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Old 10-05-2012, 11:41 PM   #1
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Default DIPA (IIPA) with Hot Alcohol

I'm a fairly experience brewer. I know the difference between fusel alcohol (solventy, fusely, acetoney) and hot alcohol (clean ethanol flavor). I recently brewed a DIPA and I'm getting some ethanol flavor in it that seems out of balance. I've learned that with a high alcohol beer like a trippel, you want to age that to let it mellow out. But I'm dealing with an IIPA here. Aging will deteriorate the hop aroma and freshness.

I want to know how brewers deal with ethanol that is apparent in their beer in a DIIPA. I don't think fermentation temperature is the key, since I used a fermentation controlled 65 degree 1056 american ale wyeast with a big starter. Do you let your IIPAs mellow for a while before you dry hop? I think I gave it a good 4 weeks before I dry-hopped... Thoughts?

FYI: this was a Citra DIPA clone. I hit all my numbers, it came out to about 8.1% alcohol.

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Old 10-05-2012, 11:48 PM   #2
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How much, if any, of the recipe was corn sugar? Many DIPAs call for some. Too much may be the culprit? I like my IIPAs a little on the conditioned side. A couple of months in the keezer and they hit the sweet spot for me.

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Old 10-06-2012, 12:04 AM   #3
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Whats the gravity? was this a new pitch? Did you ramp up the temp during fermentation at all?

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Old 10-06-2012, 03:02 AM   #4
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There was 1lb of table sugar, 3.8%. OG was 1.070. FG was 1.09. It was a new pitch of yeast (starter made from smackpack). Temperature was allowed to rise to ambient temp after about a week.

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Old 10-06-2012, 03:21 AM   #5
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I'd bet on some kind of problem with the yeast, assuming ambient wasn't too hi, may have waited a bit longer to ramp but I doubt that would make that much difference.

I'm not saying there was a fermentation problem per say, but there may have been something awry with the pack by the time it got to you.

I can surmise no other explanation, good sir, by the power of my feeble mind.

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Old 10-06-2012, 06:27 PM   #6
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With a fg of. 1.009, could it have dried out too much?

Maybe a higher mash temp? A few dipas I've had lately had a huge body with a touch of malt sweetness that I really liked. Breckenridge 471 for instance. Maybe that could balance it out more.

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Old 10-06-2012, 06:33 PM   #7
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Your process sounds solid. I have an IIPA that's almost identical in all respects to yours I brewed recently and I had a little heat as well. It will age out fairly quickly, and don't be too concerned about losing hop aroma. Mine took about 3 weeks in the bottles before the heat faded, and it drank so nicely after that that was gone within 2 weeks. You'll be fine, you did everything you could have. I am curious why I got the heat as well. I think proper oxygenation maybe.

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Old 10-06-2012, 06:46 PM   #8
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I just let mine age a bit longer in the fermenter before I do dry hops additions.

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Old 10-06-2012, 06:57 PM   #9
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My pliny clone came in at 8.5 and had huge alcohol flavor early on. I dry hopped as per the schedule and after 3 weeks in the keg it is a serious sleeper. Cant even tell its high alcohol anymore. Put it on gas and it will mellow with some time.

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