Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Sapwood Cellars: Cheater Hops NE DIPA

Scott and I are still pushing forward towards opening Sapwood Cellars; here's a post with our January progress. In February we've started refinishing the tasting room floors and procuring tables and chairs while we wait on equipment and licensing. That said, the biggest influence on our brewery's success may be the fate of the competing bills to change Maryland brewery laws. Paste has a good write-up. In addition to their legislative work in Annapolis, the Brewer's Association of Maryland also throws occasional beer festivals. We decided to make their Love Thy Beer: Winter Warmer Showcase our public launch. Luckily for us they pull a license that allows new unlicensed breweries to pour homebrewed test batches.

Scott brewed a split batch of NEIPA, Oat Pillows was dry hopped with Simcoe, Mosaic, and Nelson, while Concentrated (recipe post) was ramped up to DIPA territory with the addition of white wine grape concentrate and wine yeast then dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Hallertau Blanc. Both were delicious, and the wine contribution to Concentrated really worked nicely.

For Cheater Hops, my contribution, I wanted to push big flavors hoping to make it stand out in a small pour. I went on the small-end of DIPA (or the big-end of IPA) to enhance the body and mouthfeel. My pre-boil gravity was a little lower than expected, so I extended the boil. Taking a cue from this NEPA, I went heavy on hot-side Simcoe and Columbus. To increase the citrus aroma I fermented with Imperial Citrus, their version of Sacch Trois (I especially appreciate their larger pitching rate compared to White Labs on this one), a yeast I'd used in Modern Times Neverwhere and this Juicy Pale Ale.

I dry hopped the half of the batch I brought to the festival with two of my favorite varieties: Citra and Galaxy! For the half to have on tap at home I tried Belma for the first time, which is usually described as strawberry, with Moasic as a counter-point. In both cases I added a first dose of hops late-fermentation and another in the keg. Rather than cooling the keg right away as I usually do, I primed each with sugar and 1 g of CBC-1, rehydrated. This strain was selected to only ferment simpler sugars and work incredibly quickly, scavenging oxygen, allowing a week of warm storage to increase hop aroma extraction. That said, 6 oz in each dry-hop mesh tube was really pushing their capacity, 4-5 oz is likely as much as I'll add in the future.

At kegging I added 1 mL of Kalsec Hexalone to each. In addition to being foam-positive, this isomerized hop extract also increases the perception of a "rounded" body. Eventually I'll have to do a side-by-side-by-side with Tetralone (used in this Stonefruit Vanilla Nitro Sour), and without any extract to get a better sense of the contribution. Kalsec markets Hexa is as Head Master, but the price and large size make it less practical for homebrewers.

One topic that has seemingly garnered more discussion among commercial brewers than homebrewers is "hop creep." Certain hop varieties (e.g., Mosaic) contribute enzymes that free fermentable sugars. This can cause problems. If most of the yeast has already been crashed out, the few remaining cells can resume an unhealthy fermentation, often leaving diacetyl. When I was in California several brewers dialing in their NEIPAs mentioned 58F as the "magic" temperature for dry hopping; warm enough for good extraction but cool enough to inhibit the yeast. I wonder if some of these unfermented simpler-sugars contribute to the perceived sweet "juiciness" of the finished beer? In this case the gravity dropped of the half with Mosaic/Belma dropped to 1.018 in the keg while the Citra/Galaxy keg was stable at 1.020. The result was a couple foamy pours until I vented the head-space sacrificing a portion of the aroma on the Mosaic/Belma.

For the Citra-Galaxy half I wanted to bring a "clean" keg to the festival to avoid stirring up the yeast and hop-particulate, so right before heading out I filled a clean keg to the brim with StarSan and pushed it out with CO2. This removes (nearly) 100% of the oxygen, better than pressurizing and venting multiple times, while using less gas. I then jumped the beer over using the process I outlined in this post.

The festival itself was a big success! Our rebuilt jokey-box poured well, we didn't run out of beer, and we met a lot of locals who were really excited for us to open. The beers were all well received from the comments we got, and I'll take a 4.34 on Untappd for this batch.

This video follows the process from making the yeast starter until we poured it at the beer fest!

Cheater Hops: Citra-Galaxy

Smell – Really big and bright: mango, tangerine, and pineapple. Smells Has a few green-notes, but not overtly grassy. The yeast supports those tropical and citrus notes from the hops without being obvious or phenolic. Minimal malt. Doesn’t have the “rawness” of hop aroma that some of my NEIPAs without keg conditioning have.

Appearance – Good head, but not spectacular. I’m not sure how valuable the isomerized extracts are in beers that are already so loaded with hops. They seem more valuable in sour beers which lack substantial hopping. Good level of haze, in fact hazier than most of my recent batches. Nice light yellow color with just a hint of gold.

