Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Cryo Lupulin NEIPA: Citra-Mosaic

Trillium Stilling Street vs. my Citra-Mosaic NEIPA.
A few weeks ago someone asked on my Facebook how I’d stack NEIPAs against commercial versions, I prefer my best to all comers, save Tree House Julius and Trillium Double-Dry-Hopped Fort Point. For my palate, across their lineup Trillium is close to perfect. The lack of a line to buy cans is a bonus. I also have a bias for the brewery that is open with their process, not to mention that JC is a former homebrew blogger and someone I've shared a few beers with. What is remarkable is that he has increased quality and scale, despite having to adjust process (including yeast).

I’ve learned that putting my one-off attempts head-to-head with my favorite commercial examples of a style are often an exercise in humility. As a homebrewer I don’t have the reps to dial in a recipe the way a brewery does, I don’t have the equipment, or the resources. So, when I grabbed a four-pack of Trillium Stillings Street IPA (their Nelson Sauvin showcase) at the Boston brewery on my way to Logan last week, I was already looking for excuses for why the carbonating IPA I was returning home to wouldn’t be as good.

This recipe is the culmination of three years of attempts at cloudy-juicy IPAs. Most of it will be familiar from previous batches, but as always a few tweaks. Water treatment was pretty much my standard, just a little more heavy handed up to 150 PPM for calcium, chloride, and sulfate. The grist was heavy on both flaked oats and Carafoam. I added a small dose of Columbus at 15 minutes to slightly elevate the bitterness over my NE Australian IPA, Columbus is rich in thiols which make it a good (inexpensive) choice for hot-side additions. Fermented with Omega British V, their answer to London III, harvested from my 2.3% NEIPA. A big dose of Mosaic and Citra pellets for a hop-stand, and another massive charge (8 oz in 5 gallons) 48 hours into fermentation once the yeast passed 50% apparent attenuation.

A traditional pellet on the left, a lupulin pellet on the right.When I was ready to keg I brought in a ringer, Yakima Chief Cryo Hops "LupuLN2" lupulin powder. I picked up samples at CBC, and ordered extra now that it is available to homebrewers. This is the alpha acids and oils roughly double-concentrated with much of the green plant material removed. The big advantage is that the plant material absorbs iso-alpha and other compounds from the wort (not to mention wort itself). While this may sound similar to T45 pellets, the improvement here is using nitrogen to reduce oxidation and temperature. The more concentrated the oils become, the more aromatic-volatilizing heat that is generated. See Scott’s fantastic post and Stan's summary for more details.

NEIPA: Lupulin Edition

Smell – Mix of big tropical fruit (mango especially), melon, pineapple, with that certain dank-fruitiness I get from Mosaic (even more from Nelson, and a bit less from Hallertau Blanc likely 3S4MP). While it has fruit flavor, it still has the telltale notes of hops. I enjoyed the aroma of the Mosaic Cryo, the Citra was so concentrated it was almost offensively dank, luckily upon dilution the contribution is delicious! The hop nose jumps out of the glass, even more so than the Stillings Street.

Appearance – Glowing yellow body, a shade and a half lighter than the Stillings Street thanks to lots of oats and no C10. A couple flecks of particulate. Nice white head, great structure, but I wouldn’t mind if it lasted a little longer.

Taste – Totally saturated juicy hops with just enough bitterness. Citra and Mosaic are punchy and can carry an IPA along, but together they have a wonderful synergy. Pineapple, orange, Sauvignion blanc, and mango. A little drier than Stillings Street, the sweetness enhances the “juice” character. Bitterness is perfect, just there without lingering.

Mouthfeel – Smooth, coating hop oiliness, soft. Medium carbonation, or almost, perfect.

Drinkability & Notes – A beer that is difficult not to have a second pour. Some IPAs grate on the palate, this one soothes the bitterness without being sugary. The combination of huge hop aroma, saturated hop flavor, restrained bitterness, and fluffy body is what I want to drink.

Changes for Next Time – This is my dream IPA, the best NEIPA I have brewed. In comparison, the Trillium I bought four days before the tasting isn't as fresh and vibrant. Not their fault, how can you compete against beer that was in contact with dry hops 30 seconds ago? Might as well take advantage of every trick I have to make up for the lack for hop contracts, a centrifuge, and some of the best brewers in the country!

