Tag Archives: Dry Hop

A Tale of Two IIPAs

We recently decided to attempt what we thought was a simple experiment. We wanted to brew two batches of the exact same beer and then dry hop them with different hops to see how dry-hopping affected the overall aroma and taste and to better understand the aroma characteristics of the hops we were using.

We chose to brew an Imperial IPA for this experiment for a couple of reasons. One, we love big IPAs. Two, the recipe we were using was a partial mash and uses a healthy does of Pale Malt Extract (10lbs in each 5-gallon batch) in it, which we believed would even out some of the potential differences in efficiency from the mashes we would make.

Our brew set up remains very simple and we set to getting both mashes going at the same time. We have two gas burners, kettles, and we used sleeping bags to control the mash temperatures. Nothing fancy and we’ve done it many times before, but not brewing the same beer. We did 60 minutes mashes and 60 minutes boils for each. We used the exact same ingredients. With all these similarities, I expected the results to be about the same.

Batch #1 came out with an original gravity of 1.070. This was much lower than I expected – we were shooting for an OG of 1.10. Hmm.

Batch #2 had an OG of 1.082 – also low, but considerably higher than batch 1. WTF?

So there are two main questions:
Question 1: Why were the original gravities so much lower then our targets?
Question 2:  Why was there such a large discrepancy between the OGs of the two batches when we used the same recipes, brewed them at the same time, etc. Clearly our mash and brew methods are different.

I’m going to tackle question #2 first – the discrepancy between the OG of Batch 1 and the OG of Batch 2.

Brew Kettles: In both cases, we used 6 gallon brew kettles for both the mash and the boil. But there are differences between the kettles. Kettle 1 was stainless steel and short and wide, kettle 2 is aluminum and tall and narrow. As a result, the mashes may have acted differently, even though we tried to keep them at a mash temp of 151 degrees. The difference in kettle shape and material may also have been

Mash and Sparge equipment: We used two pretty significant methods for mashing an sparging. Since we only had one lauter tun, we opted to use a grain  bag for Batch 1 and then sparged the grains by pouring water through the grain bag. For batch 2, we mashed the loose grains in the kettle and then dumped the grains into the lauter tun and sparged from there.

My theory is that the difference in OG between the two batches is a result of inconsistencies between the batches during mashing and sparging, since we added 10 lbs of extract to each kettle later. Equipment clearly matters, and can result in pretty significant results.

Back to question #1 – why was our OG so much lower than our target of 1.100? I think the answer here is simple – we mashed at the incorrect temp. I need to research this more.

And then this happened.

The top blows off the Imperial IPA.

The top blows off the Imperial IPA.

At around 2am on the night we brewed a loud POP! wakes me up. The lid off the bucket blew and painted my ceiling, walls, and kitchen appliances with deliciousness. Idiot. I should have used a blow off tube from the beginning. I’ve made this mistake too many times before. Here’s a quick little video of the yeast doing their thing after I put the tubes in:

Today, one week after brewing, we racked and dry hopped the IPAs. Interestingly, they both have the same gravity at rack – 1.041. This means that Batch 1 is currently at 3.8% ABV and Batch 2 is at 5.4% ABV. Way low for the end of primary fermentation for a beer this big.

Imperial IPAs Dry Hopped with Cascade (left) and Citra (right) Hops

Imperial IPAs Dry Hopped with Cascade (left) and Citra (right) Hops

10 hours later, however, and fermentation has kicked back into gear in the secondary.

Imperial IPA reactivated in the Secondary

Imperial IPA reactivated in the Secondary

Next week, we’ll keg these things. Cannot wait to see how they turn out. Stay tuned.




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TCB Imperial IPA

Recipe by: Taft Canyon Brewers

3lbs Crystal Malt (10L)
3lbs Maris Otter (2.5L)

10 lbs Pale Malt Extract (60 minutes)

1 oz Zeus Whole Leaf 17.4%AA (60 minutes)
1 oz Chinook Whole Leaf 13.0%AA (60 minutes)
1 oz Zeus Whole Leaf 17.4%AA (45 minutes)
1 oz Chinook Whole Leaf 13.0%AA (45 minutes)
1 oz Chinook Whole Leaf 13.0%AA (30 minutes)
1 oz Chinook Whole Leaf 13.0%AA (10 minutes)
2 oz Citra Whole Leaf 15.6%AA (Dry Hop) – Batch 1
2 oz Cascade Whole Leaf 8.3%AA (Dry Hop) – Batch 2

Yeast: Wyeast American Ale Yeast (#1056) – 1,000ML Starter

Misc: Whirfloc tablet (10 minutes)

Mash Steps:
60 minutes at 151 degrees (12 quarts)
Batch sparge at 165 degrees (8 quarts)

Fermentation Temperature: 68 F

Notes: We brewed two 5-gallon batches of this, dry-hopping one with Citra and one with Cascade hops.

Batch 1: Citra Hops
Original Gravity: 1.082
Final Gravity: 1.014
ABV: 9.0%

Batch 2: Cascade Hops
Original gravity: 1070
Final Gravity: 1.013
ABV: 7.5%

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Ulysses Irish Red Ale


Ulysses Irish Red after Dry Hop

  Recipe by: Taft Canyon Brewers

  Specialty Grains:
8 lbs Maris Otter Pale
2 lbs Honey Malt
1 lb Flaked Maize
0.25 lb Carared
0.25 lb Roasted Barley

   1 oz Willamette -5.9% AA – Whole Leaf (60 minutes)
0.5 oz Willamette – 5.9% AA – Whole Leaf (30 minutes)
0.5 oz Willamette – 5.9% AA – Whole Leaft (10 minutes)
1 oz Kent Goldings – 5.6% AA – Pellets (Dry Hop in 2nd – 7 days)

   1 tsp Irish Moss (10 minutes)

Irish Ale (White Labs #WLP004)

  Fermentation Temperature: 75 F

  Original Gravity: 1.054
  Potential ABV: 6.50%
  Final Gravity: 1.016
  Final ABV: 5.00%
  Bitterness: 28 IBU

Mash Steps:
45 minutes at 156 degrees (16 quarts)
Mashout at 200 degrees (6 quarts)
Sparge at 170 degrees (10 quarts of wort)

Notes: Grain volume adjusted for Brew House Efficiency of 60%

Brew History:
Brewed December 23, 2012 by Keith, Steve, and Jim
Racked December 29, 2012
Bottled January 5, 2013

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Filed under Beer Recipes, Making Beer, Red Ale