Taste – Similar hop/yeast character to the nose, bright tropical fruit. Really saturated through the palate. Slight malt sweetness supports those flavors. Firm bitterness, in the finish, but not hop-burn on the throat.

Mouthfeel – Pleasantly full and fluffy. Carbonation is a little low on this one because I forgot to repressurize the keg after pouring it at the beer fest.

Drinkability & Notes – One of the best DIPAs I’ve brewed. The hops work together perfectly, I don’t “miss” the Citra and Galaxy on the hot-side. No dramatic color change when I left a small amount out overnight, thanks to no oats?

Changes for Next Time – Not much to change, really terrific hoppy beer that is worth the extra couple points of alcohol.

Cheater Hops: Mosaic-Belma

Smell – More subdued than the other half, perhaps thanks to venting the head space of the keg a few times. The aroma is more berry than tropical, but still has indistinct citrus notes. Doesn’t seem any greener despite still sitting on the keg hops, while the other is in a clean keg.

Appearance – Identical. I’d heard that Galaxy is especially haze-positive, but in this case both are plenty hazy without being murky.

Taste – Comes across as slightly more bitter. Maybe more hop-material in suspension thanks to the keg hops? The hop flavor is more strawberry here too, although the Mosaic prevents it from being too far from the usual. It’s a good flavor, but not as compelling.

Mouthfeel – Similar body with a little more carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – Good, but not one of my favorite batches. Still has a nice hop flavor, but the aroma doesn’t call me back for another sip like the best DIPAs.

Changes for Next Time – The Belma shows promise, but might be better at 25% of a hop blend rather than 50%. A way to add unique flavors without having to carry the aromatic load.


Batch Size: 12.00 gal
SRM: 4.5
IBU: 103
OG: 1.073
FG: 1.020/1.018
ABV: 7.0%/7.2%
Final pH: 5.53
Brewhouse Efficiency: 71%
Boil Time: 105 Mins

80.0% - 27 lbs Rahr 2-row Brewer's Malt
11.9% - 4 lbs Briess Flaked Wheat
5.9% - 2 lbs BestMälz Chit
2.2 % - 0.75 lbs Breiss Crystal 10

Sacch Rest - 45 min @ 156F

4.00 oz Columbus (Pellets, 14.00% AA) @ 15 min
6.00 oz Simcoe (Pellets, 9.00% AA) @ Whirlpool 30 min
4.00 oz Columbus (Pellets, 14.00% AA) @ Whirlpool 30 min
2.00 oz Amarillo (Pellets, 9.20% AA) @ Whirlpool 30 min

2.00 oz Belma (Pellets, 9.80% AA) @ Dry Hop Day 3
2.00 oz Mosaic (Pellets, 12.25% AA) @ Dry Hop Day 3
3.00 oz Belma (Pellets, 9.80% AA) @ Keg Hop
3.00 oz Mosaic (Pellets, 12.25% AA) @ Keg Hop
1.00 ml Hexalone (Extract, 50.00% AA) @ Keg

2.00 oz Citra (Pellets, 12.00% AA) @ Dry Hop Day 3
2.00 oz Galaxy (Pellets, 14.00% AA) @ Dry Hop Day 3
3.00 oz Citra (Pellets, 12.00% AA) @ Keg Hop
3.00 oz Galaxy (Pellets, 14.00% AA) @ Keg Hop
1.00 ml Hexalone (Extract, 50.00% AA) @ Keg

16 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) @ Mash
9 g Calcium Chloride @ Mash
5 tsp Lactic Acid @ Mash
1 Whirlfloc Tablet @ 5 min


Imperial #A20 Citrus

Brewed 1/14/18

Made a 2.5L starter on 1/12/18, yeast was 6 months old, but it started working quickly. 24 hours on a stir-plate.

All hops 2017 Harvest, except Simcoe (2014).

11 gallons filtered DC, 6 gallons of distilled for the mash. All salts and 2 tsp of lactic acid at the start. Measured pH at 5.51 (at mash temp), added 2 more tsp of lactic acid to 5.29, and 1 last tsp to 5.25 (~5.4-5.45 at room temp).

Collected 16 gallons of 1.060 wort. Extended boil to achieve target gravity. Chilled to 70F, shook to aerate, pitched.

Fermentation internal temperature relatively steady at 67-68F internal.

1/17/18 Dry hopped both halves in primary, loose.

1/26/18 Transferred both to kegs with the additional doses of dry hops and 1 mL of Hexalone. Also added 3 oz of table sugar and 1 g of rehydrated CBC-1. Left at 65F to carbonate. FG on both is 1.020.

2/3/18 Moved both the the kegerator and attacatt to gas.

2/15/18 Jumped the Citra/Galaxy half to a keg that I had filled with StarSan and then pushed out with CO2. Served at Love Thy Beer: Winter Warmer Showcase.