The small amount of grain the hop filter caught on the wort's way to the kettle.Recipe

Batch Size: 5.50 gal
SRM: 3.6
IBU: 67.7
OG: 1.059
FG: 1.012
ABV: 6.2%
Final pH: 4.57
Brewhouse Efficiency: 71%
Boil Time: 60 Mins

58.8 % - 7.5 lbs Rahr 2-Row Brewer's Malt
20.6% - 2.625 lbs Weyermann Carafoam
20.6% - 2.625 lbs 365 Old Fashion Rolled Oats

Mash In - 60 min @ 155F

1.25 oz Columbus (Whole, 15.5% AA) @ 15 min
2.00 oz Citra (Pellet, 12.00% AA) @ 30 min Whirlpool
2.00 oz Mosaic (Pellet, 12.25%) @ 30 min Whirlpool
4.00 oz Citra (Pellet, 12.00% AA) @ Day 2 Dry Hop
4.00 oz Mosaic (Pellet, 12.25%) @ Day 2 Dry Hop
1.00 oz Citra Cryo (Lupulin, 26.00% AA) @ Keg
1.00 oz Mosaic Cryo (Lupulin, 26.00% AA) @ Keg

10.00 g Calcium Chloride @ Mash

8.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) @ Mash
1.00 tsp Phosphoric Acid 10% @ Mash
.50 tsp Lactic Acid @ Mash


Omega British Ale V (OYL-011)

Still no trouble with hot break clogging up the hop screen.
Recipe was originally 11 gallons, split with a Hibiscus-Grapefruit IPA. Values represent the batch tasted here.

Brewed 6/18/17

24 hours before pitching fed a cup of harvested slurry (~1 month old) from, 2.3% IPA ~2.5L of starter wort.

Mashed in with 4.5 gallons filtered DC diluted with 3 gallons of distilled.

pH of mash originally read 5.51 at Mash temperature (~5.7 at room temperature) with salts and phosphoric. Rest of phosphoric down to 5.36. Lactic (ran put of phosphoric) got down to 5.26/5.46.

Sparged with 1.75 gallons of distilled, cold. Collected 7.00 gallons @ 1.053.

Chilled to 75F left at 65F to cool for a few hours to 70F before pitching.

Fermenting well after 12 hours. 67F internal.

6/20/17 Down to 1.026, dry hopped FV1 with 4 oz each of Citra/Mosaic.

6/28/17 Kegged with bagged hops, purged, in each (1 oz each Citra and Mosaic Lupulin Pellets from Farmhouse Brewing).

NEIPAs are fantastically sensitive to oxygen, even compared to standard IPAs, here's what my gravity sample looked like after 24 hours exposed to the air compared to a fresh pour. The best guess at why this happens is the transformation of phenols into quinones via oxidation and perhaps polyphenol oxidase (a similar process is responsible for browning in avocados, tea, and cocoa). I suspect the color change looks more dramatic than clear IPAs given the low starting SRM and haze.

Fresh pour compared to a 24 hour old oxidized sample.

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Richard said...

Mike, what's your process for racking out of primary with so many loose hop pellets in there? It must be sludge at that point. So curious because this is something I struggle with all the time.

Daniel Lipetzky said...

Richard - I just tried Scott Janish's design of a dip tube filter he did with utahbiodiesel, works brilliantly!

Mike - do you think the best route is pellet hops for hot side/first dry hop and then lupulin powder for the 2nd post fermentation dry hop so you don't get the hop bite? (referencing Scott again...) Going to try this out next brew so curious your thoughts

Bryan Craig said...

Sounds great Mike!

What temperature do you maintain for your whirlpool?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

The trick for racking, if you can call it that, is to start with extra wort so you can leave a gallon behind with all of the yeast and hops! I start with the auto-siphon in the middle of the fermentor and slowly lower it to keep it above the settled hops.

First time using the lupulin, but it made sense to add as late as possible to me. It absorbs less, so better to add it to the already aromatic beer. It contains less green material, and thus less glycosides, so less chance of benefit during fermentation. I've never had issues with "grassy" flavors from keg hops, but again it could be beneficial to some palates for that reason.

I don't do anything temperature-wise for the whirlpool, I add right at flame-out and it usually drops to around 190F by the time I turn on the chiller.

Richard said...

Quick follow up re racking: to get the hops to drop, I'm assuming your crashing. But don't the hops go back into suspension once you take fermenter out of the fridge/freezer and you put it someplace higher than your keg? Sorry, just want visualize exactly how you're pulling this off.

Ben Cops said...

I always have a problem siphoning off pellet dry hops unless I bag them.
Interesting to hear keg hops works with cryo? I had assumed the powder would get out of the bag. What bag? Just muslin?

Travis said...

Just curious what you meant by "upon dilution" in the smell section of this post. "The There was so concentrated it was almost offensively dank, luckily upon dilution the contribution is delicious!"

I'm just not sure if you diluted the whole batch or something. I'm 100% going to brew this as my first IPA!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I don't cold crash before kegging, the hops drop out if given a week. I try to move the fermentor to a higher spot an hour or so before racking to give it time to settle if moving stirs them up.

I use nylon knee highs weighted with marbles for keg hops. The fine mesh prevents hop matter from escaping, as long as you don't get a run.

Dilution in the beer. I didn't enjoy sticking my nose into the package of Citra Cryo, but once that aroma was diluted into 5 gallons of beer it is pleasant.

Dani Budai said...

Hy Mike!

How long can you left the hops in the keg without getting grassy flavours? I'm not a quick drinker and gonna keg my first NEIPA tomorrow and don't know if I should put some hops into the keg.


