Well, my attempt at the Dogfish 120 IPA starts tonight with a starter. I'm making a few changes from the recipe that Sean Paxton put out based on what I think will be better/more accurate. I talked about most of this in smuth10's thread (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/dogfish-head-120-min-ipa-clone-224348/
). To quickly recap: Paxton used 9oz of hops in the boil for a 10gal batch. That's 4.5oz hops for a 5 gallon batch. I have that much hop in my 1.055 pale ale. This being a 1.170 beer or so, I feel like it needs WAYYYY more hops than that. So I'm using 2-3 times as much as Paxton did. I'm also not going to dry hop during active fermentation; just seems like a waste of hops to me. I'm going to dry hop once this beer is in the secondary. Final change is WLP007 instead of US-05 for the initial ferment. DFH uses something EXTREMELY similar, if not WLP007, for their 60min and 90min. I figure why not use it for this beer. WLP007 attenuates very well, and is known form attenuating big beers well.
My recipe is:
1lb Victory (1.25lbs of Amber would be closer)
4oz Crystal 60 (get rid of this if you use amber malt)
3oz Warrior All hops added continuously throughout the boil.
I might also throw in 4oz Cascade at 0min just for the hell of it(haven't decided yet).
Target OG (pre-sugar): 1.100 or so
WLP007 until the gravity drops under 1.020, then WLP099 Super High Gravity
10lbs dextrose added slowly once the WLP099 is added (6oz doses).
Dry hopped with 3oz each Simcoe and Amarillo in a secondary. (1oz Simcoe & 1oz Amarillo added once a week for 3 weeks)
There are a couple big 'hurdles' on this batch for me.
A. I don't have an oxygen setup. My last couple batches i've been adding a tiny, tiny drop of olive oil to my starters, and it's seemed to work great. New Belguim did some great research with some University in Belguim, and it seems like olive oil can replace the role of oxygen pretty well. Obviously 120min is on the ragged edge of yeast performance, so we'll see. There's a good thread about this here if anyone is interested (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/using-olive-oil-instead-oxygen-47872/
). I'll be using yeast nutrient and energizer as well.
B. My yeast vials of WLP007 and WLP099 are old. My LHBS hasn't had a new shipment from White Labs in awhile, so my 'use by date' is Aug 06, which puts the production date at Apr 06, which means I'm around 17% viability right now. So i'm going to get a small 500ml starter of the WLP007 going tonight on the stir plate, then step it up to 6 liters tomorrow. Hopefully I should have around 500-600 billion cells by Saturday when I brew.
C. I built a new RIMS system about 2-3 weeks ago, and it has only brewed two batches so far. Those batches went well and the PID held mash temps to the degree, but I'm hesistent to use anything 'new' on a batch this expensive. I haven't made anything high-gravity with the RIMS yet, and fermentability of the wort is the primary concern with this beer(fingers crossed).
D. I don't have a conical, so I'll be fermenting this in a plastic bucket, like others have. I'm sure i'll get very tired of snapping the lid on and off by the time this batch is done.
I'll document this batch heavily with pictures. I figure it will be fun, and help anyone else that wants to tackle an IPA of this magnatude. Smuth10's thread was extremely helpful to go along with brewing network podcast, so I thought i'd contribute what I can from my batch. Smuth10 got his gravity down to 1.028 which is VERY encouraging. Obviously the biggest fear with this batch is what we all saw on brewmasters, it might finish high and taste like cough syrup. That's about it, pictures to follow tonight =)