Last year I brewed my first
New England Northeastern IPA following a recipe by Kevin Quinn (via Brewer’s Friend) and it was probably the best beer I’ve made to date. Due to that success I’ve decided to use the recipe as my “base” and see what I can do by iterating on top of it. I’ve named this line of iterative experimentation Crisis Response (which may or may not be in reaction to the current global conditions 🙂 ).
For the first version of Crisis Response I left the grain bill identical to the original recipe but changed up the rest a bit. For the hop schedule I’ve decided to put more emphasis on Citra while throwing in some Azacca to see if I could punch up the citrus flavours even more. I also ramped up the bitterness to more of a “traditional” IPA level with a early charge of Warrior.
Finally I swapped out the recommended yeast, Wyeast – London Ale III 1318, for OYL-200 Tropical IPA to again try and grab more of that tropical flavour profile.
|Beer Name:||Crisis Response|
|Recipe Type:||All Grain|
|Pre-Boil Volume:||6 gallons / 27.3 litres|
|Batch Size:||5 gallons / 22.7 litres|
|6 oz||Honey Malt|
|4 oz||Acidulated Malt|
|2.5||Dry Hop (5-7 Days)||Citra|
|1.5||Dry Hop (5-7 Days)||Azacca|
|1||OYL-200 Tropical IPA|
|14 days||Bottle Conditioning|
|Mash Temperature:||152°F / 66.7°C|
|Mash Time:||60 min|
|Boil Duration:||60 min|
Every great brew day starts with good ingredients and this was no different. I began by building up my yeast starter using the same yeast I overbuilt for the original Avg. Perfect Northeast IPA (NEIPA) beer.
I have to admit I was a bit concerned given how long the yeast had been sitting in the fridge but it actually came back to life with no problem at all!
Of course it also wouldn’t be a brew day without solid grain and fresh hops!
After mashing for an hour at 152°F / 66.7°C I sparged and collected my wort.
I’ll skip the rest of the standard brew day play-by-play other than simply saying the boil went as expected, the fermenter was filled and the yeast pitched successfully. My measured Original Gravity (OG) was 1.051 which was pretty good and only a point off my expected.
I left the beer to ferment for 15 days and during the last week of that I dry hopped the beer with some more Citra and Azacca. The measured Final Gravity (FG) was 1.004 for an ABV of 6.56%. Obviously that ended up a bit more dry that I was expecting and I definitely put that on the yeast I used. I’m constantly impressed (and frankly surprised) by how well that strain chews through wort.
I bottled it at about 2.4 volumes of CO2 and let it condition for a few weeks. I know, I know… “never bottle a NEIPA” but you do what you can when you can’t keg and besides the last one I made turned out well!
So how did the first version of Crisis Response turn out?
|Smell||The Citra hops come through beautifully with an aroma full of citrus and floral smells grounded by a pleasant earthiness.|
|Appearance||Nice and hazy with great colour (the pictures make it look darker than it actually is in person). |
The beer can have a nice head but that seems more dependent on how it’s poured than anything consistent from bottle to bottle. Either way it lasts a reasonable amount of time before dissipating completely. Definitely not as thick as the previous NEIPA I made.
|Taste||Pretty darn good! A solid IPA that delivers on the tropical notes and straddles the line between a NIPA and something more akin to a West Coast IPA. |
That said I actually do think the bitterness on this is just a tad too high. I’ll probably cut that in half next time to see what that’s like.
It’s also not quite as creamy as I was hoping but that may also be as a result of the increased bitterness.
Additionally there’s a slight grassy finish to the beer. I’m not sure if it’s because the dry hops were left in too long or perhaps it’s coming from the Azacca hops, which I have never used before, but it’s definitely something I’m picking up.
Still neither of those things are enough to ruin it. The end result is a very drinkable beer that has even won over those who don’t normally like “hoppy IPAs”.
|Yield||This brew cost $38.58 in ingredients to make and yielded 43x355ml bottles ($0.90/bottle)|
It’s surprising just how different this is from the Avg. Perfect Northeast IPA base which it evolved from. While it turned out pretty well I already have some tweaks in mind for what to do with it next!