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Old 07-07-2012, 10:59 PM   #1
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Default Citra/Vienna SMaSH IIPA help

I would like to make an entry for a local competition in a SMaSH IIPA category. I've never done a SMaSH beer and don't have a lot of experience with IIPA's. I have brewed a lot of Pale's and hoppy IPA's though and love them.

I'm curious what you think about a few things:

1.) Citra/Vienna combo and Vienna in an IIPA SMaSH. With a big beer - would Vienna be too much? Should I consider another hop?

2.) I have heard you can boil your first runnings really hard to carmelize it and create the effect of a little crystal malt. Thoughts?

3.) What do you think of the IBU/OG ratio I am shooting for?

4.) Yeast selection? I thought 1272 would be a good choice due to it's attenuation and flocculation. Am I worrying about clear beer too much for a comp? I have trouble getting 1056/S-05 to get really clear usually. What yeast would you use?

All input welcome and appreciated of course.

Recipe:
Original Gravity: 1.079
Final Gravity: 1.016
IBU (tinseth): 80.03
SRM (morey): 8.2

Fermentables
18 lb Vienna

Hops
1 oz Citra (13.9 AA) FWH
1 oz Citra 20
2.25 oz Citra 10 min
2 oz Citra 0 min
2oz Citra dry hop

Yeast
Wyeast - American Ale II 1272



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Old 07-07-2012, 11:15 PM   #2
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It depends on what you like, but I would shy away from all Vienna on a IIPA. If you like DFH 90, go for it, but I'd opt for Pilsner or plain 2-row. A pound or two of white sugar doesn't hurt either.



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Old 07-07-2012, 11:18 PM   #3
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It depends on what you like, but I would shy away from all Vienna on a IIPA. If you like DFH 90, go for it, but I'd opt for Pilsner or plain 2-row. A pound or two of white sugar doesn't hurt either.
I do like DFH 90 quite a bit. Not sure I can get away with sugar in a SMaSH comp though can I?
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:49 AM   #4
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I've used less citra and was overpowered by the flavor additions, but I also make wussy beers like MisterTipsy's Biscuits and Marmalade Ale, so take that with a grain of salt.

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Old 07-08-2012, 02:49 PM   #5
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I agree, Citra can get out of hand but I am inspired by Kern's and Zombie Dust.

I'm still heavily considering Centennial. That hop seems complex on its own and is just terrific. I was hoping to create a flavor that diverged from the norm a bit though. With Citra's growing popularity, not sure it is a good idea.

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Old 07-08-2012, 04:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Not sure I can get away with sugar in a SMaSH comp though can I?
It's single malt, not single fermentable.
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:33 PM   #7
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Bump - sure could use some help on this, HBT.

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Old 07-09-2012, 03:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jammin View Post
I'm curious what you think about a few things:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jammin View Post
1.) Citra/Vienna combo and Vienna in an IIPA SMaSH. With a big beer - would Vienna be too much? Should I consider another hop?
Vienna is typically used for full body beers. For an IPA, if you were deadset of using 100% of it, then I would mash really low and use some sugar in place of some of the Vienna.

I think Citra is one of those hops that can overshadow traits of even the most characterful base malts, and even characterful yeasts... especially when you use a lot of it, or it a large majority late. You will usually end up with something very fruity/tropical/melony. That is why I believe the best fit for it is American 2-row and WLP001. It allows the Citra to shine, as it was intended to do. Heck, Citra was probably designed with that concept in mind.

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Originally Posted by jammin View Post
2.) I have heard you can boil your first runnings really hard to carmelize it and create the effect of a little crystal malt. Thoughts?
I don't recommend boiling wort away to a syrup for the sole effect of increased caramelization. I think 4-8 oz. of crystal malt will cost less than the resources/time spent boiling/reducing. But again, you're looking to use one single grain here. Try toasting some of your base grain maybe for a more toasty effect?

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3.) What do you think of the IBU/OG ratio I am shooting for?
I think less is more, especially for a SMaSH brew. The delicacy/grace in a SMaSH recipe is what can make the ingredients shine for a new brewer who wants to learn about the ingredients... not enter it into competitions to win awards for amazing complexity/uniqueness. I would shoot for 1.050-1.060, a low FG, and use probably 6-7 oz. or so hops for a 5 gallon batch... the majority of those hops late in the boil and in the dryhop.

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4.) Yeast selection? I thought 1272 would be a good choice due to it's attenuation and flocculation. Am I worrying about clear beer too much for a comp? I have trouble getting 1056/S-05 to get really clear usually. What yeast would you use?
See above where I mentioned WLP001. You could also go with Pearl base malt, Centennial hops, and WLP007.. which I think would make a better SMaSH IPA.

Clarity is not only about flocculation rates. I find that time and gravity are the real tricks to clarity. Of course, there are many other factors that come into play. But new brewers especially could afford to be more careful about stirring up trub and racking, which will help to aid clarity more than any other method. I like setting the carboy at counter height and leaving it there for the duration of fermenting and conditioning (3-4 weeks) so I can rack directly from that height without moving the carboy and stirring up the trub. I also wrap my racking cane with a nylon mesh bag and avoid hitting the bottom of the vessel with the cane tip.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:05 PM   #9
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I like all vienna in a smash brew, but don't like all citra. Its a great hop when its combined with others, but gets out of hand by itself.

You can boil down the first runnings into a carmel to change the flavor. When ive done this, I wasnt particularly thrilled. But i think I over boiled it. Id suggest only boiling it down to half the starting volume. An alternative I prefer is to do a decoction... Better flavors, imo

As for ibus, shoot for 90 - 100 ibus with an iipa at 1.080 og. Id suggest spreading the additions out, from 20, 15, 10, 5 and 0, and dry. Lots of people on here will say you only need 15, 5, 0 or 10, 0, though.

And finally, go centennial over citra. I also like s04 over s05 and its relatives

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Old 07-09-2012, 05:18 PM   #10
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@ Southbay and Bob,

Wow - that is some fantastic feedback! Thank you for your insightful responses. I think you guys have made good cases for malt, hops and yeast.

I'm considering switching it up to golden promise/centennial or good Ol' pale 2 row. I like the 007 yeast idea too. I've used it on Scottland's DFH 90 clone and it performed well. I like the idea of spreading out my late additions too.

Decoction mashing is a bit intimidating for me. I have the equipment for it, have yet to attempt it.



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