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


Andrew said...

Congrats - can't wait for the place to open. Is there a knee in the curve when it comes to late hopping and, if so, did these beers hit it? A lot of hops in the mix there.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Without better agitation, this is about the saturation point I think. Otherwise breaking the hops into more additions would be the only way to get more aroma. For example taking a few ounces of of the "conditioning" addition, and adding them to the keg that I jumped to.

I'm becoming more convinced that specific hot-side hops aren't all that essential when you come over the top with loads of dry hopping. I don't think we'll be adding any rare/spendy varieties to the whirlpool for most IPAs/DIPAs.

asparknz said...

Where can I find more information about the enzymes released from Mosaic? That is a very fascinating nugget of information. I can count a number of beers seemingly dropping in gravity and subsequent diacetyl after a dry hop from terminal. I always assumed it was from oxygen introduced with less floculant yeast in the mix

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

There isn't much information out there, mostly anecdotes and a few old papers mentioning enzyme activity. I first heard about it at CBC last year. A little more information here.

Unknown said...

for what it's worth, I think that Belma is a pretty subdued flavor overall. I've definitely noticed this hop creep effect though, and I thought it had been me messing up my natural carbonation calculations! I could still be sloppy with the calculations/fermentation, but I'm beginning to think that this could be what I've been experiencing.

James said...

The political situation is distressing. Living outside Maryland, I don't think there's anything I can do, but I hope Maryland homebrewers, craft beer drinkers, et al. are mobilizing to put pressure on Annapolis.

Unknown said...

Wow! this is a very cool post, thanks! intrigued by the cheater hops to use up old hops. i've been wondering the same thing as some say that Trillium uses CTZ in hopstands and sexy hops in dryhop. also, it seems to me the dryhop is most important anyway.

the amylase activity of the hops leading to VDKs in the keg is also fascinating. i wonder what we could do to denature the enzymes in the hops before adding them to prevent this effect (without damaging the character of the dry hops)

Unknown said...

Mike another great video thanks for providing all this great information one quick question do you play around with temperatures for your Whirlpool and if you found a difference? For this particular batch I maybe I missed it but did you use a certain temperature or just throw them in after you shut down the burner...cheers!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I haven't found that a lower temperature whirlpool is more preservative of hop aromatics, but a cooler whirlpool is a nice approach for reducing bitterness. For a DIPA I'm fine with the contribution just off the boil, but it certainly makes sense to pre-chill for a highly-hopped session IPA or hoppy sour.

Unknown said...

I haven’t naturally carbed since I started kegging, but I’m very intreagued. I like the idea of getting a 2nd chance at dry hopping with O2 scrubbing. Can you detail the process a little more? Do you boil water and cool it to the yeast hydration temp? Do you pressurize the keg. Is it fully carbed and ready to drink after about a week?

Ben Cops said...

Are you sure your simcoe was 9%?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Michael. Yes I pre-boil the rehydration water in the microwave to ensure it is sanitary and allow it to cool until it is ~95F. After the yeast hydrates I swirl it for a few minutes to ensure the cells towards the center of each granule are exposed to the water as well. Ideally by then the yeast have cooled to about the temperature of the wort. I pressurize the keg to ensure it seals properly after everything is inside. CBC-1 is quick, it might be fully carbonated in a couple days!

Ben, as noted the Simcoe was 2014 harvest, so I adjusted the alpha acid down from the stated 12.4%.

Ben Cops said...

sorry, skimmed the article to get at the recipe (I did watch the youtube though!)

Baldilocks said...

Thanks for the knowledge Mike. I am really digging in to the concept that you are purporting here and with your previous post on biotransformation and would like to incorporate this into my brewing for a few trials - specifically a standard whirlpool edition but vary the dry hops. I have a couple of questions for you, but let me set them up:

As I studied the information here and many other places it seems that Linalool / Geraniol / 4MMP (4MSP) and B-Citronellol are the key players in NEIPA (as you pointed out). Considering that, why haven't folks focused on Centennial as an optimal source for Linalool / Geraniol and the biotransformation? It is comparable linalool and double the geraniol of everything out that that I have found.

Additionally the boiling point for linalool / geraniol is beyond that of water, so one could actually load up the wort on these two oils at any temp in preparation for the yeast and biotransformation. (I think the commonly cited study on biotransformation by K. Takoi supports my hypothesis). What do you think?

Assuming I am "on to something" I am planning on using Centennial as my "go to" cheap whirlpool agent to prime the wort for biotransformation and then rely all of the juicy "Cheater" hops for dry hopping.

