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Home Brewing Recipe: Chasing Hill Farmstead, A Double IPA
For a long time, I have tried to produce a balanced and well-designed beer. With every new recipe there is something new to overcome or a new process that needs to be implemented. In this recipe, my big challenge is head retention and quality.
Instantly, when I first think of the brewers who have mastered this technique, my mind jumps to Shaun Hill from Hill Farmstead. In my research, I have heard many people discuss various options on how he is able to achieve that big, soft, fluffy head quality and retention. What is really important is how that leads directly to the signature “pillow-y” or “sweet” of his beers.
In a nutshell, the most common takeaways I've heard people talk about are:
- Longer mash time
- Thicker puree
- Wheat or additional caramalt
- Hydrophobic yeast (ie London III)
So I wanted to test a few of these theories to see if there was anything that could help me get closer.
This will be my take on Abner from Hill Farmstead Brewery with a larger late addition load from Simcoe and Chinook plus an increase in dry jump. Originally published in an old BYO article, this recipe gave information on water adjustments (which I have been following for some time), discussing the importance of having calcium chloride (CaCl2) . In previous IPA styles (East Coast) I tested this 50-150 ppm range and feel like the happy medium is around 100.
Homemade recipe: Marlene
Lot size: 6 gallons
# 1 Wyeast 1318 (London Ale III) -> 1.7 L = 49b cells inoculated on a shaker plate at 1.040. Creation of 259b new cells = 343b of steps (timed to initiate at maximum activity from 12 to 18 hours)
90% RO / 10% filtered carbon
|California||Mg||N / A||s04||Cl||HCO3||RA|
|Gypsum||2.64 grams||4.32 g||2.64 grams|
|Calcium chloride||1.37 g||2.25 grams||1.37 g|
|Baking soda||0.94 g||-||-|
|Lactic acid (Sparge)||-||0.13 ml||-|
Strike temperature = 158 °
Step Mash Temperature # 1 = 152º = 40 minutes
Step Mash Temperature # 2 = 158º = 20 minutes
Mash Out = 168 * = 10 minutes
Efficiency of the mash = 76%
Mash thickness = 1.25 qt / gallon
PH of the mash = 5.42
- 15 lbs - 8 oz - Pale malt (2 rows) Rahr
- - 12 ounces - Malt Cara
- - 8 ounces - Crystal 10
- - 5 oz - Acid malt
75 minutes of boiling
- 0.25 oz - Simcoe @ First Wort Hop (lozenge, 12.5% AA)
- 2 ml - Hop extract (Apollo) at 60 minutes (est 20 IBU)
- 0.75 oz - Columbus at 30 minutes (Pellet, 15.7% AA)
- 1 ml - Hop extract (Apollo) at 30 minutes (est 5 IBU)
- 0.50 oz - Simcoe @ 15 minutes (Pellet, 12.5% AA)
- 2 ml - Hop extract (Apollo) at 15 minutes (est 5 IBU)
- 4 oz - Dextrose (sugar) @ 10 minutes (stir constantly)
- 1 tablet - Whirlflock at 10 minutes
- 1 tbsp - Yeast nutrient @ 10 minutes
Flame Out / Whirlpool additions (45 minutes + cooling)
- 1 oz - Centenary at 0 minutes (212 *) (Pellet, 9.4% AA)
- 0.75 Chinook at 0 minutes (212 *) (Pellet, 11.3% AA)
- 1 oz - Simcoe @ 185º (approximately -15 minutes (Pellet, 12.5% AA))
# 1 Cool to 64 °
# 2 Air at low temperature for 2 minutes (more bubbles, more surface)
# 3 Decantation & Pitch starter - Ferment at 66 ° for 10 days
# 4 Once at 0.005 TG, slowly increase to 72 ° for the breakdown of diacetyl
# 5 Dry hop n ° 1 (see below) for the last 4 days
# 6 Diacetyl preform test
- D-Test # 1 - 13 days after the pitch = failure
- D-Test # 2 - 15 days after the pitch = failure (but close)
- D-Test # 3 - 16 days after the pitch = Pass
- - - * note to increase temperature earlier to -0.005 towards FG (see note # 4 above)
#seven Primary racking (FG = 1.016) with Co2 to dry purged hop barrels
# 8 Dry Hop # 2 (see below) for 3 days
- Co2 Blasts = 11 short shots at 30 psi over 3 days (to keep the jumps in suspension)
# 9 Rack with Co2 in the barrel purged
#ten 10 ° F cold crash every 12 hours at 38 °
# 11 Force Carbonate at 2.3 flights at 10 psi for one week
Dry hop n ° 1:
Towards the end of primary fermentation, the yeast is still excreting Co2, so now is a good time to take advantage of the oxygen scraping left from your first dry hop addition. This bio-transformation has been widely debated with pros and cons on either side. Some people claim that the production of Co2 will remove aromatics. My job is to wait 3 days before the diacetyl test. Co2 production is at a minimum towards the end, so it's not as vigorous as fermentation. Plus, it allows for a higher temperature degree (72 ° F) which will help maximize the aroma of the hops.
