Friday, January 11, 2013

"Five Grain Farmer" Belgian Style IPA


Every year around the beginning of the new year I do a thorough cleaning and inventory of my "brewery". I usually find random grain and hops that I haven't used yet and that are getting close to being past there prime. I do keep my grain sealed in bags and my hops frozen and sealed but I always try and use my ingredients as fresh as possible. This past week I went through my stuff and released a lot of my hops should be used soon. I don't usually brew many hop forward beers in the winter but after contemplating a black IPA, a hoppy stout, or some sort of variation on this I settled on something new and experimental. A multigrain IPA.


In the past when I have brewed with multiple adjuncts it has usually been with a Belgian style ale, something dry like a Saison or a Witbier. I have never thought of brewing an IPA with anything other than a simple grain bill of two or three types of barley. The use of adjuncts in beer is usually to increase body, head retention, or flavor and I suppose that's what I hope happens here. Basic American 2-row malt will make up the bulk of the grain bill with the addition of specialty adjuncts to add a little something more. Rye malt will add a dry spicy note that should complement the hops in this beer. Flaked Wheat and Flaked Barley will increase body and head retention even with a low mash temperature of 150. Lastly Flaked Spelt should add some unique flavor that I haven't really tasted in a hop forward beer before. This should be interesting to say the least.


When hopping my IPAs I have finally seemed to figure out what works best to achieve the flavors I crave in juicy, citrus forward pale ales. I usually add a clean bittering hop like Magnum or Pearle at the 60 mark to get most of my bittering out of the way early. I then add most of my aroma and flavor hops in the last 15 minutes of the boil and in the whilrpool while chilling. this usually gives me the citrus punch and fresh hop flavor I am looking for. For this one I am adding 1 ounce of Magnum and 1 ounce of Columbus to get 84 IBUs right at the 60 minute mark. The Cohumulone levels of US Magnum are low and bitter cleanly while the levels on Columbus are quite high and add a harsher, some say danker bitter. I am then using a mixture of Simcoe, Centennial, Cascade, Amarillo, Palisade, Citra and HBC 342 experimental hops all at the 5 minute mark through the chilling process. Just for good measure I am also using my hop-back filled with whole leaf Amarillo, Centennial and Cascade to aid in filtering the beer as well as adding some late aromatics before going into the fermenter. All in all the 5 gallons of beer should have 1 pound of hops in it before I dry hop in secondary and in the serving keg. Crazy!


In order to accentuate the hoppiness of an IPA a level of dryness is desired. Most American yeast strains including Wyeast 1056/US S-05 The Chico strain and Wyeast 1272 American Ale II will ferment out fairly dry. I usually use one of these strains when I am brewing this style. For this batch however I am going to use the Allagash Yeast strain. A couple months ago I started to culture this yeast out of 6 Allagash white bottles. I read that Allagash uses its house strain to bottle condition Allagash white and that it was fairly easy to culture. I stepped it up 3 times and have been using it as my house Belgian strain since. This yeast also seems to ferment out fairly dry, but also provides the Belgian characteristics that I am looking for in this beer.


Recipe Specs:

Anticipated O.G. 1.058
Anticipated IBUs 100.17
Anticipated SRM 4.8


9 pounds American Two Row
1 pound Flaked Wheat
1 pound Flaked Barley
1 pound Flaked Spelt
1 pound Rye Malt
2 Handfulls Rice Hulls
1/2 pound Corn Sugar


1 ounce US Magnum 13.1% aau @ 60 mins. = 41.35 IBUs
1 ounce Columbus 13.9% aau @ 60 mins. = 43. 87 IBUs

3 ounces Palisade 7.8% aau @ 5-0 mins. = 6.25 IBUs
2 ounces Simcoe 13.0% aau @ 5-0 mins. = 6.94 IBUs
2 ounces Amarillo 9.2% aau @ 5-0 mins. = 4.91 IBUs
2 ounces HBC 342 Experimental Hops 11.4% aau @ 5-0 mins. = 6.09 IBUs
1 ounce Whole Leaf Centennial 10.1% aau @ 5-0 mins. = 2.70 IBUs
1 ounce Whole Leaf Citra 15.6% aau @ 5-0 mins. = 4.16 IBUs
1 ounce Whole Leaf Cascade 9.1% aau @ 5-0 mins. = 2.43 IBUs

1 ounce Whole Leaf Centennial 10.1% aau in the hop-back
1 ounce Whole Leaf Cascade 9.1% aau in the hop-back
1 ounce Whole Leaf Amarillo 11.5% aau in the hop-back

Allagash White yeast 3rd generation


11/12/12 mashed in with 4.25 gallons of 168 degree filtered water cut with 1 tsp. of Gypsum. Held mash at 150 degrees for 90 mins and collected 8 gallons of 1.055 S.G. wort pre-boil. Boiled for 90 mins, chilled and aerated for 30 mins.

"Five Grain Farmer" OG 1.061 114 IBUs 5 SRM Brewhouse Efficiency 75%

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