Saturday, May 20, 2017

Brew Day - Northeast Pale Ale

 That Northeast IPA is so hot right now.

Northeast hoppy ales are a lot of fun to both brew and drink. Concentrated fruity hop aroma. Subtle malt sweetness. Silky smooth body. There's not a whole lot to complain about, unless you are offended by hazy beer. Now that this wonderfully fun and playful style exists, I'd like to see where else it can be taken, and I'm not talking about "milkshake" IPA's. I'm talking about exploring the session side of things. If you can get a beer that is this much fun to drink, but in session form, why wouldn't you drink it all day?

The concept for this beer is similar to the beer I mentioned in the West Coast Pale Ale post when I discussed the aroma of pelletized Columbus hops. Except for in this beer, I chose to combine Columbus with Mosaic. Mosaic is a beast. If you were to rank the intensity of the aroma and flavor you get from it, it would be off the scale. It brings that wonderful 'tropical fruit basket' character and sneaks in some dank, sweaty pine underneath. To me, the pine really comes out when it is used in larger quantities. This is why I think it shines so well in single hopped beers (Fulton 300 comes to mind). Columbus isn't a tame hop either. I'm using it to support and enhance the resinous pine character. I'm hoping the Columbus will help to counterbalance Mosaic's strong tropical fruit character and provide additional complexity.
The number of articles available that discuss how to formulate a recipe for a Northeast hoppy ale seem to be increasing at an exponential rate. Some articles also seem to be perpetuating some things I can't say I would recommend (e.g. going out of your way to make 'haze'). I can't say I've done experiments to verify this opinion, but ultimately I think if you do two things you'll get something very similar to a Northeast IPA: use a ton of fruity hops in the whirlpool and dry hop and focus on creating a smooth, moderately full body. To improve the body, I'm using wheat to lend body-positive proteins. I've found flaked adjuncts in particular really help with this. Also, I chose to balance my water additions towards higher levels of calcium chloride. Higher chloride concentrations in the finished beer help to produce a fuller mouthfeel. For hops, the overall hop quantity I'm adding is ~1.85 oz. / gal. finished beer. This quantity is lower than but comparable to rates I have used in the past for IPA and DIPA strength beers. One thing I am trying with this beer that I haven't tried before is dry hopping during active fermentation. I've produced plenty of great Northeast IPA beers without this technique in the past so I'm curious to see what it can bring to the table (Double Dry Hopped Pseudo Sue anyone?).

Brew session beer.
Recipe Specifications:
Estimated O.G.: 1.055
Estimated F.G.: 1.013
Estimated ABV: 5.5%
Estimated IBU: 38
Estimated SRM: 4

Brewing Liquor:
100% Reverse Osmosis
0.8 g CaCl2/gal finished beer
0.4 g CaSO4/gal finished beer
10% Phosphoric Acid to acidify liquor to ~5.7

62.7% Brewers 2-Row (Briess)
23.5% White Wheat Malt (Briess)
7.8% Flaked Wheat (Briess)
3.9% Rice Hulls (Briess) (used as a filter aid)
2.0% Acidulated (BestMalz) (used to reduce mash pH)

0.06 oz. / gal finished beer Apollo @ 60 min
0.25 oz. / gal finished beer Columbus @ 30 min Whirlpool (directly after flameout)
0.4 oz. / gal finished beer Mosaic @ 15 min Whirlpool (15 min after flameout)

Dry Hops:
0.4 oz. / gal finished beer Mosaic @ 2.5 days after pitching yeast
0.1 oz. / gal finished beer Columbus @ 2.5 days after pitching yeast
0.6 oz. / gal finished beer Mosaic @ 2 days, after active fermentation is complete
0.05 oz. / gal finished beer Columbus @ 2 days, after active fermentation is complete

~100 mL Yeast Slurry White Labs WLP007 Dry English Ale in a 1 L Starter - 1 day stirred (split this for pitching)

Finished wort.
1 hr @ 152 F

Batch Sparge:
5 mins @ 170 F

75 mins
1 tsp Irish Moss @ 10 mins
1/2 tsp Wyeast Yeast Nutrient @ 10 mins
30 min Whirlpool

Cooled to ~65 F

1 min Pure O2

Pitched 0.7 L White Lab WLP007 Dry English Ale Starter
Controlling temperature at ~66 F


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