Thursday, October 22, 2015

Softer, Juicier, and Uglier APA

A delicious mango-y can of Tree House Julius IPA!I’ve always put appearance way down the bottom of the brewing-importance hierarchy. If an ingredient or technique benefits flavor/aroma/mouthfeel, but harms clarity or color, then I’m all for it! However, even I have to admit that I may have gone too far with this batch of New-England-style hoppy pale ale.

Dry hopping during active fermentation seems to disrupt flocculation, possibly by preventing the yeast cells from linking together(?). WYeast London III (WY1318) is a surprisingly flocculant strain when massive dry hopping isn’t involved, although not as much as the White Labs Dry English Ale (WLP007) used by Trillium. Rather than wait until fermentation was mostly complete (as I have been doing), I added the first dose of dry hops on brew day while waiting for the wort to cool a few more degrees for pitching the yeast. When I was ready for my standard dry hop addition, the beer already tasted significantly hoppier than it usually does at that stage.

My wort was also high in protein as a result of a grist containing nearly 50% wheat and oat malts. Unlike flaked/rolled oats, oat malt has plenty of husk to aid in lautering, but all of that huskless wheat and beta glucans from the oats combined to form a sticky mash that caused more grain than usual to make it into the kettle. The combination of hop, yeast, and protein haze is a muddy beer, which also has one of the most deliciously hoppy characters of any beer I’ve brewed! That extra protein provided a more substantial body than my previous Soft & Juicy IPA, which included flaked corn (maize).

How much does what you see change what you taste? For some beer drinkers cloudy suggests yeasty, rough, and poorly made, while others see artisanal, loaded with hop oils, and a pillowy body. This is where narrative, marketing, and expectations come into play. For me, the level of haze I "achieved" on this batch crosses the line into murky. Not the pleasantly hazy, cloudy, but still translucent body that my favorite IPAs from Trillium Fort Point, Tree House Julius, and Tired Hands Mago Tago possess.

I’ll have a better sense of how much of the haze is hop related, and how much is from the grain once I tap the saison whose wort I ran out before adding the hop-stand addition to this batch. I also ran off and diluted three gallons of wort before the bittering hops for a Berliner. Three very different beers from one mash, an unusually productive brew day!

Not exactly a looker...Softer & Juicier APA

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 5.80
Total Grain (Lbs): 15.00
Anticipated OG: 1.056
Anticipated SRM: 4.5
Anticipated IBU: 39.1
Brewhouse Efficiency: 61 %
Wort Boil Time: 65 Minutes

50.0% 7.50 lbs. Rahr "2-Row" Brewer's Malt
33.3% 5.00 lbs. Rahr Wheat Malt
13.3% 2.00 lbs. Fawcett Oat Malt
3.3% 0.50 lbs. Weyermann CaraFoam

0.80 oz. Columbus (Pellet, 14.00% AA) @ 60 min.
3.00 oz. Nelson Sauvin (Pellet, 12.00% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Columbus (Pellet, 15.00% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 10.00% AA) @ 0 min.
2.00 oz. Nelson Sauvin (Pellet, 12.00% AA) @ Brew Day Dry Hop
1.50 oz. Nelson Sauvin (Pellet, 12.00% AA) @ Dry Hop
0.50 oz. Columbus (Pellet, 15.00% AA) @ Dry Hop
1.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 10.00% AA) @ Dry Hop
1.50 oz. Nelson Sauvin (Pellet, 12.00% AA) @ Keg Hop
0.50 oz. Columbus (Pellet, 15.00% AA) @ Keg Hop
1.00 oz. Amarillo ( Pellet, 10.00% AA) @ Keg Hop

The inside of the Tree House Brewery.Extras
1.00 Whirlfloc @ 5 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 5 min.

WYeast 1318 London Ale III

Water Profile
Profile: Washington, Hoppy

Mash Schedule
Sacch Rest - 45 min @ 155F

Brewed 9/13/15

Recipe scaled to account for only the wort used for this beer.

Mash with 3.5 gallons of distilled, 5 gallons of filtered DC tap. 6 g CaCl, 7 g gypsum, 1.5 tsp of 10% phosphoric. Mash pH 5.42 (5.51 after sitting a few minutes).

