The Beginner Brewer: April 2014

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Small-batch Recipe: IPA

In a previous post, we discussed the equipment you'd need for small batch experiments, and with hope, you've tried a few batches already. If you're a hop head like me, you're going to have to try and brew an IPA, so today's post covers a reliable recipe for this super-hoppy beer. Enjoy!

Humulone-Head IPA

For a 3 liter extract batch (that's a 6-pack of 440ml bottles) you will need:

Water

5 liters of H2O.

Extract and Specialty Grains

485g Dried Malt Extract
32g Caramunich I (50 SRM) Malt (steep at 65-70C for 30 minutes)
21 g Carared or similar (20 SRM) Caramel malt (steep at 65-70C for 30 minutes)

Hops


3g of Apollo @ 60 minutes
3g of Warrior @ 10 minutes
4g of Cascade @ 1 minute
4g of Warrior: Dry hop for 7 days before bottling.

Yeast

A third of a packet of US-05 dried yeast (or similar American yeast)

Others

A third of a teaspoon of Irish Moss @ 10 minutes.

For a 3 liter full-grain version:

You will need:
708g of Pale 2-row Malt
69g of Caramunich I (50 SRM) Malt
45g of Carared or similar (20 SRM) Caramel malt 

Use the same hops, Irish Moss, and yeast.

Mash Schedule (using the BIAB method):

Get your water to 72 C, then add the grains to achieve 66.7 C.

Mash the grains at this temperature for 75 minutes, then mash out at 75 C for 10 minutes and lift the bag. 
Do not squeeze the bag.

Your pre-boil gravity should be close to 1.036. Boil for 60 minutes.

Fermentation & Bottling


Ferment at 16-18C for 2 weeks. 
Bottle with 18g of dextrose or keg for 2.5 vols.

Technical Notes

Pre-boil Gravity: 1.036
OG (Original Gravity): 1.060
FG (Final Gravity): 1.014
ABV (Alcohol): 6.0%
IBUs (Bitterness Units): 65

Some Experiments to Try:

Small-batch brewing can be an excellent opportunity for the homebrewer to experiment. Here are some suggestions for this recipe:
  • Hops: Substitute the Warrior with a different hop, I recommend Centennial, EKG, Amarillo, or Chinook
  • Sugars: Try adding some Maple Syrup (about 60g) in the boil for a dry finish and wooded taste.
  • Other Flavors: Try adding some honey in the primary fermentation (50g) or chuck some juniper berries into the boil at 10 minutes (a handful should do).


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Sunday, 6 April 2014

3 Beer Books for Non-Brewers

Homebrewers are a passionate lot (some would say obsessive), and often want to share our love for beer with friends and family.

So, apart from handing over your latest masterpiece in a tall pint glass, what about gifts that can be given to help others understand this wonderful hobby (i.e. obsession)?

Today's post looks at three books that homebrewers can safely hand to their non-brewing friends and loved ones without risking a puzzled look.

Brewing up a Business: Adventures in Beer


The author, Sam Calagione, is the owner and mad beer genius behind Dogfish Head Breweries, famous for their 60 minute IPA and recreating ancient brews from around the world. He's also written some kick-ass how-to books for homebrewers.

In this book, Sam takes a bit of a departure from that and talks business. More specifically, he takes the reader on an entertaining and occasionally revolutionary journey through his craft business model. 

If your non-brewing friend or significant other has an interest in business, guerrilla marketing, or just plain fascinating autobiography, this book is a great read.

The Brewmaster's Table


Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery in NYC, and also a leading authority on food and beer pairings. Apart from authoring this book, he's also the editor for the Oxford Companion of Beer.

The Brewmaster's Table is a fantastic read for anybody who can be described as a "foodie" or is passionate about a good meal (accompanied by good beer, of course).

I'd also recommend Oliver's book to my fellow homebrewers--He is a very, very knowledgeable brewer, and his insights into different styles of beer are incredibly useful for getting your homebrew's flavours just right.

African Brew

Lucy Corne is without a doubt one of South Africa's true craft beer heroes. In this book, she journeys across South Africa, sampling craft beer, chatting to brewers, and sharing some great beer-friendly and beer-infused recipes (sounds like hard work, that).

This is a must-have for anybody who is interested or passionate about the craft revolution currently sweeping South Africa. A solid, well written tome with lovely photography and mouthwatering food (and beer) porn. Get it.