- 1 oz - Simcoe (lozenge, 12.5% AA)
- 1 oz - Chinook (Pellet, 11.3% AA)
Dry hop # 2
The key to dry hopping is to limit ALL oxygen after primary fermentation. I designed my dry hopping stage to maximize the contact of the hops with the beer. Basically, cutting the bottom 1/2 ″ of my dip tube and applying two filters (see below). By doing this I can have the hops exposed to the outside of the filter without having the transfers glued through the dip tube. Additionally, I am now able to store (w / Co2) in a dry hop barrel purged on loose hops and put a Co2 jet to wake up the dry hops.
For most of my more hoppy beers, I tend to use around 8 oz for a 5 gallon batch, while limiting my contact time to 3 days around 68 ° F.
- 4.75 oz - Simcoe (lozenge, 12.5% AA)
- 2.25 oz - Chinook (Pellet, 11.3% AA)
Towards the end of the third day of the dry jump, I will start crushing any remaining yeast by reducing the temperature by 10 * F every 18-24 hours to 38 ° F. At this point, I will force the carbonate using the game and forget about it mentality (17 PSI at 48 ° F for 7-10 days) to let the hops blend with the beer.
This double IPA is in memory of my aunt Marlene who recently passed away. In her final days, all she wanted was to taste some beer.
I have always admired Hill FarmThe point of view of celebrating loved ones has passed. I would have liked to think she would have enjoyed this beer.
I have high hopes for this beer because I want to think that I am focusing on this style. I will enter it in my homebrew club (OC Mash Ups) homebrewing contest, which will have the opportunity to prepare a prize on Barley Forgeand enter it in the Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Competition.
Tasting notes to follow.
** UPDATE ** This beer will be entered in the Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Contest with Barley Forge.
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Extract packs have come a long way from the dusty back shelves of Boots of yesteryear, and give you a simple, affordable way to try out the hobby with very acceptable results. Established breweries like St. Peters and Woodfordes have decent packs in shops and online at about £20, for example from Wilko or Brew.
If you’re making beer, then you need to be rigorous about cleanliness during the brew. VWP is an absolutely no-nonsense cleaner and steriliser for getting everything ready beforehand. During the brew, a no-rinse sanitiser is invaluable. Between the two, spoilt and infected beer shouldn’t be a problem. You can buy cleaning products online from Brew Store and The Malt Miller.
Invest in some airtight plastic containers. Malt, kept dry and cool, should be fine for six months, but get rid of it after that – you’re only going to get stale flavours if you use stale malt. Likewise, dried yeast will keep, if sealed and chilled, but it will lose potency and reliability. Hops do not improve with age. Be doubtful of any before last year’s harvest, however cheap.
While a good book is an invaluable reference, there will be a time you come across something that flummoxes you. It’s very unlikely you will be the first, and just as unlikely someone else hasn’t discussed it. From the magisterial, if abondant, How to Brew by John Palmer to the uncountable cercles d'entraides and blogs discussing minutiae, such as Brewer’s Friend, there’ll be something to help.
Avoid grande amounts of table sugar, cane sugar or dextrose as fermentable sugars in your homebrew. They will ferment out completely and leave a very dry, almost ‘cidery’ flavour to your beer. This is what is recognized by many as the ‘homebrew’ taste. If you are looking for an easy way to improve this, swap these sugars with dry malt extract.
Most coffret beers are designed to appeal to a wide range of people and therefore have a fairly simple flavour that it not very bitter. They are also generally bittered by using hop extract that adds bitterness but little hop flavour or aroma. Boil some water and add ½ an ounce ( 14 grams ) of any hop variety known for their flavour and aroma characteristics for 20 minutes. This will add a much improved change to the flavour of the beer. Add another ½ ounce ( 14g ) for the last 5 minutes of the boil to add a pleasant hoppy aroma. Simply strain the ‘hop soup’ into your fermenter with the rest of the top-up water. These simple hops additions will make a remarkable difference to your pack beers.
tera wake a packet of dry yeast up and ensure that it is ready to start work as soon as it is pitched, try rehydrating it. Boil a cup ( 250mls ) of water for 5 minutes and then pour it into a sterilized conteneur. Wait for the water to cool down to at least 80°F/27°C and sprinkle your packet of yeast over the top. Leave this for about 15-30 minutes, when you should start to see it get nice and foamy. Once your wort has cooled enough, pitch this and it will start fermentation much earlier.
