Monday, July 25, 2011

Adventures In Homebrewing: Front Porch Pale

Sometimes you just have to have hops.

That's how I've felt lately and thus I came up with an IPA that will hopefully appease my hoppier desires. Shockingly, none of my solo brews have been hop forward and was really itching to explore some different varieties. The initial inspiration for this recipe was the Amarillo hop which has been gaining in popularity, and in my humble opinion, for very good reason. Amarillo has mid-level alpha acids which make it a pretty diverse hop but really shines when it's aromatics are brought out in full. I wanted to make an IPA full of the sweeter, fruitier, and citrus hops that I've come to know and love. Here's the recipe I ended up using after a brief hop addition mix-up, I got a little too excited and messed up my original schedule but I won't worry about that now:

Specialty Grains:
8 oz - Carapils
8 oz - Crystal 20L
6 lb - Munton's Light
1/3 oz - Cascade (60 min)
1/2 oz - Saaz (60 min)
1/2 oz - Columbus (60 min)
1/2 oz - Amarillo (30 min)
1/3 oz - Columbus (30 min)
1/2 oz - Amarillo (5 min)
1/4 oz - Cascade (dry-hop)
1/2 oz - Amarillo (dry-hop)
Wyeast 1332: Northwest Ale

Brewday went as smoothly as I could hope despite it being my bright idea to brew in the middle of a heat-wave. Luckily I had some of Dogfish Head's Festina Peche in the fridge to remedy that. After 14 days fermentation seemed to be complete so this baby is now racked and I'm dry-hopping for the first time. I've gotten a lot better at being patient with my brewing but I'm still anxious as all hell to try this. The sample I tried when racking seemed to be on track with what I was expecting which is always reassuring.

My original gravity was on the lower side which really bugged me so going by style this might end up being more of a hoppy American pale ale and not exactly an IPA but that's just semantics at this point. I'm not brewing this for any competition so as long as it tastes good I'll be pleased. This batch got me thinking that I'd like to start all-grain brewing and get off the kitchen stove but I'm going to be taking baby steps. I've had great successes with extract stove-top brewing but I'd like to have a bit more control over the process. What have you all-grainers found to be the most difficult/rewarding differences?

Within a few weeks you will hopefully be reading a post about how delicious this turned out, in the mean time please pray to whatever fermentation God you trust in for me.


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