Thursday, September 3, 2015

Feral IPA - Recipe From the Archives

Brewery: Old North Brewing
Style: India Wild Ale
Date Brewed: 04.26.2014
Date Bottled: 06.02.2014
OG: 1.061
FG: 1.007 (estimated)
ABV: 7.1%

AppearanceSuper pale yellow, with a heavy cloudiness. Wheat + a yeast that just doesn't want to flocc. Almost looks like a berliner weisse with a huge head of foam.

Smell: Originally this beer had an absurdly huge nose of fresh tropical fruit and juicy citrus. The aged version developed much more of an over-ripe fruit aroma, stopping just short of full on funky. This is similar to, but far milder than many Brett beers I've had, and lets you know that this yeast is definitely not tame.
Taste: Again, very juicy. with a firm bitterness and dry finish. The aged version has evolved into something with less bitterness, and more of a funky/juicy finish that lingers for days. I get spicey clove notes, something that is almost horse-blanket esque without actually smelling like a horse (if that makes any sense at all), and tons of overripe mangoes, bananas, starfruit, meyer lemon, and mandarins.
Mouthfeel: Dry and crisp. I nailed the carbonation level of this one, with a hug billowy head that settles into a nice prickly carbonation that isn't too much, but makes this beer feel like a lot less than 7.3% abv.
Overall: A delicious beer, new or aged. I loved the evolution this beer went through over the last year.

In order to flesh out my blog just a bit more, I've decided to post some of my old favorite beers. The brew notes might not be as complete as some more recent beers, and the tasting notes will often be from memory, but these are some of my favorite beers I've ever brewed.

First up out of the archives is my first attempt at a 100% Brett fernentation. Little did I know that WLP 644 was a wild Saccharomyces masquerading as Brettanomyces. No bother though, as this beer turned out excellent. I sat on a single bottle of this, which I recently opened and took some tasting notes of. The beer definitely evolved over its life, but it also seems this yeast has excellent oxygen scavenging characteristics, as some hop flavor (though sadly little aroma) has hung around for over a year in the bottle.

I layered in the Citra, Centennial, and Chinook, to get a complex hop aroma with lots of citrus, spice, and floral notes. The malt bill was designed to be a sort of "white" ipa - heavy on wheat malt to lend some body to what I anticipated would be a very dry beer. I designed the whole recipe hoping to stay out of the way of the aromas of the yeast, huge amounts of overripe tropical fruit.

This was my first "huge success" as a home brewer. Of course I have many tweaks to make to this beer, and it turns out it isn't 100% Brettanomyces but it was delicious, and it really got me excited about brewing with odd-ball yeasts and other bugs.


Batch Size: 5.25 gallons into fermentor
Measured OG: 1.061
Anticipated IBUs: 94.7
Anticipated SRM: 4.4
Actual Brewhouse Efficiency: 63%
Boil Time: 60 mins

71.5% [10.15#] - Pale Malt (American 2-row)
23% [3.28#] - White Wheat Malt
3.5% [0.5#] - Carapils
2% [0.28#] - Acidulated Malt

5mL [50 IBUs] of HopShot Extract @ 60 mins 
12.75 AAU [1.5 oz, 8.5%] - Centennial @ 60 mins
10.0 AAU [1.0 oz, 10.0%] - Citra - 15 minute hopstand
17.0 AAU [2.0 oz, 8.5%] - Centennial - 15 minute hopstand
13.0 AAU [1.0 oz, 13.0%] - Chinook - after hop stand, before chilling
10.0 AAU [1.0 oz, 10.0%] - Citra after hop stand, before chilling
2.5 oz Citra - dry hop for 7 days
1.0 oz Chinook - dry hop for 7 days
1.5 oz Centennial - dry hop for 7 days

1 Whirlfloc tablets @ 15 mins
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 mins

1.5 L starter of White Labs WLP 644 aka "'Brettanomyces' Bruxellis Trois"

RO water from Tampa, FL
1 tsp Calcium Chloride
1 tsp Gypsum

Brew in a Bag
Saccharification Rest - Full Volume @ 152 F
Mashed Out to 168 F then grain bag removed and allowed to drain into wort

Fermented in a soft-sided cooler with frozen bottles to hold down temperature. Averaged 72 F through the fermentation.

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