Saturday, February 18, 2012

#19 - 90 Minute IPA (Continually Hopped) [All Grain]

Given the great taste of my 60 Minute IPA, I decided to try my hand at making a clone of the Dog Fish Head 90 Minute IPA. The main difference will that this will be an all grain batch so should make a much better match to the original. I spent more money on this brew than any other due to the rarity of the ingredients. I had to get Amarillo hops from the US, Simcoe and Warrior hops from different UK stores and Special Amber malt from the UK also. I wanted to make a real effort to replicate the original style.

Given that this was going to be a high gravity wort I needed a starter. I hadn't been brewing in about 6 weeks so in that time I built my own stir plate and got a 1 litre conical flask. Upon further investigation I discovered that a 1 litre starter would be nowhere near enough for this beer as according to Mr. Malty I would need a 4 litre starter at the very least. I had 1 vial of White Labs WLP007 which was due to expire in 3 months. I had no idea as to the viability of the yeast in the vial as it had been exposed, several times, to warm temperatures both during the delivery to my supplier and also from the supplier to me.
Starter on stir plate ready to be transferred into larger vessel
I decided to make a small 800mL starter using the stir plate to increase the cell count to the 100 to 150 billion yeast cell range assuming that the current cell count was 50 Billion or less. I used the rough method of adding a 10 to 1 ratio of malt extract to water, in this case 80g for 800mL.  I used the same principal for the larger starter which was approximately 400g for 4L. This should give a gravity in the 1040 to 1050 range. 

I ran the stir plate for about 24 hours after which point I transferred the wort into a 1 gallon demijohn to increase the cell count further. In hindsight I should have done all this about 24 hours earlier as the yeast only got about 12 hours in the demijohn which I don't think was enough time. I put the starter in the fridge to encourage the yeast to fall out of suspension but this didn't happen due to time constraints. 

Dual 2kW elements heating 22L of strike water 
I was excited to see the performance of my kettle with the additional element I added last month. I was getting impatient waiting for the contents to heat up. I needed to heat this volume of water to around 73 degrees which will take into account the temperature drop when the grains are added. I had already instructed BeerSmith to allow for the fact that I would have already preheated the mash tun which hot water. 
Mash in with 7.5kg of grain
I brought the strike water up to temperature and added it to the mash tun. I then started adding the grain starting with 2 (3kg) bags of pale malt followed by 2 (0.5kg) bags of pale malt and finally 0.5kg of amber malt. I left the amber malt until last as I felt I could mix it in more evenly with the other grains in there. The first of my mistakes of the day occurred here, I will refer back to this point later.

So yeah, that brings me onto the mixing. I had always seen guys (on youtube) using mash paddles and had thought to myself, "I will never need one of them, the random spoons and stirrers around my apartment will be grand.....". I wished I had had one of those paddles today. As this was only my 2nd all grain batch I wasn't prepared for such a thick mash. I was using a normal plastic cooking spoon to stir initially and I nearly snapped it in half while trying to stir. I then changed to one of the plastic paddles for stirring wort, this worked a bit better but overall struggled to do the job. I think I have identified the next piece of equipment to purchase. I stirred as best as I could and then took the temperature. It had dropped to approximately 65degrees which is a bit lower than where I normally aim to mash but the brewing notes in the recipe indicate to mash on the low side.
I put the lid on the box and then piled on several towels on top of the lid. My opinion on coolers is that they are optimised to keep stuff cool and thus seem to skimp on insulation in the lid. This is really apparent after an hour when you put your hand in between the towels and the lid as its quite warm. 
Continuous hopping for 90 minutes
While the grains were mashing I measured out all the hops into plastic cups to make the hopping schedule easier. I mixed everything into a large bowl and measured out approximately 18g per cup which incidentally was the full cup. Each addition would be added incrementally in its respective 10 minute interval and as a result the zero minute addition doesn't really make sense as I would have been adding the 10 minute cup up until zero anyway. I decided to add it all in at flame-out to give some additional aroma as I had a some small bits of hops left over. 

