Monday, May 17, 2010

Citra (Papaya) Pale Ale Recipe

I kicked the last of my Double IPA unexpectedly on a Friday afternoon a few weeks back (not a great way to start a weekend), sad to see a delicious beer gone (although the huge hoppy aroma was already fading).  Despite how hop saturated that batch was, a keg of it failed to completely satisfy my hop-tooth; with the warm weather arriving in DC I wanted something hop forward, but without the high alcohol.

Two days later I woke up early on Sunday morning in the mood to brew.  I decided to toss together a light/crisp/hoppy beer with the ingredients I had on hand (one of the big advantage to buying in bulk and owning a mill).   

Flameout Hop AdditionFor malt, I didn't have enough American pale on hand to use it as the sole base malt, so I augmented it with German pils.  I had some Maris Otter on hand as well, but I didn't want too much malt character getting in the way.  I added a bit of flaked corn (left over from my Pannepot inspired spiced Belgian strong ale) to help dry the beer out.  Some Simpson's Golden Oats went in as well for a bit of nutty malt complexity. 

For hops, I used all Citra, with .75 oz at 15/10/5/0 min plus .5 oz in the keg.  Citra is a pretty new variety used most notably in Sierra Nevada Torpedo.  Citra is in the same general "American" family as other popular newcomers like Simcoe and Amarillo, but it leans heavily towards tropical/citrus flavors (not much pine).  I wanted to use it alone to get a real idea of what they bring to a beer.  Since this was a relatively light (1.046) beer I didn't want a lot of bitterness (33 IBUs), so I skipped a bittering addition, relying on the late boil additions for everything (a technique sometime called Hop-bursting).

Spent HopsFor yeast, I used a sachet of US-05 (something I always try to keep on hand for stuck fermentations and spur of the moment brews).  US-05 is a clean American ale yeast, supposedly a dried version of the the liquid strain sold by White Labs as 001 and Wyeast as 1056 (US-05 was originally marketed as US-56 until Wyeast complained).  The dry strain has become very popular with homebrewers and craft brewers because it is clean, cheap, and easy to use (a high cell count for the money eliminates the need for starters).  That said, I find US-05 more attenuative than the liquid variants, so I mash around 5 degrees hotter when using it.  I also find that US-05 is a bit fruitier (peaches?) than the liquid strains, but in a hoppy beer like this it should be complimentary.

Inspired by a couple fruit (mango and peach) IPAs I tried from Cigar City Brewing, I took just less than a gallon of the beer after primary and racked it onto 1.25 lb of papaya (cubed, frozen, thawed, quickly dipped in Star-San). The combination of fruit and American hops is something I had never been impressed with before (Dogfish Head ApriHop...), but the Cigar City beers had a great balance allowing the fruit to add complexity without disrupting the hop forward nature of the base IPA.  They also make a version of it with dried papaya that I had heard good things about, but when I saw the fresh fruit at the store I decided to go that route.  After two weeks on the fruit I'll bottle the papaya portion separately.

Citra (Papaya) Pale Ale

Recipe Specifics (All-Grain)
Batch Size (Gal): 4.50   
Total Grain (Lbs): 8.13
Anticipated OG: 1.046   
Anticipated SRM: 3.5
Anticipated IBU: 33.3
Brewhouse Efficiency: 69 %
Wort Boil Time: 90 min

49.2% - 4.00 lbs. German Pilsener   
41.5% - 3.38 lbs. American Pale Malt             
6.2% - 0.50 lbs. Flaked Corn (Maize)          
3.1% - 0.25 lbs. Golden Naked Oats

Manual Wort Aeration------
0.75 oz. Citra (Whole, 10.00% AA) @ 15 min.
0.75 oz. Citra (Whole, 10.00% AA) @ 10 min.
0.75 oz. Citra (Whole, 10.00% AA) @ 5 min.
0.75 oz. Citra (Whole, 10.00% AA) @ 0 min.
0.50 oz. Citra (Whole, 10.00% AA) Keg Hop

0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
0.50 tsp Irish Moss @ 10 min.

Safale US 05 Chico

Water Profile
Profile: Carbon Filtered Washington DC

Mash Schedule
Sacch Rest 60 min @ 155

Brewed 4/25/10 by myself

Adding Gypsum to the Boil KettleAdded some of the sparge water to the mash to make sure there was enough room to collect wort using a single batch sparge.  Added 3 g of gypsum to the boil pot to up the sulfate because I didn't need to lower the pH of the mash.  Batch sparged with 178 degree water.

Collected 7 gallons of 1.030 wort.  Better boil-off rate than expected, ended up with 4.5 gallons of 1.046 wort.

.5 tsp of Irish moss and yeast nutrient rehydrated in water for a few minutes before being added to the beer.

