Category Archives: Beer

IPA in the works

I’m in the middle of building an IPA. This is my fifth batch of beer this year. Where’s it all gone? (Possibly related: I’ve ridden my bike a ton and haven’t lost any weight this summer.)

This beer is based on the Yippee IPA recipe from The Homebrewer’s Recipe Guide. I substituted 1 oz of Simcoe and 1 oz of Amarillo hops for 2 1/2 oz of Cascade in the brew pot. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going for, but it seemed like a good idea. (Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA comes to mind, but I didn’t spread the additions that evenly.)

Here’s a shot of the beer being racked to the secondary, about to get dry hopped with another ounce of Cascade. This is the first time I’ve tried dry hopping. The beer’s currently sitting at 6.3% alcohol, and I expect it to go a bit higher in the next two weeks.

I was actually worried a lot that this beer would be a failure. Mark at the Bald Brewer had me try out some East Coast Ale yeast, which I’d never used before. I’m not sure why that made me nervous, but it did. Fermentation hadn’t really started 12 hours after I’d pitched the yeast. (No bubbles, no beer!) By the following morning, it was bubbling, but not really all that vigorously. The temperature was 76-78, so I figured that might be the problem. I put the fermentation bucket into plastic box, added some water, and covered the bucket with a t-shirt to do some evaporative cooling.

The next day, the bubbling had nearly stopped, and the temp was down to 68°F. Damn! Too cool! I took the t-shirt off, and by the next morning, the temp had settled in at 72°. Still, there was little or no bubbling. My other batches had bubbled very vigorously for at least two days, and all had started within a few hours. But I was heading to California, so there was nothing to do about it for five more days.

Luckily, when I returned last night, I measured the specific gravity, and saw that lots of fermentation had occurred just fine. Nothing to worry about! The beer tastes a bit bitter, or even sour. I expect it’ll mellow out fine with a secondary fermentation, and some bottle conditioning. Time will tell.