I took the first running's from the mash tun after an hour and did a single batch sparge with 14 litres of water at 76 degress. The total running's from the mash tun filled my kettle almost to the brim at nearly 28 litres. I was a bit uneasy with this amount of wort as I was used to having around 25 to 26 Litres in the kettle. There was now a high risk of a boil-over before the hot-break. I fired up the two elements and took a gravity reading. DISASTER, I only had a miserable pre-boil gravity of 1051 ! This number should have been greater than 1070.  I wanted to cry. This brings me back to the first mistake. I had another 1kg of grain that I didn't put into the mash as I thought my efficiency would be better than the previous batch but unfortunately it was worse! The efficiency was working out at less than 50% or even worse. 

So I think to myself, I know what I'm doing, I don't have any malt extract so the other option is to boil for a longer period of time and increase the gravity that way, I was already 2 or 3 litres above my normal volume so it would be fine. This was mistake number 2. I think that despite that Beersmith saying it was aiming for a pre-boil volume of 26 Litres, it was taking into account the additional 30 minutes of the 90 minute boil and compensating accordingly. I came close to a boil-over before the hot break and thankfully turning off one of the elements immediately resolved the situation.  I was afraid that there would be a delay resulting in a  boil-over despite no heat. 
End of the boil
I boiled for 30 minutes and then started the timers. I continuously hopped for 90 minutes and added the wort chiller in the last 10 minutes to sterilise it. Unfortunately mistake number 2 was starting to become apparent. At this point I would usually have around 22 or 23 litres of wort after the boil. About 3 or 4 litres of this would normally be lost to trub in the end of the kettle. I had just under 20 litres at this stage so I knew I was going to come up short. I cooled the wort and transferred it through the hop strainer to the fermenter and sure enough I came up short at 15 litres. I was amazed that I had got even that much given the enormous amount of trub and hop leaves in the kettle. 

Given the extreme amount of hops in this recipe I didn't think it was a good idea to leave the volume at 15 litres. I decided to pitch the entire 4.5 litre starter into the fermenter to bring up the volume to the required amount. This had two effects of adding the yeast and also some gravity of which the yeast hadn't had a chance to eat yet. I mixed the wort up and took a gravity reading ignoring the fact that there is yeast in the mixture and probably some alcohol from the starter. The original gravity came to 1074  which I suppose isn't  too bad given the mistakes made earlier. The drink that I am attempting to clone weighs in at 9% ABV so if the my beer attenuates down to 1010 and priming adds another bit I mightn't be that far off in the end. BeerSmith is estimating that the beer will finish high at 1020 but given the lower mash temperature and the enormous starter I don't think it will finish that high. 

I added 2 bags of hops for dry hopping and I will just leave those in there for 2 weeks in the primary. I'm not going to bother transferring to secondary unless I get bored. 


Recipe:  90m IPA TYPE: All Grain
Style: Imperial IPA
---RECIPE SPECIFICATIONS-----------------------------------------------
SRM: 16.4 EBC SRM RANGE: 15.8-29.6 EBC
IBU: 122.9 IBUs Tinseth IBU RANGE: 60.0-120.0 IBUs
OG: 1.087 SG OG RANGE: 1.070-1.090 SG
FG: 1.019 SG FG RANGE: 1.010-1.020 SG
BU:GU: 1.413 Calories: 764.1 kcal/l Est ABV: 9.0 %
EE%: 70.00 % Batch: 19.00 l      Boil: 26.21 l BT: 90 Mins

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: WLP007
Yeast Starter: Yes
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.085
Final Gravity: 1.017
IBU: 90
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Color: 9SRM

Total Grain Weight: 7.50 kg Total Hops: 263.00 g oz.
---MASH/STEEP PROCESS------MASH PH:5.40 ------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
7.00 kg               Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC)         Grain         1        93.3 %        
0.50 kg               Amber Malt (43.3 EBC)                    Grain         2        6.7 %         

Name              Description                  Step Temperature       Step Time       
Mash In           Add 22.04 l of water at 72.6 66.7 C                 60 min          

