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Old 12-01-2009, 09:26 PM   #1
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Default Trying to turn my existing Irish Red into a West Coast Amber Ale

I'm going to be moving soon, and I recently bought 2# of hops (Centennial and Amarillo) from HopsDirect. Now I realize I have more hops than batches I will be able to brew before I move, so I'm trying to use up my hops. And before you start recommending I just save the hops until I can brew again, my life is going to be quite up in the air for awhile due to moving and starting a business (a bakery! woo yeast!) so I don't really want to drag them across state lines only to find in 6-12 months they're not worth using. Even though I have them in oxygen barrier bags (but not purged of air).

Okay, so one thing I thought about doing is altering an Irish Red I have in the primary. It's pretty much fermented out by now. Here's what it is NOW:

OG 1.051
FG 1.017
IBU 19.5
BU/GU .38

9# Maris Otter
.5# Crystal 80
.5# Crystal 40
4oz flaked barley
2oz eng choc malt
2oz eng roast barley

I brewed this beer for my wife who likes malty, caramelly beers. However, she doesn't drink too much, and I'm quite a hop head, so here's what I want to do:

-Rack off 2.5gal and bottle as is.
-Take 1pint of water and boil 5g Amarillo pellets (7.5%) for 15 mins
-Add another 5g Amarillo at flame out and steep covered
-Cool this hoppy pint of water
-Add it to the rest of the Irish Red, along with 7g Amarillo dry hops
-Age 7 more days and bottle.

I calculate that the addition of 1pint of water will dilute the OG to 1.0485 and the FG to 1.016. ABV should be around 4.3%. Accounting for the increase in volume, the AA%, and the boil time, the extra Amarillo should add about 6 IBU. This makes the Amber Ale look like:

OG 1.0485
FG 1.016
2.625 gal
IBU ~ 25
BU/GU = .52

Is everything I'm proposing feasible/valid/delicious/bonerific?

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Old 12-02-2009, 04:24 PM   #2
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IBUs saturate around 100, but 1 pint is about 1/20 of the batch so you should be able to add 5 IBUs. I would up the dry hop, no issue adding 3 oz if you want a killer hop aroma on your half of the batch (hey it will be fun and the hops are just going to go to waste anyway).

Good luck on the bakery, hopefully you have time to get back to brewing eventually (maybe put a spent grain bread on the menu?)


Check out The Mad Fermentationist for my adventures in fermentation and my book: American Sour Beers!

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