Brewing a Vermont style IPA/APA

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Re: Brewing a Vermont style IPA/APA

Postby keezer » January 21st, 2016, 12:50 am

A bit late to the convo, but my last IPA was extremely juicy. So juicy it tasted like it had a blend of fruit juices added. I've never brewed this exact recipe before, so I can't identify a specific game changer.

Amt Name
19 lbs Rahr 2-Row (2.1 SRM)
1.25 oz Magnum [11.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min
1.50 oz Amarillo [9.60 %] - Boil 10.0 min
1.00 oz Cascade [7.10 %] - Boil 10.0 min
1.00 oz Centennial [9.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min
1.50 oz Amarillo [9.60 %] - Boil 5.0 min
1.00 oz Cascade [7.10 %] - Boil 5.0 min
1.00 oz Centennial [9.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min
1.30 oz Amarillo Gold [9.60 %] - Steep/Whirlpool Hop
1.30 oz Cascade [7.10 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 Hop
1.00 oz Centennial [9.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0 Hop

I used US-05. A lot of people say they get a peach note from this strain. Maybe that contributed.

I did not write down the exact hops I used for dry hopping, but I'm pretty sure it was:
1.5 Amarillo
1.5 Cascade
1.0 Centennial

A simple grain bill is definitely best for the type of IPA you're going for (and the type that I prefer).

I had gotten lazy for a while with respect to hop schedule. I've been just doing 60 min, 7 min and hop stand additions. Going back to 10 and 5 min late additions combined with a hop stand involving some pretty fruity hops may have been a difference maker. I've also become a big believer in letting the hops free float during the boil (no hop spiders, baskets or bags). I get better overall hop utilization that way.

After quite a bit of personal experimentation since early 2014 and a discussion with Steve Dressler at Boulevardia last year, I am now convinced that post-fermentation pH is one of the most important and most overlooked IPA metrics. You really want to be under 4.6. Any higher and the hops become very muddled and boring. If you can go even lower, you'll get even better hop expression. This beer was 4.40.
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Re: Brewing a Vermont style IPA/APA

Postby flip » January 21st, 2016, 9:34 am

Centennial and Amarillo. Mmmmm... 2 of my favorite classic hops.

I also believe in free floating hops. I've tried hop bags and haven't been able to get enough surface contact. I have to put a big filter around my dip tube though, and even still get some clogs if I use too many pellets. I've switched to whole leaf for most of my hops now due to this issue.

Interesting note on the ph. I've never measured my ph past the mash stage. I don't know where any of my finished beers have ended up at.
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Re: Brewing a Vermont style IPA/APA

Postby keezer » January 21st, 2016, 11:58 am

flip wrote:Centennial and Amarillo. Mmmmm... 2 of my favorite classic hops.

Funny...only a few years ago these were the new, hyped, somewhat hard-to-get hops. IMO some of the "classics" are still some of the best hops...including Cascade. Azacca and Mosaic are pretty amazing from the new varieties. I'm rarely a fan of Citra. I like the way they smell, but not the flavor (usually).

flip wrote:I have to put a big filter around my dip tube though, and even still get some clogs if I use too many pellets. I've switched to whole leaf for most of my hops now due to this issue.

I've found free floating hops to be a huge PITA--especially with pellets. I use a plate chiller, so I have to filter them out somehow. I've tried a bunch of solutions and have yet to find one that works perfectly. Worth the PITA for a hoppy beer, though.

I've used 95% whole hops since I started brewing, so that has helped. I really want to switch to pellets though, for storage space efficiency and better overall availability. I need a good filtration solution first.

What type of filter do you use?
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Re: Brewing a Vermont style IPA/APA

Postby flip » January 21st, 2016, 12:06 pm

keezer wrote:What type of filter do you use?


I built a large hop taco (See here if you're unfamiliar: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9261&d=1232115387 ) that spans the bottom of my brew kettle, with 2 pieces of stainless steel mesh and tied them together with stainless steel wire, and that's clamped around my dip tube. The large surface area allows there to be enough gaps between hops to let the wort flow through. The mesh is even fine enough that it mostly works with pellet hops. But I can't do it with IPAs/APAs just because of the sheer amount of hop and break material that cakes it up. Whole cone hops mostly work though. I still have issues occasionally. I've decided I should probably figure out a second filter solution if I want to use pellets again, like a false bottom, in addition to the hop taco.
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Re: Brewing a Vermont style IPA/APA

Postby keezer » January 21st, 2016, 12:22 pm

I've tried that too. It's collecting dust now. Even with a small amount of whole hops, it would clog pretty easily due to break material.

I've also tried the 8 5/8" version of this with different mesh densities. Even with the larger mesh, the holes would clog with solids and affect hop utilization. My original one was just a basket (no spider) and it would actually dance around in the boil and splash wort over the side of the kettle. Collecting dust.

Lately I've been using a stainless steel toilet braid, like a lot of people use in their mash tuns. Still, clogging problems.

It seems like every thing I try works well for a couple batches, then I have clogging problems--even after thorough cleanings.

I've also been thinking a two stage solution might be the answer. Haven't put much thought into it yet, though.
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Re: Brewing a Vermont style IPA/APA

Postby dansb » January 21st, 2016, 6:40 pm

My basic plan:

Conan

15 lbs consisting of pale, caramel 10, and white wheat.
2oz magnum full boil.
Turbinado sugar.

Og 1.070 ish off the top of my head.

Then the following spread from late boil through dry hop.. ratios not chosen yet.

5oz simcoe
3oz columbus
1.5oz warrior
2oz amarillo
1.5oz centennial

Lactic and gypsum to adjust water.

Rough draft from admitted newb. Once friends look this over this brew morning things are likely to change.
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Re: Brewing a Vermont style IPA/APA

Postby dansb » January 25th, 2016, 11:42 am

Got mine brewed saturday. Went loose pellet hops. Will likey go loose for both dry hops as well and remove at secondary and kegging.
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Re: Brewing a Vermont style IPA/APA

Postby dansb » March 29th, 2016, 7:44 pm

Got mine done. It did not go as planned. First yeast quit on me. Second pitch took off like a rocket but i had to leave town... the temp got out of the peachy conan range during that time sadly. Force carbed late feb early march. It was not great.. i assume the failed yeast caused issues. Fast forward to last weeknd... tastes great. Smooth double ipa. Not what it was intended but it finally tastes pretty good.
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Re: Brewing a Vermont style IPA/APA

Postby Oceanbear1 » August 9th, 2016, 8:54 am

I know I'm late to the thread, but now that I'm settling in, this is the style I plan on trying to tackle, so this thread has been helpful.

Since my space is heavily reduced, I plan on switching to gallon batches.
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Re: Brewing a Vermont style IPA/APA

Postby dansb » August 9th, 2016, 7:45 pm

Gallon is not a bad idea. Expensive to brew and a short shelf life. I went to half batches
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