Monday, November 27, 2017

New England Pale Ale: Brewing Video

NEIPA has a well-deserved reputation for short shelf-stability. I've heard homebrewers refer to it as intentionally poorly brewed... but that's like saying a souffle is poorly baked because it sinks minutes after you remove it from the oven. If there was a way to achieve a beer with the same juicy hop flavor and pillowy body plus long shelf life I wouldn't complain!

Finished chit malt NE Pale AleThere are brewers like John Kimmach, who says Heady Topper is at it's best at 10 weeks old. I've heard brewers from three or four other breweries advocate holding onto their hazy IPAs (especially the double-dry hopped sorts) for a month or two. Not exactly cellaring potential, but better than the versions that fall apart after a couple weeks.

Cold storage and minimizing oxidation both improve stability, but what else can we do to extend the life of hazy IPAs? Wheat and even more so oats contain higher concentration of manganese than barley malt. Manganese can catalyze oxidative reactions as well as increase protein solubilization. However, I don't think you can drop wheat and oats from a NEIPA without replacing the extra protein contribution, which adds body and head retention (not to mention haze).

To replace the protein usually imparted by flaked grains, Scott bought a sack of Best Chit Malt and shared a few pounds with me. Chit is essentially the Reinheitsgebot-approved replacement for unmalted barley. It is under-modified, retaining a range of long-chain proteins. Theoretically these proteins could fill the same role as the oats/wheat, enhancing foam and mouthfeel but without the associated drawback to stability. For the first try, I used chit at about the same rate I would flaked oats, 20%.

For hot-side hops, I went for a budget option as I did in my previous batch. For that last batch I used Chinook and Nugget to provide linalool and geraniol. For this batch I used Columbus and Simcoe. Columbus makes up a large portion of the kettle hops for many of Trillium's fantastic IPAs, providing a nice dank base-note to balance the fruity hops added on the cold-side. I added the Simcoe to the boil because the 3MH it contributes increases during the boil (while catty 4MMP decreases). Certain yeast strains have the ability to converts 3MH (grapefruit and passion fruit) to 3MHA (similar flavors with a lower threshold). Something we'll be playing with at Sapwood Cellars!

Rather than talk about the brewing process for the 200th time, I took videos of the key points in the process and posted them to my YouTube channel with my descriptions, plus a version without a voice-over. Enjoy! I'm hoping to do more of this, especially as the brewery gets up and running and I have more interesting action to record!

Good Chit NEIPA

Smell – Pleasant mixture of tropical and lightly dank. As always I appreciate a balance rather than the “straight juice” aromatics of some examples. If I want a fruit beer, I’ll drink a fruit beer! The volume could be turned up, despite the heavy hot-side, fermentor, and keg hopping it doesn’t leap out of the glass like my favorite batches. A result of the yeast or something else? Clearly it isn't malt aromatics in the way.

Appearance – It isn’t clear, but it certainly looks more like an unfiltered West Coast IPA than a standard NEIPA. I don’t brew for appearance, but there certainly is some eye-palate interaction that it doesn’t fit. There are some suggestions that above a certain point more proteins (especially large proteins) are likely to coagulate and drop from suspension. It was hazier the first few weeks, but it cleared up in the keg.

Taste – Crisp, missing the malt sweetness to support the fruity volatiles. The saturated hop flavor is nice, again walking that line between fruity (grapefruit and passion fruit) and dank. Malt is subdued, could use a boost from a portion of English malt or crystal malt. A friend commented that it has a zwickelbier-like maltiness, hard to argue with it being more subdued than most.

Mouthfeel – While the head lasts it is thick and luxurious. It really adds creaminess to the body. While retention started off lackluster for the first couple weeks, it really came into its own. Although after the head fades the body is lackluster. Thin, crisp, just a hint of tannins in the finish. The screen did a good job keeping the powder burn to a minimum.

Drinkability & Notes – It is a unique interpretation of the style. Somewhere between the crispness and cleanness of a Russian River IPA, and the fruity-tropical hop character of NEIPAs. While I don’t want sugary, I think the style benefits from a little perceived sweetness. Drinking this seven weeks after brewing I have to say that it did hold up better than my typical oat-heavy NEIPAs!

Changes for Next Time – A little iso-hop extract might add the longevity the head needs. In exchange I’d move the 10-minute addition later or slightly cool before adding the whirlpool addition. Maybe a small dose of light crystal malt to add sweetness?