Collected 8.25 gallons of 1.050 runnings with a 1.5 gallon cold sparge.

Steeped 0 min hops starting at 195 for 30 minutes in remaining wort. Pitched slurry from Chocolate Butternut Porter (WY1318) I had stored in the fridge for two weeks and decanted. - allowed to come to 64 F during the brew day. Added an additional 2 oz of Nelson to the fermentor! After 5 hours, pitched 6 oz of thick slurry.

9/16/15 Added the second dose of dry hops as the fermentation slowed.

9/22/15 Kegged with the third dose of dry hops, bagged, and suspended so they'll be high and dry when the keg is about half empty. Final pH = 4.54.

Softer & Juicier APA Tasting

Appearance – This beer is many wonderful things, but the clarity is not one of those. While my Soft and Juicy IPA skirted the hazy-murky line, the addition of 13% oat and wheat malts pushed this one firmly into the murky camp. Rather than a pleasing orange hue, the greater opacity leaves this one more dull grey. Wonderful head retention and lacing, for what that is worth.

Smell – The Amarillo and English yeast successfully temper the Nelson Sauvin, smoothing the more catty edge that can be one of the big reasons it is one of the more divisive hops. The nose is mostly hops: grapefruity, juicy strawberries, and slightly dank.

Taste – There are few beers I enjoy more than fresh, hop-saturated, and moderate alcohol. Really opens up as it warms, with that distinctive Nelson "gooseberry" character coming out even more. Surprising how bitter it comes across given the light bittering charge. Malt is subdued, but pokes through with a fresh breadiness occasionally. Slightly yeasty-sulfury, but nothing like the clarity would suggest.

Mouthfeel – The switch from flaked corn to oat malt addressed the thinness that was one of the glaring weaknesses of Soft and Juicy. Proteins and insoluble fiber from the other grains are a big help! Carbonation is a bit low (having some issue with that tap), but fine by me.

Drinkability & Notes – The perfect beer for a stoneware mug... I don’t mind some haze, but this one crosses that line into muddy. It doesn’t hurt the rest of the beer’s attributes, but it is a turn off for many people I’ve served it to. I might drop the late Columbus next time around as Nelson can bring sufficient dankness on its own (as it did in my Amarillo-Nelson Micro-IPA).

Appearance certainly isn’t the most important factor, but a beer shouldn’t be unappetizing visually. I’ll probably add a protein rest next time, and some more rice hulls…

I had plenty of time to take pictures while I waited for my growler fills.


South Mountain Brew said...

After 5 hours, pitched slurry? Why the wait time?

Vincent Cento said...

I've still got my training wheels on, but quick question. In the pursuit of a murky beer, why the whirlfloc in the boil?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

My ground water was 76F so I was only able to get the wort down to ~78F with my plate chiller. I left it cold to chill the rest of the way before pitching. Usually I use an immersion chiller when the weather is hot so I can switch to recirculating ice water to drop the last 20 degrees, but as I was chilling the three "worts" separately that wasn't an easy option.

I wouldn't say my goal is cloudy beer, it's simply a byproduct of the process/recipe. Ideally I want to leave behind polyphenols and proteins in the kettle, transfer clear wort into the fermentor leading to more exposure/interaction between wort, yeast, and hops.

William said...

Where are the recipes that you used for the other run offs?!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

The other beers are still fermenting. The saison was this exactly without all the late-boil and dry hopping, fermenting with my "house" mixed saison culture from Saison 'Merican, Nu Zuland etc. The Berliner Hafer was drawn off pre-boil and diluted to 1.030, it is fermenting with a slurry of Dirty Dozen and Omega Lacto (I'll probably add rhubarb and maybe some lemon zest next spring).

With the bigger system I'm trying to get a variety of beers from each batch!

wahoo said...

I'm also intrigued by these super hazy New England hoppy beers. I refer to them as Farmhouse Pale Ales, and it's a love/hate thing with me so far. Even the vaunted Hill Farmstead makes beers that can border on murky, although much more often seem to be simply hazy.

What I've been doing is using 10% flaked wheat, and 5% flaked oats. I follow a pretty similar hopping schedule to you-- small bittering charge and 5 oz at flameout with a big dry hop.