On the other hand if all of this is bunk, how about just using Citra as the main whirlpool agent and calling it a day. As a homebrewer it is readily accessible.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Centennial has never been one of my favorite hops for dry hopping, so it just isn't in my usual rotation of varieties. It would certainly be a good choice for hot-side additions though!

The issue with earlier boil additions is that they would up the bitterness, which is why most people stick to whirlpool. I haven't read into it enough to see if there is any issue with those molecules earlier in the boil otherwise.

Nothing wrong with Citra (in fact it is ideal), it just costs considerably more than the other options.

Best of luck, let me know how it goes!

Unknown said...

Hop creep is brutal. We have been living it for a year and a half, and unable to release a commercial NEIPA as a result. Your beers stopped at 4 to 5 plato. Ours ferment DRY. We have one that has been ticking over for 8 weeks. It's at 0.6 plato now. Saison gravity. We have brewed 160 barrels in the last year and released none of it. Working with Seibel to test for wild yeast and enzymes. Doesn't happen with our regular West Coast IPA only our neipa using Mosaic. So frustrating... amazed other breweries aren't having the same issues. Maybe our organic hops are a bit different. We denatured enzymes and wild yeast with hot water slurry once during dry-hop with a hop cannon - but it changes the nature of the hop - don't get the same fruity aroma - more heavy resiny aroma comes out.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is fascinating, Daniel. So, you're worried that the yeast will keep working in the package and overcarbonate? Do you also get more diacetyl formation as the yeast produce precursors during the renewed fermentation? Did the hot water treatment work to denature the enzymes despite the flavor changes?

Unknown said...

Absolutely, the bottles will blow up, as we are talking several plato, not just 0.2 plato. And the profile of the beer is off, far too dry. Diacetyl has not been an issue - the aromas have stayed very nice as the beer dries out. The hot water hop cannon idea worked at killing the yeast & enzymes, but failed when it came to dry hop aroma. Less juicy fruit, and more heavy aromas. Still going in circles here...

Anonymous said...

It might be worth trying soaking the hops in room temp water at an extreme pH. It could dentaure the amylases permanently. Then, you could change the pH back to whatever it was and add the hops. Not sure if that would impact flavor or permanently inactivate them but it might be worth trying in a homebrew size batch.

Also, I wonder if you could get by with a lower temperature soak, maybe 140F?

Unknown said...

Just tapped my attempt at this recipe. Unbelievable! I whirlpooled at 170ish before I reread your note that you did it straight off the boil. It seems to have a perfect amount of bitterness. Thanks for sharing your approach. Can't wait for July!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Cheers! I like my NEIPAs a bit more bitter than some others. My most recent batch I saved some of the whirlpool addition to add when I started chilling to preserve more volatile aromatics. Not sure it did much, but will wait for it to fully carbonate to render judgement.

Baldilocks said...

Follow-up - ("Unknown" on 3/14)

Malt bill - 45% Golden Promise, 45% Pilsner, 5% Honey Malt, 5% Carafoam (not carapils) - best foam & lacing every had. Mouthfeel is same as ever.

Bittering target 30-35IBUs 60min boil

One whirlpool at 160* for 30min - 6oz Citra

Split fermentation into corny kegs - 3gal ea:
A: yeast wyeast 1272 - 66degrees - 4oz Galaxy 48hrs into ferm, then Spund
B: yeast Imperial Organic A20 Citrus (Trois) - 66degrees - 4oz Galaxy 48hrs into ferm, then Spund

Transfer to serving keg at day 5, move kegs to room temp for one week.

Chill for few days, serve then blend 50:50 in a Hazy IPA ever made - Better than Citra/Mosaic/Galaxy IMHO

GUI_Center said...

Question about your keg hops. It seems as though you just leave the keg hops in during the entire serving time, is that the case? Obviously you jumped the citra/galaxy after around 3 weeks for the event, but seems as though the other keg you just leave the hops in. How long would the beer typically last you? Is there a length of time after which you would jump beer to a clean keg if you knew you would not finish it before then. Just trying to understand if there are any issues leaving beer on hops in the keg if it's not finished in a month lets say, probably longer though.

BTW, been to Sapwood a few times already and have brought out of towners as well, great beers you and Scott are making!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Generally the beer was kicked or fading (4-6 weeks) before I had any issue with long-exposure to keg hops. I suspect the cold storage reduces the risk of over-extracted grassy or tannic flavors. Give it try and see if you have any issues towards the end of the keg. I may just not be as sensitive as some people (although I never had anyone complain about those flavors in my beers).

Cheers! We're still learning and hopefully improving, but glad we hit the ground running!

FTC said...

So isnt your water profile in this beer creating a more west coasty profile than neipa?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

This one is certainly more West Coast leaning than my typical, although it isn't "fully" West Coast (I'd put that closer to 200:50). I'm a big advocate of playing with water to find what works for your palate rather than just sticking to standard targets.