Batch Size: 11.00 gal
SRM: 3.8
IBU: 62
OG: 1.055
FG: 1.012
ABV: 5.6%
Final pH: 4.65
Brewhouse Efficiency: 68%
Boil Time: 75 Mins

80.0% - 20.0 lbs Rahr 2-row Brewer's Malt
20.0% - 5.0 lbs Best Chit Malt

Mash In - 60 min @ 156F

2.00 oz Simcoe (Pellets, 13.00% AA) @ 10 min
6.00 oz Columbus (Whole, 15.00% AA)  @ 30 min Whirlpool
2.00 oz Simcoe (Pellets, 13.00% AA) @ 30 min Whirlpool
4.00 oz Mosaic (Pellets, 12.25% AA)  @ Dry Hop Day 2
4.00 oz Simcoe (Pellets, 13.00% AA) @ Dry Hop Day 2
2.00 oz Citra (Pellets, 13.00% AA) @ Dry Hop Day 2
2.00 oz Simcoe (Cryo, 26.00%) @ Keg Hop
1.50 oz Citra (Cryo, 24.00%) @ Keg Hop
1.50 oz Mosaic (Cryo, 25.00%) @ Keg Hop

1 Whirlfloc Tablet @ 5 mins

19.0 g Calcium Chloride @ Mash
15.0 g Gypsum @ Mash
2.0 tsp 88% Lactic Acid @ Mash


WLP013 White Labs London Ale

Brewed 10/8/17

10 gallons filtered DC water and 6 gallons of distilled. All of the salts in at the start of the mash. 2 tsp of lactic acid to lower the mash pH from 5.47 to 5.23.

Sparged with 3 gallons of room-temperature distilled water.

Collected 14 gallons of 1.046 runnings.

Chilled to 76F, placed in the freezer for an hour before pitching, and shaking to aerate. An hour later down to 69F, moved to 63F room to ferment. Internal ~68F for most of primary.

10/10/17 Dry hopped. Around high krausen.

10/20/17 Kegged with the Cryo in the stainless steel canisters. Mosaic and Citra were pellets, Simcoe was powder.

I get a commission if you buy something after clicking the links to MoreBeer/Amazon/Adventures in Homebrewing/Great Fermentations!


Tom said...

Great new post, it is nice to see how you deal with your NEPA.

One thing I am wondering, why is your sparge water at room temperature? Is there any reason for that?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

It is something I've been doing for the last few years. I haven't found any drawbacks. It saves time/effort/equipment on a few fronts. No collecting/treating/heating sparge water. It cools the grain bed making it easier to clean out the mash tun during the boil. Lots of details in my Minimal Sparge post.

Tim said...

I used to always sparge with room temp water as well for the same reasons. I run a RIMS with a single 240v source. So, after circulating the mash, I would just sparge with room temp water and then transfer my 240v source from the RIMS tube to the boil kettle. I figured once it gets above the coil, I'm turning the heat source on and temps are above 170F shortly after. I have been happy with the results so I didn't think it was causing any issues. But, I recently had a judge comment that my head retention may be suffering from a protein rest. My initial thought was "that's not possible, I don't do a protein rest". But, after I thought about it, I realized that I am potentially dropping down into protein rest temps while doing my sparge due to the room temp water. Now, I just stop my recirculation 15-20 minutes before the end of the mash so I can use my 240v source to heat the water in my HLT. In hindsight, my head retention is not always great but I would have never connected those dots. Time will tell if it makes a difference.

It looks like you are running propane so your results may be better. You don't have to wait for the wort to get above the coil before you turn on your heat source in the kettle.

Anonymous said...

Interesting experiment) I have few questions about it
- Do you believe that majority of hops going as dry hopped on early stage are beneficial for this style? Why not equal parts for example?
- Do I understand correct that Chit is similar to Carapils - What do you believe adds to beer despite normal things like body and foam improvement?


Unknown said...

Just a comment that I really appreciate you and Scott working in so much info on the science behind the hops and what they're contributing, oils, etc as well as the grains and protein content, etc.

Is the main source of your deeper technical knowledge on this stuff from browsing the ASBC journal? Are there any blogs or other sources of info you'd recommend for more on it? Planning to do some reading of ASBC, and of course also follow Scott's blog (can't wait for the book)

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Sounds like a judge making a wild guess to me. Most of the proteolytic enzymes should be denatured by the time spent at saccharification rest. "These include lipoxygenase, phytase, beta-glucanse and a wide range of proteolytic enzymes. Most mashes begin no cooler than 140 ºF (60 ºF) and the listed enzymes have no activity in the mash because they are almost immediately denatured during mash-in." Source

I think the early hop additions tends towards a fruitier more integrated hop profile. Certainly try different timing and ratios and find what works for your palate! It seems like chit malt out-carafoams carafoam.

Journals are certainly helpful, but there are some good gateway articles from Stan Hieronymus and others. So much of this stuff just isn't well understood yet. I've got an article for BYO coming up looking at the shortcomings of the IBU formula for modern IPAs.

Gary D said...

''just a hint of tannins in the finish. The screen did a good job keeping the powder burn to a minimum.'' Is this a reference to keeping the wort clear of grain debris in the boil? I do BIAB and occasionally a few bits of grain end up in the boil, I wonder if these create tannins in the final beer.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

No, there's a particular flavor some people get from dry hopping with Cryo powder. The lupulin itself in in suspension and sticks a bit in your throat. It is usually a sign of a young beer and tends to drop out in the keg/can given a week or two.

