Brew date: November 24th, 2013
Keg date: December 8th, 2013
OG: 1.060
FG: 1.010
ABV: 5.7% ABV
SRM: 7.0 L (calculated)
IBU: 93 (calculated)

10 pounds Vienna malt
2 pounds Rye

Mash Conditions:
This mash was about 1.25 quarts of water (distilled water) per pound of grain. A pH stabilizer (pH 5.2) was added to the mash water. Mash temperature was low (about 150° F). Mash proceeded for a while (more than 2 hours) due to an errand I ran in the middle. Sparged with 5 gallons of water at 170° F. Collected about 8.5 gallons of water.

Brewing Procedure:
photo (2)
It took a while to get this to boil but it was cold out. The boil lasted about 80 minutes in total and 2 teaspoons gypsum was added to the wort.

Hop Schedule:
2 ounces whole leaf Amarillo hops @ 60 minutes 10.1%
2 ounce of whole leaf Amarillo hops @ 10 minutes 10.1%
2 ounces of pellet cascade at @ 10 minutes
2 ounces of pellet cascade at flameout
4 ounces of pellet cascade for dry hopping

Fermentation Conditions:
Beer was transferred to a fermenter on top of the yeast cake of a previous batch (Recipe #2). Fermentation started within hours of adding the wort and crausen fell after 4 days. The beer was left in the fermenter for almost 2 weeks to make sure it finished fermentation. Hydrometer readings were stable at 1.010 for several days so the beer was kegged.

This beer was an annoying beer start to finish. First, I need to put whole leaf hops in a bag from now on. The leaves got in the way of everything down the road. I had to filter them out, they clogged (and subsequently broke) the siphon, and are just a pain to deal with in the end. I might be over whole leaf for a while in reality, but a hop spider would go a ways to solving this problem. During the boil, the weather was so cold and wind so strong that the flame on the pot blew out for an undetermined amount of time. I estimated and just kept boiling until I reached the approximate volume. Transferring the cooled wort to the pot was difficult and I only got about 4 gallon – 4.5 gallons into the fermenter, wasting a larger portion of the beer. There will be many changes to the brewing procedure in the future, this was a comedy of errors.

Tasting Notes:

photo4Beer is amber with a mild haze, a soft white head, small bubbles, lots of lacing (perfect lacing), moderate to high carbonation (slightly over carbonated in the keg due to impatience).

Beer has a nice, cascade hop aroma with definite yeast coming through. More so than the previous two batches, I can smell some Brett in this beer more than others.

My initial impressions of this beer is that it was oddly spicy and too bitter but the more I drink it the more I like it. It is definitely hoppy and bitter. The body is smooth with a nice finish, not too dry but there is a breadiness to the beer that is combined with an odd spiciness. I suppose that might be the combination of the hop bitterness and the rye malt in the mash.

Overall, this beer definitely has grown on me and I like it. Not the best beer I’ve made but definitely not going down the drain.

Possible Improvements (for future batches):
I don’t know…everything? Just kidding. The memory of this brew day distaster are still fresh in my mind. I’ll focus on the final product for evaluation. I am a Mitch Steele IPA disciple but I think my days of cascade IPAs might be over. I don’t think I should use this amarillo hops again either. I’m looking forward to more experiments with malts but I think I’ll let Vienna be a lager malt. Soon there will be a post about a 100% Victory malt IPA, hopefully that will be a good beer.


“Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today.”- Edgar Allan Poe


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