The reason for writing notes after brewing a beer are to learn about what you could have done to make it a better beer. It also give you notification not to add this-and-that if this-and-that combined tastes like horse piss. Since our biggest IPA was stolen, I had always wanted to make up for it and make another big IPA. I decided to research both 3 Floyds Dreadnaughts recipe and Bell’s Hopslam as well. They are two differing beers taste wise. Dreadnaught is a sweeter, citrusy IPA whereas Hopslam is like stuffing hops in your mouth and enjoying the bitterness. I wanted a sweet marriage that ended in a bitter divorce kind of beer. See typical Hollywood marriage.
Year round, Imperial India Pale Ales (or DIPA, short for Double IPA) are my go to beer. Luckily, here in Kentucky we have Hoptimus from New Albanian which is a go-to staple of mine at any of Louisville’s fine eating establishments.
When I started making the grain bill, I knew it would be in excess of 20lbs and fill my mash tun to the brim. Which it did. I think for the 6 gallons of initial water I put in, I only got about 3.5-4 gallons of wort back. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it, but all of my brewing is in 5 gallon quantities.
Hops were going to be key in this beer and this was the first time I used real hops instead of hop pellets, thanks My Old Kentucky Homebrew! This was also the first time I boiled for up to 90 minutes as well, I love the 90 minute boil…I just hate the process.
Grains used: 16lbs Pale 2 Row, 3lbs Munich Malt, 1 Crystal 40L
Hop Schedule: 2oz Warrior (90), 1 oz Simcoe (90), ½ oz Centennial (60), ½ oz Warrior (60), ½ oz. Centennial (45), ½ Cascade (30), ½ Cascade (10), 1 oz Cascade (primary), 1oz Chinook (secondary)
Spices Used: Irish Moss (60), 8oz Candy Sugar (5)
Yeast: White Labs English Ale
I was also brewing in a time where I had broke my hydrometer, so therefore I went on instinct on whether the beer was ready or not and what temperature it was kept at. I’m assuming my ABV is between 8-11%. I keep the majority of beer in my cellar during the summer, which usually gets a little hotter than I want, but oh well. When transferring it from the primary to the secondary, the hope aroma was almost too much for my nose. Note to self, waft the smell, don’t stick your nose over the beer and huff. After 3 weeks in the secondary, I was ready to bottle.
Within a month of bottling, I had an IPA I wanted. It poured a thick creamy head with a strong citrus hop scent. It pours a golden orange color with a thick cream head that dissipates quickly. Upon first taste, one gets the sweet, citrusy hop flavor and then at the end, like a restraining order from your wife, you get the bitterness of a true IPA.
Many people try to use the word “hop” in different ways to describe an IPA. The list goes on forever. When I was back home and worked for the city during the summers, I worked with a feller (fella) who either didn’t know how to pronounce them or say certain words or phrases. We created a “Wardictionary” documenting the specific phrases and my all-time favorite was “an optical attusion” when he didn’t believe what he was seeing. This is the same guy who would sing perverse songs and such to get through the workday of throwing asphalt or driving a truck. Therefore, now we have a Hoptical Attusion….after a few of these, you’re bound not to see straight.