Shannon said...

Hey Mike, great read and will give this recipe a shot as I just collected some cryo hops. Curious, are you doing a 60 min boil or less due to only late addition hops?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I haven't had problems with a couple months. Even with good process your beer will be on the downslope by then. If you are worried, you could tie the hop bag off so that as you drink the beer they are suspended above the liquid level.

Yep 60 minutes, the boil time is somewhat unintuitively listed at the top along with the various measurements of the beer.

Will Lieffers said...

Hey Mike,

Looking to brew this recipe on Saturday, but had a quick question. I entered the info into Beersmith, but my IBUs came out lower than yours at 37 with all matching efficiencies. Is yours more reflective of the perceived bitterness due to the late hop additions?

Johnny R. said...

Hi Mike.
I've noticed that you and most of the other homebrewers always use kegs with NEIPA:s. Could you do a post where you bottle and bottle ferment one? 'Cause I don't have room for kegs and keezers. I've noticed that all my NEIPA:s are pretty darn good(fruity, citrus and smooth) before bottling and after a few weeks they start to taste like herbal liqueur with pine needles. So maybe Im doing something wrong (Yea no kegs, haha) or maybe the style just won't work in bottles.

Dani said...

Johnny, NEIPAs unfortunately are prone to oxidation, because of the enormous quantity of late hops and oatmeal. The process of bottling imparts a lot of oxygen into the beer so they don't really recommend bottling in this case, though it can be successful with a very cautious process.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Not sure why I'm getting more bitterness, they are entered at 30 minute "Steep/Whirlpool" rather than 0 min boil. If anything I adjusted the settings to reduce the bitterness from the whirlpool because I thought the default was more IBUs than I perceived from my setup (Steep/Whirlpool Util Factor is 35% down from the default 50%). I have 27 IBUs from the Columbus, the rest from the whirlpool.

I'd suggest brewing to the strengths of your setup. Focus on other less-hoppy styles until you get kegs. Even with perfect oxygen exclusion (impossible), two weeks sitting warm to carbonate you're missing drinking good beer. Add to that lack of keg hops, aroma scalping by the crown liner etc. The best it would be would be a shadow of the kegged version. If you just have to give it a shot, get a CO2 tank to purge the bottles before filling.

Aaron Carlson said...

For what it's worth, I've tried this approach of bottling a NEIPA while trying to minimize oxygen exposure. While I'm sure it won't be nearly as good as the same beer kegged, there are several things that I did that seemed to help minimize oxidation and preserve the hop character for about 4-6 weeks after bottling moreso than the typical bottling approach, where I had a similar beer turn out completely oxidized by the time it was carbonated. I don't have a co2 tank, so used a soda stream with sanitized tube attached to the end. Note that this is anecdotal and not scientifically rigorous in any way.

1. In place of kegged hops, I did a second dry hop addition as fermentation was slowing but not complete so the yeast would scrub the oxygen that gets in from opening the fermenter. I don't open the fermenter again until it's time to bottle.
2. Siphon quietly and purge bottling bucket before racking, and purge headspace several times during bottling. A better bottle with spigot would probably be better than a regular bottling bucket.
3. Purge each bottle before filling and then purge the head space immediately before capping (headspace purging makes a clear difference compared to skipping this step).
4. I only allowed 1 week for carbonating warm, then all the bottles went into the refrigerator. The beers were well enough carbonated for my taste.
5. Drink fast!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Thanks for chiming in Aaron, sounds like great advice!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike, unrelated to this post, but I clicked on the BYO link on your blog, and the link didn't work. Maybe needs to be updated somehow?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Thanks for pointing that out, contacting BYO to see what the problem is. Feel free to click the link of Basic Brewing (, or whoever you'd like to give a cut to!

Bdumm said...

Question on the hop additions. Columbus at 15 minutes left until the boil and citra/ mosaic at flameout for 30 minutes?

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike. Are you currently adding all your salt additions to the mash or saving any for the boil? I split 50/50 between mash and boil and occasionally get a slight aspirin flavour/finish to the beer...wondering if cutting back or eliminating the boil addition will solve this.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I add them all to the mash because the calcium helps lower the mash pH (reducing the amount of acid required). In terms of finished flavor, the minerals will add the same thing if they are added to the mash, boil, or even the keg. I associate aspirin flavor with Amarillo hops, but certainly could be an overly mineral character. What is your target water profile?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Yes, I left the Columbus in the screen when I added the flame-out addition of Mosaic and Citra.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

Curious if you could give a brief overview of your carbing process for these beers? I just started kegging and my first attempt was a bit to under. My second I over compensated and it's a bit more fizzy than I'd like.


The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I just set the gas (~12 PSI) and adjust if needed. That's one of the great things about kegging, you can always increase or decrease the pressure to get the results you want!

Anonymous said...

Do you force carb?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I did for this batch, but I've also tried spunding with good results.

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