What's your thought process that lead you to go with malted adjuncts rather than the flaked variety? I understand the oats-- I have often used malted oats in conjunction with flaked to help with lauter-- but the malted wheat? Flavor? Or it's what you had on-hand?

Unknown said...

I notice your efficiency was lower than it has been previously. Do you think the gummy mash might have caused conversion difficulties and caused a starch haze (can't remember if you iodine test routinely) Thanks for the great article!

Blake Hedlin said...

Maybe you covered this in another post but how are you able to suspend a hop bag in a keg? I've tried fishing line but it doesn't keep an airtight seal on the lid.

storunner13 said...

I know you have used finings (gelatin) in the past. Have you considered fining this beer to a. see how it clears, and b. take notes on the mouthfeel/hop flavor differences?

Charles R said...

would you start adding hops during the start of fermentation for your hoppy beers for now on?

Bryan Canavan said...


Inspired by your previous juicy IPA, I recently did a Sunny D-IPA that tastes and looks like orange juice. I used ~45% flaked wheat/oats and add flour in the mash and boil like you recommended. Turned out great! FG got below 1.010 using a tiny bit of saison yeast which I think also helped make it extremely drinkable. Most that try it dont know its an IPA since the bitterness is so restrained.

But man, is it hoppy. With over 20oz of hopstanded/dry hops for 5gal, I would be pretty bummed if it wasnt...

Thanks for the inspiration!

*Sorry had to edit my comment*

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I had the malted wheat on hand, simple as that. I honestly don’t think there is a huge flavor difference between flaked and malted in a characterful beer like this. Also made the Berliner I ran off slightly more authentic.

In general I’d suggest ignoring my stated efficiency and adjusting for your system. The efficiency for this batch doesn’t account for ~15% of the wort I ran off pre-boil for the Berliner. My wort volume is always the amount in the kettle at the end of the boil, because that is what factors into IBU calculations.

This is actually my first time suspending the hop bag successfully (previous attempts failed for the same reason you describe). I attached a worm clamp to the top of gas dip tube and tied the weighted bag of hops to that. We’ll see how well it worked after the keg is empty!

I add the hops to the keg before filling so I can purge them with CO2. I’m too lazy to fine in one keg and then transfer under pressure to the keg with the dry hops. Reducing dissolved oxygen (DO) is one of my top priorities when it comes to hoppy beers!

Not sure if I'll be incorporating the wort-hopping addition in the future. Might be nice for a saison, something where you want an integrated aroma without the bitterness of a hop-stand or the aggressiveness of a post-fermentation.

I always enjoy hearing about recipes inspired by mine, that have almost nothing in common with them. Sounds delicious!

Johnny in Texas said...

I think I might brew this recipe without the wheat and oats and instead use 2 row and pilsner malts. I dont mind a hazy brew myself but a hop bomb that is clearish or brilliant is something I really enjoy. I do realize those 2 do not always go hand in hand but I would like to see how it turns out. I know it is possible as I just had a 64oz growler of Stone Enjoy by where it seems they were able to marry the two ideas. Might be a good idea to do a split batch with 007 and US05 or maybe something even cleaner like a WLP080. I will even do it wearing my Mad Fermentationist T-shit !

James said...

"I will even do it wearing my Mad Fermentationist T-shit !"

That's dedication.

neddles said...

When you said... "Dry hopping during active fermentation seems to disrupt flocculation, possibly by preventing the yeast cells from linking together(?)." Is that something you deduced from personal experience or is that coming from someone somewhere else. Have you seen or heard of any science that confirms or suggests it is true. Thanks.

ajay said...

What do you think about this recipe with a Conan type yeast?

Nathaniel said...

I am suspicious of the comment about dry hopping interfering with flocculation. In my experience the haze that results from dry hops + English ale yeast is not from yeast cells. Just look at a sample under a microscope and you will likely find few yeast cells. This is coming from my experience with 007 and dry hops at work

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Certainly possible that it is just coincidence that these beers turn out so cloudy when dry hopping during fermentation. I just never had beers turn out this cloudy when allowing the yeast to drop prior to dry hopping. It's just anecdotal (from my experiences and reading the various threads on BA/HBT with people with similar experiences).

