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Amerihops: Independence Brew

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“Good morning.  In the past two weeks, three different malts joined forces with four varieties of hops from around the world.  They attempted to launch the hoppiest elixir  in the history of India Pale Ales.  

India Pale Ale – that word has new meaning for us these days.  

We can’t be consumed by our petty clarity differences anymore.  

We will be united in our common goal: fresh, smooth hop flavors.  

Perhaps it is fate that the day we celebrate together was when this beer was completed: merging styles of both West and East coasts into an achievement unparalleled anywhere.  Not a beer labeled by polarized coasts, but a beer that showcases the best of both; all brewed in the greatest state in the union.  

We brew these beers so that we may live remarkably.  

July 4th is known as a great American holiday – and the day we declare in one voice:

We will not skimp on ingredients!

We will not bicker over clarity!

We are going to live large!

We will add more hops!  

Four days ago, we celebrated Independence Day!”

 

Amerihops

I know its a few days late, bite me.  In the last year or so I’ve been brewing a whole lot of beer, but one keeps coming back and getting brewed consistently: An IPA with a softer bitterness and a smooth finish.  To some, its called the New England IPA, or NEIPA.  Sometimes they’re referred to as New England Pale Ales, depending on the hopping rate.  What I love about these beers is their extreme drinkability and super-fresh hop flavors.

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F yeah.

Not everyone loves them, as we’ve discussed.  There are many who think the haziness of the beer is off-putting and don’t enjoy the haziness factor.  Others chase it down like a bear going after spawning salmon.  As I mentioned earlier, when I can get a clear beer, it’s great, but if I’m unable to do so easily, I’m able to live with it.  To each their own.

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I brewed this beer very similar to the way I brewed Alohops a few months ago.  Differences this time were a change in the amount of oats, using London III, and playing with some of the “less juicy” hops to impart a deeper and more complex flavor.  While I’ve really enjoyed all the Citra, Mosaic, Galaxy, etc., I wanted a little more flavor and a tad more bitterness.  I left my charge of magnum alone, and decided to use some Falconer’s 7Cs in my knockout and dry hopping.  What I got was a delightfully hoppy beer with a little more bite, yet still great smooth hop flavors.

Brewdays have gotten really simple for me when brewing this style: I’ve got all my additions memorized and bought a few trinkets to help transitions go smoother throughout the day.  I’m able to brew this beer in under four hours while watching my son (part of which conveniently overlaps with his nap time).  Not too bad.

During our lunch, I brought all the equipment I’d need into the kitchen.  After lunch, my son hit the hay.  Once he passed out, I started to heat my strike water and crushed grain.  Once warm and crushed, my brew bag was added to the pot, as were the water adjustments and my grain.  I mixed and let it sit while I got my makeshift fume hood out and cleaned up a few things on our porch.   I hoisted the bag up, let it drain, rinsed the grain, squeezed out the rest, and started to heat.  With a heat stick I’m able to be at a boil in under 20 minutes.  I weighed out hops and added my first charge when I started the timer.

I didn’t add any other hops until whirlpool.  I cooled to 190F, and let 4 oz of hops steep for 25 minutes.  I put my brew bag back in to help with hop removal.  I don’t mind a little trub, but this does get nuts after dry hopping.

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I hit this with a 1L slurry of London III, and it fermented at 70F for 4 days.  It was then raised to 72F and 5oz of dry hops were added.  Four days later, it was crashed and kegged.  I started drinking it later that day, thanks to my carbonation stone.  The first day it was somewhat harsh and I was afraid I’d over-bittered.  However, with a couple more days in the kegerator, it’s pouring well and drinking exceptionally smooth.  Not quite as easy as “Alohops“, but I personally enjoy a little more of the bite.  I also liked using all Crisp MO as the base with a splash of vienna.  Really tasty.

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Next iteration?  I’ll probably do something similar, but I’d like to try playing around with oat and wheat levels.  I’m also toying with a similar brew without using oats – a friend of mine is getting married so I’ve got a couple brews I’m going to do in a similar fashion for the occasion.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5 gal 60 min 90.0 IBUs 6.6 SRM 1.080 1.018 8.2 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Imperial IPA 14 C 1.07 - 1.09 1.01 - 1.02 60 - 120 8 - 15 2.2 - 2.7 7.5 - 10 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pale Malt, Maris Otter 12 lbs 78.87
Vienna Malt 2 lbs 13.15
Oats, Flaked 1.214 lbs 7.98

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Magnum 0.72 oz 60 min First Wort Pellet 14
Citra 2 oz 25 min Aroma Pellet 12
Falconer's 7C 2 oz 25 min Aroma Pellet 14
Galaxy 2 oz 4 days Dry Hop Pellet 14
Falconer's 7Cs 1 oz 4 days Dry Hop Pellet 14
Citra 2 oz 3 days Dry Hop Pellet 12

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
London Ale III (1318) Wyeast Labs 73% 64°F - 74°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 150°F 75 min

 

Water profile: Ca 115 | Mg 11 | Na 9 | Cl 120 | SO4 124

 

Notes:

Aroma is dominated by huge hoppy notes of citrus, passionfruit, mango, and tropical fruit.  Every time I spill a drop here or there the aromas infiltrate the entire room.  This is an aromatic monster.

Taste is phenomenal.  The hoppiness is well balanced by the Maris Otter, and the silky smoothness of the oats coats your mouth pleasantly.  There is some of that “juicy” character from the Galaxy/Citra, but also a deeper, more robust flavor from the Falconer 7Cs blend.

Appearance is not terrible.  Its not crystal clear, but as you can see in the photos, its not a mud pie.  I didn’t get any of the grey-ness that others say shows up with using darker malts.  More of a light orangish amber.  I tried not to mess with the photos too much to showcase its true color.

Mouthfeel is spot on for a NEIPA, but with a touch more bitterness in the aftertaste, which I really enjoy.

Overall, a great beer.  Its probably a tad more bitter than a NEIPA should be.  I realize its not the perfect blend of both Coasts (as I hinted at in the opening) but I feel like a little more earthy/spicy/citrus character would meld excellently with those classic NEIPA juice-hops.

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2 Comments

  1. What heat stick do you use? I was considering one to speed up my brew day.

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