Batch sparge with 3 steps (Drain mash tun, , 7.09l, 7.09l) of 75.6 C water

---BOIL PROCESS-----------------------------
Est Pre_Boil Gravity: 1.072 SG Est OG: 1.087 SG
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
10.00 g               Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Boil 90.0 min   Hop           3        7.8 IBUs      
4.00 g                Warrior [15.00 %] - Boil 90.0 min        Hop           4        5.5 IBUs      
3.00 g                Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 90.0 min         Hop           5        3.6 IBUs      
10.00 g               Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Boil 80.0 min   Hop           6        7.7 IBUs      
4.00 g                Warrior [15.00 %] - Boil 80.0 min        Hop           7        5.4 IBUs      
3.00 g                Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 80.0 min         Hop           8        3.5 IBUs      
10.00 g               Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Boil 70.0 min   Hop           9        7.6 IBUs      
4.00 g                Warrior [15.00 %] - Boil 70.0 min        Hop           10       5.3 IBUs      
3.00 g                Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 70.0 min         Hop           11       3.5 IBUs      
10.00 g               Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min   Hop           12       8.0 IBUs      
4.00 g                Warrior [15.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min        Hop           13       5.2 IBUs      
3.00 g                Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop           14       3.4 IBUs      
10.00 g               Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Boil 50.0 min   Hop           15       7.0 IBUs      
4.00 g                Warrior [15.00 %] - Boil 50.0 min        Hop           16       4.9 IBUs      
3.00 g                Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 50.0 min         Hop           17       3.2 IBUs      
10.00 g               Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Boil 40.0 min   Hop           18       6.4 IBUs      
4.00 g                Warrior [15.00 %] - Boil 40.0 min        Hop           19       4.5 IBUs      
3.00 g                Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 40.0 min         Hop           20       2.9 IBUs      
10.00 g               Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Boil 30.0 min   Hop           21       5.6 IBUs      
4.00 g                Warrior [15.00 %] - Boil 30.0 min        Hop           22       4.0 IBUs      
3.00 g                Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 30.0 min         Hop           23       2.6 IBUs      
10.00 g               Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Boil 20.0 min   Hop           24       4.4 IBUs      
4.00 g                Warrior [15.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min        Hop           25       3.1 IBUs      
3.00 g                Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min         Hop           26       2.0 IBUs      
10.00 g               Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min   Hop           27       2.7 IBUs      
4.00 g                Warrior [15.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min        Hop           28       1.9 IBUs      
3.00 g                Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min         Hop           29       1.2 IBUs      

---FERM PROCESS-----------------------------
Primary Start: 07/01/2012 - 4.00 Days at 19.4 C
Secondary Start: 11/01/2012 - 10.00 Days at 19.4 C
Style Carb Range: 2.20-2.70 Vols
Bottling Date: 21/01/2012 with 2.3 Volumes CO2: 
7.25kg 2-row
580g  Thomas Fawcett Amber Malt* (see note below)
85g Amarillo
28g Simcoe
28g Warrior

Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 2wks @ 18
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 2wks @ 21
Mix all hops together, and hop continuously for 90min** (see note below)
Mash at 149-150(65-65.5)*
Ferment with WLP007 at 18*. Use a pitch rate calculator for your starter, you want around
300 billion cells.

Dry hop:
56g Amarillo
56g Simcoe
I like to split the additions in half over the 2 weeks

*Amber malt: Use Thomas Fawcett Amber Malt, don't just use any old amber malt.If you can't find Thomas Fawcett Amber, look harder. This is the exact malt DFH uses,and it's a distinctive flavor. It's available at quite a few online retailers if your
LHBS doesn't carry it.

**Hopping: Mix all 140g of hops together, how often you add them is up to you. Some people add a couple pellets every minute, others fill up 30 dixie cups, and add one cup per 3 minutes. Personally I do 10 additions, 14g every 10 minutes, and it turns out excellent.

That's about it, it's actually a fairly easy beer to brew other than the continuous hoping. If you can't find WLP007, use WYeast 1098 - Dry Whitbread, or Safale S04. Definitely use WLP007 if it's available, the yeast character is dead on.

Make Starter  48 hours before making the brew. Chill for the last 6 - 12 hours to take the yeast out of suspension, decant the excess beer so that it is only concentrated yeast being pitched. 


  1. epic effort - looking forward to checking out the results at the Beoir Meet

  2. Yeah it was fairly stressful and exhausting. I think it was a bit too challenging for my second all grain brew. I'm going to just make a simple porter the next time and chill out. :P

    Hopefully it is up to standard for the ICB meet.