I think this recipe would do well with Conan, although I think it has a greater affinity for the fruitier end of hopping. Only one way to find out!

neddles said...

That's interesting and I am going to try it out for myself. I'd be very curious to hear Nathaniel's experience with 007 and dry hopping. I have had 2 beers with 007 that were dry hopped cold after 007 was crashed out and the beer was very clear. Both became almost incurably cloudy looking similar to Mike's picture above. Thus far I have chalked it up to dry hopping in keg at 33-34F (I normally dry hop at room temp) but maybe there is something else going on here. Both beers were not tasty when the were that cloudy but eventually turned out extremely good.

KindofBlues71 said...

Would you mind posting more details on the full brew day with the full recipe and some guidance for all three beers? I've been thinking about doing a parti-gyle and this APA/Saison/Berliner sounds perfect!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Just double the recipe/water as stated. You should be at 1.050 pre-boil. Once it hits 180F, run off three gallons and dilute to 5 for the Berliner. Post boil (before the flame-out addition) run off 5.5 gallons for the saison. Then continue as stated. That said, don't necessarily trust my numbers for your system. Adjust as needed to hit the target gravity/volumes with your setup!

Stephen said...

I've been planning a similar beer (malted oats and wheat with flaked oats and wheat for body and head retention). Would doing a gelatinization rest (126F-129F) for the wheat help with the haze and help avoid a stuck sparge or should I just throw in some rice hulls for insurance?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

A protein rest could help clarity a bit, but it seems as if hopping during fermentation increases haze regardless of the wort.

I had some rice hulls in there, but I think I was running the recirculation too quickly. First time brewing a wheat beer with this system.

Beezy Brews said...

That's even more dry hops than I use. I love it. I have a Brett dipa that looks just like this and still looked like this after 4 months in the fridge. Mine had one addition of 9 ounces for dry. I'm not sure what the murkiness is from. I have done many ipas with the same Brett and the others are slightly hazey not opaque.

Nathaniel said...

My only experience with dry hopping and 007 is dry hopping at fermentation temp (68) right when fermentation finishes. That temp is then held for 4-5 days and then the beer crashed. Interesting to learn the yeast may not need to be around for the haze to be formed.

Ben Marlow said...

Do you add anything to the dry hop in the keg to weigh the bag down?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I tie-off a handful of sanitized glass marbles in the bottom of the stocking, then add the hops and tie the top back to the first knot. This gives me sort of a loop of hops that stays submerged pretty well. Whole hops are more buoyant and need more marbles to keep them down.

abrouwers said...

I love the look of this recipe! Is there a particular reason you chose the flour brand, or would any "all purpose" flour work reasonably well?

Also, given your experience with WL644 ("Trois"), do you think this flavor would go well with the east-coast spirit? I recently got to enjoy a few east-coast IPAs, and really enjoyed the fruity, juicy characteristics in the finish. I had a similar experience using Trois, but I'm concerned the extra attenuation might make the beer too dry.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Any fresh/white flour would work.

Trois would be a wonderful choice for these beers. It seems to be active when it comes to interacting with hops, and its fruity esters would reinforce the juiciness. You can always up the mash temperature to prevent it from drying out too much.

Erik R. Wood said...

Interestingly enough, it looks as though Nate from Tree House explicitly states they use no flour in their beers.

Granted I know you weren't exactly trying to make a Tree House beer, but a NE APA/IPA. I plan on trying many of these tactics with a slightly modified malt bill to my liking. That much wheat seems to me that these NE IPA's are bordering on nomenclature differences. American Wheat versus American IPA/APA, what say you to that?

Thanks for all your hard work and science, I love this blog.

Alex said...

Any plans for another NE style IPA attempt to get it just right?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I'm sure I will in time. I tend to brew what I'm in the mood to drink, and hoppy beer is never far from the top of the list!

KindofBlues71 said...

When did you add the dry hop addition? The recipe lists Dry Hop and Keg Hop additions (same amounts of each hop) and on 9/16 you added the second dry hop addition, then on 9/22 you kegged with the second dry hop addition. Did you add the dry hops on 9/16 and the keg hops on 9/22? Thanks!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Updated, the keg hops were the third addition. The "brew day dry hops" were the first.

