The Thirsty Beagle: Brewing with the Beagle: Summer IPA

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Brewing with the Beagle: Summer IPA

I blogged earlier about how jazzed I was to have converted my wife into an IPA drinker.

One welcome side effect of this development was that whenever I got down to the business of homebrewing, IPAs would now be on the table.

Previously, I tried to defer to styles that she would enjoy as well. No big deal, because there are plenty of good beer styles out there. As a result, in my four-plus years of homebrewing, I had made only two IPAs.

I brewed over the Memorial Day weekend -- a good weekend to brew, since it was a washout -- and decided it was time to whip up a good ol' IPA.

Because I have an abnormal infatuation with adding random ingredients to my beer -- why make a plain old saison when you can make a lavendar saison or some such concoction instead, right? -- I decided I would spice things up with a little dry-hopping-fruit action and make it a summer IPA.

My base recipe was derived from the ever-helpful book Brewing Classic Styles. If you're just cracking into homebrewing, or especially just breaking away from kits, you need to own Brewing Classic Styles. It provides great base-line recipes for all major beer styles, and from there you can tinker and deviate to shape the recipes into something more your own.

I used the BCS American IPA recipe for my grain bill, but I wanted a hop profile that would convey citrus and bright fruit notes, and one that would play off well with the bitter orange peel I planned to add, so I consulted with Gail White at The Brew Shop for that part of the recipe.

Here is the grain bill:

-12.75 pounds American two-row
-0.75 pound Munich
-1 pound Crystal (15)
-0.25 pound Crystal (40)

The hops ended up looking like this:

-1 oz. Centennial (60 min.)
-1 oz. Citra (10 min.)
-1 oz. Galaxy (5 min.)
-1 oz. El Dorado (0 min.)

Brew day was good, except for my dog, Lily Potter, running away just as I was hooking the hose up to the wort chiller. Lily, a 3-year-old Jack Russelish mutt-type, has not had much off-leash time due to the fact that she enjoys running like a greyhound and cannot be caught by any human. That is a true statement.

Anyhow, we had Lily in the garage while I was brewing in an attempt to make her into the brewhouse dog. She sniffed around the open garage door, but always retreated when we told her to get back. Plus, it was downpouring outside, and she's really not interested in getting rained on.

Just as I was grabbing the hose to hook up the chiller, the rain let up for brief moment. Lily took this as a sign that she should bolt. What ensued was a 30-minute chase through the rain and puddles, in my flip flops. If you recall the absolute deluge we had the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend, you know this was not good. My wife had it worse -- she was running through the neighborhood streets in her socks and sweatpants. Good times.

Don't let the cute looks fool you. Lily Potter is a ruthless speed demon that will break your heart and your spirit. I chased her over the mile loop around our neighborhood, always staying close enough to at least see her, but lacking the super-human ability to actually catch up with her. To her credit, she ran on the same course we typically walk on, and she ran back to the house. I almost cornered and caught her there, but she bolted again, and off I went on another mile loop around the neighborhood.

I thought at some point she would get tired and stop, or get distracted to where I could get close enough to carry out a diving-tackle-type maneuver. Nope.

Once I made it back to the house a second time, I hopped in the car to pursue that way. I found her in about 30 seconds, opened the car door, called her name, and she jumped right in all like, "Hey, I sure am glad you're here, I was getting tired of sprinting in the rain non-stop for more than two miles."


So anyway, I finally get back to the garage -- my wort abandoned and sitting out in the open air unattended for half an hour -- and get the wort chiller in. The rest has been good. According to my air lock, fermentation went nicely, and today I added 1 oz. of bitter orange peel.

I'm going to give it three or so days, and then proceed to bottling. I will report back on the final product.

Pints and Pins

-Mustang Brewing has announced that a sixth anniversary party will be July 18 at Wormy Dog Saloon. You can see that and other events on Mustang's events page.

-Prairie Artisan Ales is hosting a tour at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

-Here's a message from Learn to Brew: "Hi everyone. We're extending our sale of 5 lb CO2 tanks at $49.50 and Reconditioned Ball Lock Kegs at $49.50! These sales are available at both Moore and OKC locations until supplies run out!"

-The 2015 Wild Brew release party is tonight at Leon-Brookside (Tulsa). This year's beer is a collab between Anthem Brewing and FOAM. The beer is a Belgian tripel. Here's what the label will look like:

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