Uneventful boil.  0 min hops added just after I started the chiller.

Chilled to 72, pitched dry yeast directly out of packet, shook for a minute 3-4 times over the first couple hours to aerate.

Good strong fermentation after 12 hours.

5/02/10 Fermentation mostly finished.  Got a papaya to cut up and rack one gallon of the beer onto.

5/04/10 Fermentation mostly complete.  Racked 3/4 of a gallon onto 1 lb of cubed papaya, that had been frozen, thawed and dipped in Star-San.  The rest was kegged with 1.5 oz of cane sugar, as my CO2 had just kicked.

5/23/10 Papaya version tasting, tasty beer, but not much papaya character.

6/12/10 Plain tasting, doing very well.  Nice complex citrus/tropical hop nose, good balance but could be a touch more bitter.


Bill DeBaun said...

Sounds awesome. I'm also intrigued by Citra as a hop. I brewed a Belgian IPA this past weekend that used almost all Citra. I'm going to split the batch into 3 parts. One part will be as is. One part will have a Brett C addition. The third part will be threaded with a pineapple wheat beer fermented with 100% Brett C. It smells awesome so far. We'll see how it goes. Good luck with yours! - @whatsbilldoing

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Sound excellent, should make for some interesting comparisons. I'm just about to do a run of Brett "finished" beers, did a Belgian Amber with Brett B over the weekend.

Individual said...

I completely agree with the comment of getting peach fruit aroma and flavors with US-05. Some people look at me like I am crazy when I try to tell them this.

Jason Lavery said...

I'm curious how you arrived at 1.5 oz of can sugar of priming. I've been perplexed by this lately. Some people say that keg priming is lower than bottle conditioning priming but the last Brew Strong show said they are the same.
In that line of thought, you should use around 4.5 oz per 5 gallons (depending on temp and residual co2).


The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I was planning to force carb, that is until I realized I was out of CO2. So I just aimed low and put it onto gas a week later when I had a chance to get my tank refilled. I tend to like lower carbonation anyway, unless I was doing a Belgian or a Weizen I wouldn’t go close to 4.5 oz of priming sugar (especially since I rarely end up with 5 gallons of beer at bottling/kegging and I use cane sugar which is ~10% more potent than corn sugar).

I’ve heard arguments both ways over whether you need to prime at different rate for bottle and kegs and I have never heard a convincing reason why kegs would require less sugar. That said, it seems like my kegs are more carbed than expected when I add my usual amount of priming sugar. It may just be that my lines aren’t long enough and serving a beer with high carbonation makes for a foamy pour.

That is the nice thing about kegging, you can always add or subtract CO2 after you start serving the beer.

Mark Ranes said...

I brewed an all Citra IPA a while back and noticed strong aromatic notes of mango and a distinct "cattiness" - similar to Simcoes, but far less piney. Here's a couple blob links to the brew:


I'm not sure I really like Citra's as a single hop ale, but it is indeed good to brew with them alone to find out what they are all about. Look deep into the Lazy Brewer blog to track my single hop experiment.


Eddie said...

I know I'm WAY late to the party here, but I just got my first tasting of a pseudo-SMaSH I did with Pilsner, flaked wheat, rice hulls, and citra hops. The hops are powerful at 30IBU in this recipe although I feel that it's likely that there isnt enough malt backbone to compete with the hops. I did half oz bitter, half oz aroma. But the hop character really shines. We'll see how the taste develops.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

A little bit of crystal malt (or in the case of this recipe golden naked oats) can really help to boost the malt character of a lower gravity beer. Your hop bill doesn’t sound over the top to me, but Citra is a potent variety.

ryanb said...

meant to add this a while ago...Used your recipe as a base, but added some acid malt & honey malt as well as ramping up the hop bill:

US Nugget 13.0 %, 15 g Loose Whole Hops 60 Min
US Simcoe 13.0 % 22 g Loose Whole Hops 15 Min
US Citra 13.7 % 15 g Loose Whole Hops 15 Min
US Simcoe 13.0 % 22 g Loose Whole Hops 10 Min
US Citra 13.7 % 15 g Loose Whole Hops 10 Min
US Citra 13.7 % 15 g Loose Whole Hops 5 Min
US Citra 13.7 % 31 g Loose Whole Hop At turn off
US Citra 13.7 % 31 g Loose Whole Hops Dry Hop

I didn't add the fruit, I think will split it up and try some come next IPA season.

Came out fantastic, thanks for the inspiration on the simcoe addition. I'd send you one, but they disappeared in a day! Next time for sure!

Unknown said...

I'm just curious if you had more pale malt on hand would you have changed the ratios at all in the malt bill in hindsight?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Probably would have used all American pale instead of Pils if I had it, but with so much else going on it probably would have been hard to taste the difference blind.