Partially because, at heart, Chris is just a giant hipster (even if he shaved off the beard), it was only a matter of time until he tackled a vermont-style IPA using Conan. Inspired by his recent video with Rudy from Community Beer Works, it was going to be a no-crystal all-late-hop IPA. And totally out of character for Crooked Bullseye, he brewed it by himself.
40 litre batch
30 IBU (Calculated, possibly innacurate)
- 5kg Floor Malted Pilsner
- 4kg Canadian 2-row
- 2kg Wheat Flakes
- 1kg Biscuit Malt
- 4oz Centennial (10%) 5m
- 4oz Cascade (5.5%) 3m
- 2oz Sorachi Ace (12.9%) 3m
- 1oz Sorachi Ace (12.9%) 1m
- 2oz Simcoe (13%) 1m
- 2oz El Dorado (13.2%) 1m
- 1oz Nelson Sauvin (11.6%) 0m
- 1oz Waimea (17.5%) 0m
- 1oz El Dorado (13.2%) 0m
- 1oz Nelson Sauvin (11.6%) 10m (whirlpool)
- 1oz Waimea (17.5%) 10m (whirlpool)
- 1oz El Dorado (13.2%) 10m (whirlpool)
- Conan, but no idea who’s particular strain (WL, YB, etc). I scored it fresh from a fermenter at a friendly brewery.
No starter needed as I had enough from the brewery (~1000ml) to actually hold some back for a future batch. Mash was another total disaster with temperature, and I had a full breakthrough moment. I’ve been dicking around with a cheap bi-metal dial thermometre, and also a cool thermo-couple that connects to my iPhone, but it turns out the probes are not remotely water proof, and therefore has been spitting very questionable results.
I know, “just buy a thermapen”, except, well, $100 for a thermometre is just a bit rich for my blood. Shortly I’ll be getting one of these, though, which rates really well, but is not back-lit and is less waterproof than a thermapen.
Back at it, with an un-planned protein rest, mash was done, and wort was collected. Clocked just a little under the projected 1.064 but considering the usual shit-show around mash temp, not bad.
Got the kettle to a nice boil, realized I would probably run out of propane before I could boil for 40 minutes, but thought, “To hell with it”. Against all odds and past experiences, at 5 minutes left, I gave the tank a shake and could still feel some propane in there. So in went the first 4 oz of 24(!). At the end of the boil the 0m hops went in, and I started the 20 minute whirlpool. 10 minutes in I added the last 3oz. After the 20 minute whirlpool I did a 10 minute stand, then started chilling. There had been a *lot* of protein break (doubtless from the unintentional protein rest), and it showed up as the chilled wort was filling the carboys.
Regardless, in went the super-healthy yeast, and literally 4 hours later, there was notable active fermentation already happening. 6 days later (fermenting in my bedroom, wrapped in t-shirts to protect from sunlight), the airlocks had fallen silent so I pulled samples from each (very carefully, as there was a whole lot of trub). Both were pegged bang on 1.012, so everything looked great, right?
Wrong. So so wrong.
I chilled down the samples to give a taste, expecting big fruity hops, with some serious lemon, tropicals, and white wine. Nope! Green apple Jolly Ranchers. Or, to put it another way: acetaldehyde.
Acetaldehyde is a normal bi-product of brewing. Except usually the yeast metabolizes it out of the beer. And it probably should have happened by now. Except it hasn’t. So I gave them both a good swirl, and left them alone. There’s been some more activity in the airlocks, so I’m hopeful. I could also try pitching some US05 to see if it will clean-up the mess. We’ll see…..
More to come.
Update: I checked periodically on the acetaldehyde and was happy to see it dropping. I was considering pitching US-05 on it, to clean up the mess, but decided just to be patient. Patient, but apparently lazy. The beer got an infection. I noticed it the day I thought the green apple was nearly gone, because there was a hint of horse to it. Because the fermentors were in my bedroom and would be exposed to some amount of daylight, I had covered them in old t-shits, so I pulled one off, and saw clear as day, the classic brettanomyces grey/white pellicle forming. Rather than trusting that whatever bug it had gotten was a good one, I intended to spin up an expired Yeast Bay Brussels Brett Blend I had gotten, but when I mentioned that to Nick at Brew North, he told me he had some more recently expired Omega and gave me the two packs.
Once I had racked the beer off of the huge yeast cake and serious layer of protein (cold crashing would be difficult right now, and would include a car ride; I usually crash in a protected space under my porch when it’s cold out), I actually basically just had ~6 gallons.
So I picked the OLY212 “Bring da Funk” and threw it in. I also happened to take a sample of an IPA today that got the exact same yeast in secondary 6 months ago, and it was popping with horse blanket, pineapple, and peaches, so I’m very hopeful there will be a fantastic brett IPA coming my way just in time for Christmas…..
— — — Update May 16th — — —
Check out the pellicle on this!