If you would really like to get things started, follow the process above but add a tablespoon of dry malt extract to the water before boiling it. After pouring the water to a jar, add your yeast when cool enough and place cling wrap over the top to protect from the environment. Leave for at least 45 minutes at room temperature and you should start to see fermentation activity.
The length of time for fermentation on the side of your kit beer can is almost definitely not long enough. The manufacturers are in the business of selling product and these directives will make beer, but it won’t be great beer. This should be extended out to 10-14 days.
Although your beer will be carbonated after about a week in the bottle, leave it for a few more to allow for the flavors to settle. This is especially relevant for beer made from kits as it will help remove some of the queue found in young/’green’ beer.
In order to efficiently multiply and get to the business of converting sugar to alcohol, yeast needs a sufficient amount of oxygen in your wort. If brewing using malt extract this can be reached a few ways including by shaking the water you are using to top up your wort, or by pouring it from a great height into your fermenter.
Don’t be too worried about removing your beer from the primary fermenter as soon as fermentation has finished. The Autolysis that you are seeking to avoid will take well over a month and in most cases a single stage fermentation is fine.
If you are looking to control fermentation temperature, place the fermenter in a grande conteneur of water to cool it and prevent temperature fluctuations. Wrapping a wet towel around it and pointing a fou at it cools it even more through evaporative cooling. A few frozen plastic bottles of water are also perfect for cooling the water and your fermenting beer.
If you insist on using a two stage fermentation, use a bottling bucket ( or something else with a spigot ) for a primary. That way you only need a length of hose to rack into the secondary. The spigot will also be far enough off the bottom that the trub will get left in the primary with little extra effort – just tilt the fermenter forward at the end.
The activity of your airlock should only be seen as one indication that something is happening. There are many others indications and a faulty seal on your fermenter could stop anything from happening in the airlock.
The starting cell count is usually quite low with liquid yeast cultures. If you make a yeast starter about a day before brewing, you can avoid some potential issues from under-pitching the yeast.
If you are trying to cool a partial boil, place the whole brew bocal into a sink or tub of cold water. You may need to change this water a few times but it is far easier to cool a small récipient of wort in a temperature conductive conteneur ( i. e. your brew pot ) than a large amount of liquid in a fermenter. Adding your cooled wort to even colder water ( or ice ) in the fermenter will serve to cool it even further and should hopefully get you close to yeast pitching temperatures.
Dry yeast packets are perfect for new homebrewers. They have a nice high cell count and are very easy to use. Hydrating these takes very little time and will help get fermentation working earlier.
Get into the habit of sanitizing everything that will come in contact with your wort or beer after the boil.
Extract kits have come a long way from the dusty back shelves of Boots of yesteryear, and give you a simple, affordable way to try out the hobby with very acceptable results. Established breweries like St. Peters and Woodfordes have decent packs in boutiques and online at about £20, for example from Wilko or Brew.
Use a no-rinse sanitiser… This shouldn’t need an explanation and I am yet to hear of a real reason not to
Following on from above – Don’t use bleach as a sanitizer…ever. It is to rinse out and if any comes in contact with the maltose in your wort it has the potential to completely ruin your batch. There are so many better products available that this shouldn’t even be a consideration
Whatever sanitizer you use, put some of it in a spray bottle for quick sanitation during brew time.
Make sure you read and understand the recipe before you start brewing. Also make sure that you have all the ingredients handy before you start. These seem like simple things but the last 15 minutes can get a little crazy… especially if you started drinking while sanitizing
Beer is very resilient so don’t be too worried if you make a mistake while brewing. Although it may not be exactly the beer you were after, you will probably still have something tasty and worth drinking.
Leave the lid off your brew pot while it is boiling. The process of boiling actually vaporises chemicals that are not wanted in the beer and they evaporate out. The lid doesn’t need to be completely off if you are having trouble maintaining a rolling boil but should at least be enough for the steam to escape.
Keep a record of every beer that you make, no matter how simple the recipe. This record will allow you to recall and tweak your brews when all that remains in the future is a couple of stray bottles and a desire for more
Especially when starting out, keep your ingredients and brews as simple as possible. It is much easier to add to a simple recipe that is missing something than it is to remove from something complex
Start by getting a solid grasp of the sanitization, fermentation and bottling processes and work from there.
If you have a choice, choose a fermenter or bottling bucket with a spigot/tap over one without. The siphoning required otherwise isn’t hard but it is still one more unnecessary step.
Bulk priming your beer is a simple addition to your bottling process that will add much greater control and consistency in the amount of priming sugar in your bottles.
The quality of your beer will be to the quality of the ingredients used. Always go for the freshest and best quality possible. Always make sure that extract is within any specified dates, yeast is fresh and that hops are nice and green
But most importantly… just relax and remember that you probably aren’t going to ruin your beer – It isn’t as delicate as you think