Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Citrus Citra Light India Pale Ale

I'm brewing this as a 1 gallon all-grain IPA experiment. My concept is a beer with hops that lend the perception of citrus and actual citrus peel to accentuate and amplify that character.

I've formulated my IPAs with this formula from an article I read by Vinnie from Russian River:
90% Organic 2 Row Pale
5% Cara Pils
5% Crystal Malt (varying color) (5% max)

For this brew my goal was to pick hops with a pronounced citrus flavor: Citra hops were an obvious choice, Sorachi Ace allegedly has lemony characteristics, and Centennial has a citrus/flower reputation. Other hops exist with citrus/berry/pine flavors but I wanted to go with as much pure citrus flavor as I could to avoid muddling the citrus focus. At my LHBS they had a few dried spices that will work well with my concept: sweet orange peel, lemon peel and lime peel.

(read more after the break)

The Recipe (1 gallon):
1.57 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) 89.3 %
1.5 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) 5.4 %
1.5 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) 5.4%
0.15 oz Centennial [10.0%] - Boil 60.0 min 31 IBUs
0.05 oz Centennial [10.0%] - Boil 15.0 min 4.7 IBUs
0.05 oz Citra [12.0%] - Boil 15.0 min 5.7 IBUs
0.05 oz Sorachi [12.0%] - Boil 15.0 min 5.7 IBUs
0.10 oz Sweet Orange Peel (Boil 15.0 mins)
0.10 oz Lime Peel (Boil 15.0 mins)
0.10 oz Lemon Peel (Boil 15.0 mins)
0.05 oz Centennial [10.0%] - Boil 5.0 min 1.9 IBUs
0.05 oz Citra [12.0%] - Boil 5.0 min 2.3 IBUs
0.05 oz Sorachi [12.0%] - Boil 5.0 min 2.3 IBUs
0.10 oz Sweet Orange Peel (Boil 5.0 mins)
0.10 oz Lemon Peel (Boil 5.0 mins)  
0.10 oz Lime Peel (Boil 5.0 mins)  
0.05 oz Centennial [10.0%] - Boil 0.0 min 0.0 IBU
0.05 oz Citra [12.0%] - Boil 0.0 min 0.0 IBUs
0.05 oz Sorachi [12.0%] - Boil 0.0 min 0.0 IBUs
0.2 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05)

The Mash:
Mash In w/ 6.07 qt at 158.1 for 152.0 for 60 min
Mash Out heat to 168.0 for 10 min

Est Original Gravity: 1.045 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.009 SG  
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.7 %
Bitterness: 53.6 IBUs
Est Color: 6.7 SRM

Final Thoughts:
I am hoping this beer turns out to be south of an IPA in terms of strength but even in terms of bitterness. To achieve this I scaled back the malts in an IPA recipe to the strength of a pale ale, and then evened the hops out to maintain the bitterness ratio of the IPA. By combining the hops with zests in the flavor and aroma additions I am hoping to capture and authentic citrus flavor while keeping the bitterness at an appropriate level for an IPA. I think this sort of session micro IPA will take off amongst my friends if the flavor and bitterness can match their heavier counterparts. This isn't exactly the style for the season, but by the time spring brewing rolls around this recipe should be fine tuned for a keg.

My mash went well, no problems and measuring out my additions went as well as could be expected. I'm learning to save time and frustration as I go along. In the first 60 minutes of the brew session I cleaned all of the equipment, started the mash and measured the ingredients. Time saving is a must when a project takes a guaranteed 2.5 hours then add cooling, cleaning, and tear-down. The wort smelled phenomenal; the zest was quite apparent at flame out even with the hops. If that scent comes through in the finished product this beer will be a winner for sure.

Brewed on 9/26
Cold Conditioned on 10/5
Bottled on 10/24

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