Unknown said...

Hello Mike, do you feel that using cold sparge water provides consistent results (Control) as opposed to mashing out? I'm asking as I recently brewed a couple of batches that I normally brew and they came out with little residual sweetness which I'm guessing is due to the long vorlauf & lautering times I've been using during my 1st runnings prior to mashingout/batchsparing. Thank you for the insight!

Aaron said...

I don't recall seeing you use White Labs London Ale yeast for this style in your previous posts. How does this compare to WyEast London Ale III?

Anonymous said...

Great post. I really like the video. When you sparge with the distilled water, do you leave it in for a period of time before transferring it? Thanks.

Crown Heights Brewery said...

10oz during primary in the brew bucket is impressive. You don’t cold crash right? I always deal with the bev outpost clogging due to hop particles. Any tips? Waiting 10 days help let them fall on their own?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Most of the beta-amylase is denatured quickly in the mid-150s. I don't think it is reactivating when the temperature drops with the cold sparge or anything like that. I'd look at other sources.

This was my first time using 013. The slurry was leftover from a batch (malty-ESB-Oktoberfest) my wife brewed. That half of the wort had a hoppier character than the other half of the wort with 002. Seemed worth a try. Seemed fine, maybe comperable to S04, good but without the pop of 1318.

I usually just run the transfer slowly after adding the last dose of water. It is a fly sparge and not a batch sparge. Honestly I assume it is mostly displacing wort that is already in the grain, although I don't know how true that is...

That 10 oz is split between the two halves of the batch in two BrewBuckets. Thought it was better not to show everything twice! I've got a "Bouncer" filter I'll be trying the next time to catch any stray particulate. I don't cold crash either.

Unknown said...

Where did you get that lovely keg hop stainless steel infuser? I need one!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I ordered mine from eBay, but they are now available on Amazon with less hassle.

Ron said...

Great video, it appears we have a similar mindset because we almost identical sets of equipment and process (I guess I have been reading your blog for a while).

I recently switched to dry hopping NEIPAs with pellets vs whole after hearing from a few breweries. After doing so, I have an extreme amount of hop particulate stuck in suspension in my brew bucket and was thinking I'll need to cold crash to take care of it. Do you not have this issue or just let it settle to the bottom of the keg?

Anonymous said...

Thoughts on the Hanna Halo? Seems like a pretty nifty little tool. Would you recommend it?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Most of the hop particulate settles out in the primary after 5-7 days. I just let whatever does make it to the keg settle out and get sucked out in the first pint.

The Halo has several attributes I don't love (price, Bluetooth connectivity) but several I do (direct reading in the mash, durable probe). Depending on how you value those it is certainly a good option. Despite my complaints, I haven't gone back to using my Milwaukee 102 even though it is sitting downstairs and works fine. Not sure I'd buy another Halo if this one stopped working though.

Jako said...

Any isssues with filtration with such a portion of barley chit? Not a lot of Beta Glucan?

Unknown said...

That color seems a bit copper/orange for that grain bill. I do something similar and mine end up yellow straw. I think that I'll be looking into replacing oats or mitigating manganese from now on. Thanks for the info!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

No issues with the recirculation or the sparge, plenty of husk material.

The photo makes it look a bit darker than the beer actually was. 4 SRM was pretty accurate.

Aaron said...

Mike, from what I can tell, it looks like you used whirlfloc for this beer, but you didn't for the Citra/Mosaic NEIPA or the Citra/Galaxy NEIPA you recently posted about. Is there any difference in haze or mouthfeel that you can attribute to that difference? It looks from the photos that this beer is less hazy than your previous posts, but it is hard to tell. I've used whirlfloc for all of my recent NEIPA attempts and all have been hazy, but not opaque like many commercially available NEIPAs. Thanks!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I don't always remember to note that I added it, but I usually do. Kettle finings are about leaving protein in the kettle, it has minimal effect on the finished beer.

This one was cleaner, but I suspect it was the type of protein in the chit malt compared to the wheat/oats I've used in the past.

Aaron said...

Have you had a chance to try the bouncer inline filter for kegging a NEIPA? Any thoughts?

I kegged one last night with my autosiphon inside a stainless mesh filter from Utah Biodiesel (designed with Scott Janish) which seemed to work very well at first, until the bottom of the filter caked with yeast/trub and stopped flow with about a gallon of beer to go. It was probably a technique issue though, it probably would have worked better if I didnt let the filter sit so low in the bucket. Clearly this was not a closed transfer though.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Yeah, that batch is on tap now. Worked well, hopefully posting about it in the next week or two.

Aaron said...

Sounds good, looking forward to reading about it!

Unknown said...

Any difference between using flaked barley and chit? I believe flaked contains more b-glucans, no?