Tbone said...

Hey Mike, what was the FG on this beer? I'm getting ready to make a similar hoppy pale ale, and I've never used 1318 before. I want to dry it out somewhat, and was going to mash at 152 for 90 minutes at 152, shooting for 1.052->1.010 or so. Or do you prefer this beer with a higher FG?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I took a reading to make sure it was done, but neglected to record it. It was likely 1.012-1.013, like the previous iteration. You can certainly dry it out if that's your preference, although the goal was to make the mouthfeel as full/soft as possible.

Jonathan Keen said...

I dry hop in the keg by tieing a string to a bottle cap (with a small whole in the side) with a neodymium magnet inside it. I put another neodymium on the outside of the keg. This will hold the bag suspended and allow me to seal the keg. You could also do the same with epoxy on the cap.

Travis Gross said...

Curious, did you rack into a secondary fermenter? I'm trying this receipe and am wondering if I should transfer tomorrow on day 4 into a 6 gallon glass carboy.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I almost never rack to secondary, especially for a hoppy beer. If you have the ability, you could place the dry hops in another fermentor, flush with CO2, then transfer over. However, I get fine results just adding the hops to the actively fermenting primary fermentor.

Eric K said...

"Surprising how bitter it comes across given the light bittering charge."

Not sure what you calculate for Whirlpool/Flame Out addition bitterness, but

"Steeped 0 min hops starting at 195 for 30 minutes"

You're still getting quite a bit of isomerization above 190 F. According to this up to 15% (instead of 35% at boiling).

I've also read some tests lately from the Brulosophy gentlemen, where he was seeing results similar to a 20 minute addition from Hopstand additions.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Very true, certainly some isomerization is going on during the hop stand (ProMash counts it as 0. From my experience the bitterness from late boil additions doesn't taste as bitter as those earlier, IBU for IBU.

In this case the wort wasn't held at that temperature, it fell pretty quickly even without the chiller. I saw that experiment, but my experience doesn't line up with their results. It is very tricky to claim that one data point proves something in the more general sense.

I have another iteration of this recipe on tap now with 35 IBUs at 60. If you counted the 9 oz of high AA flame-out hops as 20 min it would be over 100 IBUs... It's not close to that! But it is likely around 45-50 IBUs.

blauvvy said...

Mike, a few details I was wondering on the hop regime. For the brew day (active fermentation) hops, do you add pellets directly to the fermenter or bag them? Do you do anything else special, like rousing the fermenter while they're in there? Also, if bottling directly (no intermediate kegging) what would you suggest for the keg dry hops? Add them day before bottling or so? I've ready the John Kimmich does Heady with last addition 3 days, no more than 4, before kegging / canning. I just brewed a version of this with Calypso and Citra and will send you the details + results.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I add pellets directly, or I bag/weight whole hops. Either would work! Nothing special, the yeast will move the beer around the hops.

The keg hops are actually intended to extend the life of the beer, rather than increase the peak hop aroma. There really isn't a corollary for bottled beer, but some extra hops a few days before bottling won't hurt if you can do it in a low-oxygen way (if not I would just up the earlier addition).

These beers tend to be extremely sensitive to oxidation, I've seen a few photos of drastic color change in beers just a few weeks old. Best of luck!

Unknown said...

Something that has been on my mind recently regarding whirlpool (or hop stand) hops. If one adds whirlpool hops after the boil and after the temp has fallen below isomerization levels (170F seems to be popular) then what is the difference between that vs hopping at the start of fermentation in the fermenting vessel?

Either way, the oils and other hop matter will go through the fermentation process. I guess some take care to transfer as little hop matter as possible from the boil kettle into the fermenter, but others just transfer it all without worry. If you are one of the latter, then I don't see a difference.

I'd love to see a side by side comparing the two methods. There are trub & volume implications of course.


The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

The heat will help to extract compounds more quickly, but you'll have a shorter exposure. Despite being below isomerization, you are still above volatilization for some oils. I'd imagine the result would be relatively similar, but I don't do either frequently!

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