Wednesday, January 4, 2012

#17 - Ronk Island IPA [Extract]

My favourite type of beer at the moment is the IPA (India Pale Ale). I like it because it is relatively light in terms of malt flavour and heavy in terms of hop bittering and aroma. One brand of commercial IPA which has got my attention again and again is Goose Island IPA. I decided to make a clone of this beer using a modified extract recipe from one of the American brewing websites. It was modified due to availability of hops and grain in my main home brew supplier.  
Ingredients for Kit, Extract and All Grain Brews
Over Christmas I got plenty of brewing equipment and vouchers so I decided to finally make the transition to All Grain brewing.

This brew would probably be my last extract brew before I exclusively transition to all grain. The adjacent photo shows the ingredients for 3 brews (1016, 1017 and 1018) and pretty much represents my progress in learning brewing over the last 8 months.

Yeast Starter, Irish Moss and Hops
I made a yeast starter for this brew using Danstar Nottingham yeast. I made this with a small amount of malt extract and hops. The dust from the pellet hops can actually be seen on the krausen on top of the starter. 

I boiled the brew with my new boiler which is just a fermenter bucket with a 2kW (240V) kettle element and a hop strainer. The 2kW element is sufficient to achieve a good rolling boil but it takes quite a while to reach this point. A great improvement would be the addition of a second element to speed up the boiling process and then turn it off once a rolling boil starts. This addition would save nearly an hour on brew-day! The hop strainer consists of a copper pipe covered in holes which is then connected to a tap in the side of the boiler. This strainer simply does not work if pellet hops are used, I tried to use it and not even a drop came out it was blocked too badly. It works perfectly when only leaf hops are used. 

Steeping Grains
 The recipe calls for 3 different types of grain, 2 of which need to be mashed (Wheat and Munich Malt) and 1 which only needs to be steeped (Crystal). The recipe doesn't say that they need to be mashed so they are really only contributing some flavour. I decided to try and get a bit of conversion going and left all the grain steeping for an hour at approximately 67 degrees C (152 degrees F). 

As can be seen from the photo, the colour is beginning to change due to the contribution from the crystal grains. I found that the other grains were making the beer cloudy more than anything else which was probably mainly starch as there was not enough base grain for a good conversion to take place.  

Once the grains were steeped for an hour I brought the wort back up to boiling and started the timer for the hop additions. The hops were added as per schedule along with the Irish moss. I think I added too much Irish moss as there was a huge amount of break material generated while the wort was cooling. As stated earlier, the hop strainer was instantly blocked from the volume of material which must have taken up between 4 and 5 litres at the bottom of the boiler. I siphoned out the wort into the fermenter and it eventually got blocked once the wort drained to the same level as the break material. I got 18 litres instead of the anticipated 19 litres so I have updated the boiler losses in BeerSmith to take this into account.

The recipe for this brew can be found below:
Recipe: Ronk Island IPA TYPE: Extract    Style: American IPA

---RECIPE SPECIFICATIONS-----------------------------------------------
SRM: 21.6 EBC SRM RANGE: 11.8-29.6 EBC
IBU: 66.0 IBUs Tinseth IBU RANGE: 40.0-70.0 IBUs
OG: 1.060 SG OG RANGE: 1.056-1.075 SG
FG: 1.014 SG FG RANGE: 1.010-1.018 SG
BU:GU: 1.093 Calories: 427.1 kcal/l Est ABV: 6.1 %
EE%: 70.00 % Batch: 19.00 l      Boil: 26.21 l BT: 60 Mins
Total Grain Weight: 4.20 kg Total Hops: 105.00 g oz.
---MASH/STEEP PROCESS------MASH PH:5.40 ------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
0.50 kg               Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (78.8 EBC)    Grain         1        11.9 %        
0.35 kg               Munich Malt (17.7 EBC)                   Grain         2        8.3 %         
0.35 kg               Wheat Malt, Ger (3.9 EBC)                Grain         3        8.3 %         
Remove grains, and prepare to boil wort
---BOIL PROCESS-----------------------------
Est Pre_Boil Gravity: 1.050 SG Est OG: 1.060 SG
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
3.00 kg               Light Dry Extract (15.8 EBC)             Dry Extract   4        71.4 %        
37.00 g               Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min     Hop           5        42.7 IBUs     
38.00 g               Fuggles [4.50 %] - Boil 30.0 min         Hop           6        15.2 IBUs     
1.00 tsp              Irish Moss (Boil 20.0 mins)              Fining        7        -             
22.00 g               Fuggles [4.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min         Hop           8        5.7 IBUs      
8.00 g                Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min         Hop           9        2.5 IBUs      
---FERM PROCESS-----------------------------
Primary Start: 01/01/2012 - 4.00 Days at 19.4 C
Secondary Start: 05/01/2012 - 10.00 Days at 19.4 C
Style Carb Range: 2.20-2.70 Vols

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