Lessons in Brewing Brut IPA

Written by Ryan Walker

The sound of a bone dry, effervescent, hop-forward beer is very appealing to me. As soon as I heard of this new style of IPA, I knew I had to try brewing it. Apart from THIS ARTICLE (which wasn’t published until after my first attempt at the style), there is not a whole lot of info out there on how to brew a Brut IPA properly. More and more info is coming to light as more brewers try their hand at the style.

I used the dry version of Glucoamylase packaged by FermFast. It has worked well for me in the past when added directly to the fermenter.

One of the biggest things that makes a Brut IPA so dry (terminal gravity around 1.000) is the addition of an enzyme called Glucoamylase (or Amyloglucosidase). This enzyme breaks down complex sugars created in the mash into more simple, easily fermented sugars. This enzyme is denatured at higher temperatures, so common practice is to add it either to the mash (around 143-146F) or directly to the fermentor right when you pitch your yeast (once the wort is chilled). For my first attempt at Brut IPA, I opted for the latter, mostly because it sounded easier. 

This method definitely worked quite effectively (that batch finished with a final gravity of .996… extremely dry), however, it felt like the hops were not shining as much as I would have liked. I dry hopped the beer quite heavily with about 8 ounces total in a 5 gallon batch, and they just seemed muted. Considering the massive dry hop, and the less-than-huge hop aroma of the beer, I was a little turned off by the style. A few weeks later, the article linked above was published. The creator of the style was interviewed for the article and gave his recommendations on how to go about brewing a Brut IPA. In the article, he recommends adding the enzyme to the mash. According to his experiences, the hop aromatics are much more pronounced when the enzyme is not present throughout fermentation. I had to try brewing a Brut IPA again.

We set up to brew another attempt at Brut IPA, and once the grain was doughed in and sitting around 144F, we added the enzyme and stirred it in to mix evenly into the mash. It was a busy day that day, so my attention was not solely on brewing, unfortunately. We let the mash sit around 144F for about 30-40 minutes before ramping up to 150F to denature the enzyme and finish up conversion. This is where things went wrong, I believe. I do not think I let the enzyme have enough time to finish it’s job. The rest of brew day finished up rather smoothly and the beers were fermenting happily the next day. We went about dry hopping and eventually kegged the beer when it was ready. When kegging, I took a final gravity of each carboy (half of the batch fermented with OYL-004 West Coast Ale and the other half with OYL-091 Hornindal Kveik from Omega Yeast Labs). The West Coast Ale yeast finished at 1.008 and the Hornindal at 1.010. I was a little disappointed, however, the beers are tasting and smelling great so it is not a total loss. I don’t think I can justifiably call this batch a Brut IPA, so considering the higher final gravity, I will just call it an Extra Pale Ale. Recipe is below for those interested.

Recipe for 10 Gallon Batch:

FERMENTABLES:
10 lb – German – Pilsner (50%)
7 lb – United Kingdom – Maris Otter Pale (35%)
1.5 lb – Flaked Rice (7.5%)
1 lb – Flaked Corn (5%)
0.5 lb – German – Acidulated Malt (2.5%)

HOPS:
1 oz – Hallertau Hersbrucker, AA: 3, First Wort
5 oz – Nelson, AA: 10.6, Whirlpool for 20 min
3 oz – Mosaic, AA: 11.3, Whirlpool for 20 min
4 oz – Nelson Sauvin Dry Hop for 4 days
2 oz – Vic Secret, Dry Hop for 4 days
5 oz – Nelson Sauvin Dry Hop for 2 days
2 oz – Galaxy Dry Hop for 2 days

The journey to brewing an awesome Brut IPA is still ongoing. For the next attempt, I will add a little more enzyme (looking back, I may have skimped on this a little) and let it rest in the mash for an entire hour, or maybe even longer just to be sure it does it’s thing. The article linked above is a great resource, but make sure you follow ALL of his directions, or you might just end up with a light-bodied IPA instead of a bone-dry Brut.

Brewing the BJCP Styles

Written by Andy Denton

Starting the beginning of January, I had an idea. I am not sure if it was a good one yet, but only time will tell. I was looking at the BJCP ( Beer Judge Certification Program) guidelines and thought it would be a good idea to brew one style from each category. The BJCP currently has up to 40 different categories listed including mead and cider. This will certainly be an adventure. Questions and comments are appreciated.

First up – Style 1, Sub Category 1A American Light Lager

Recipe: Lawson Light Lager

Measuring specific gravity
Over shot my gravity a bit

Canada Malting 6 Row

Flaked Corn

Vienna Malt

Acidulated Malt

Magnum and Hallertau Hops

Omega Bayern Lager Yeast

This is a well known style, but not one that is brewed by the home brewer all that often. Reading the profile, and taking in our countries love of hops, I can see why. According to the BJCP the characteristics are as follows:

“A highly-attenuated pale lager without strong flavors, typically well-balanced and highly carbonated. Served cold, it is refreshing and thirst-quenching.” It is also know to have a very low hop, malt, and yeast characteristics, hence why you drink it ice cold, there isn’t much to taste!

On brew day I did overshoot my gravity and volume a bit, I have been getting awesome efficiency on the Blichmann Horizontal Brew System and will be adjusting my recipes a bit to reflect the gained efficiency.

Now beer is currently in the lager chamber and waiting on the taste test once carbonation is complete. I will update with more details shortly.  

 

Next up – Style 2 sub category 2B International Amber Lager

Recipe: Most Interesting Beer in the World

6 Row

RIMS Brewing, Electric Brewing, Blichmann Engineering, Mash Tun
Recirculating the mash

Cara Amber

Vienna Malt

Flaked Corn and Flaked Rice

Dark Crystal

Carafa II

Acidulated Malt

Cascade and Cluster for the Hops

I reused the yeast cake from the Lawson Light Lager

The International Amber Lager, is a bit more of a crowd pleasing style. This style taken from the guidelines is “A well-attenuated malty amber lager with an interesting caramel or toast quality and restrained bitterness. Usually fairly well-attenuated, often with an adjunct quality. Smooth, easily-drinkable lager character.” I can’t wait for this beer to be ready to sample!

Tilt Hydrometer, Hydrometer, Tilt Pi
Tilt Data Sheet

To monitor fermentation I used the Tilt Hydrometer and a Rasberry Pi, so I could see what the temperature and Specific Gravity was reading from anywhere I could connect to the internet. Very cool piece of equipment, it may be one of the coolest things I have seen in awhile. This technology gave me a better indication to when I should warm up the beer for a diacytl rest as well as giving live action data.

Can Your Own Homebrew

Written by Andy Denton

It is time to can your own homebrew!

 What is included in the rental

  • Use of our
    Blichmann Beer Gun
  • Co2 for purging
  • Sanitizing solution
  • 48 twelve ounce cans
  • Seamer / Canner to put the lid on
  • Guidance from our staff to help you along the way.
  • Canning and cleanup with two people will take approximately an hour.
  • Allow more time if you are by yourself.
  • 16 oz cans will be available as well for no additional charge.  We may not always have 16 oz cans in stock so call ahead to check availability.
  • For additional charge you can have labels custom made and printed with your image or design.
  • Or use one of our ready to go labels.
  • Call or email us for more details.
  • Plastic 6 pack or 4 pack carriers will be available upon request
  • We are currently testing to see what happens if you “ Can Condition “ your beer adding priming sugar to uncarbonated beer.
  • Introductory price for canning your homebrew is $35.00
  • This is also great for corporate events to add to your Private Brewing Parties
  • Call or email to schedule a time to can your homebrew!