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Old 10-30-2013, 12:10 AM   #1
electrobank
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Default My IPAs are...meh.

My IPAs are…meh.

First, I want to thank everyone, I’m on my…10th (?)…AG batch, all from instructions gleaned from this site; you guys are fantastic. Now on to my dilemma…

My IPAs are unimpressive. The main one I’m working on is a Cigar City Jai Alai clone. My first three attempts resulted in something vaguely resembling Jai Alai, but were clearly “hot alcohol” tainted (I blame my lack of a proper starter size). But even in spite of the hot alcohol, it still lacked the hoppy-ness of Jai Alai (or any other IPA for that matter). It smelled somewhat hoppy, but that grapefruit-pine “kick in the teeth” taste just wasn’t there. Not bad beer, but nothing to compare with a typical west coast IPA/DIPA in the hop department.

(On a side note, I’ve also made a Pliny the Elder and Weyerbacher Double Simcoe clone, and while neither was “hot alcohol” tasting, they certainly lacked the hoppy taste/bitterness of the originals…but the aroma was nice.)

Mind you, I've made a Hefe, a Left Hand Milk Stout clone, a few fruit beers...all just fine, no problems, no off-tastes, good stuff. But the IPAs just aren't cutting it.

Now, clearly, by the hop schedule (see below), this beer has plenty of hops going on. Originally, I would simply dry hop in the primary after 2 weeks of fermentation. This last time, I actually transferred to a secondary after 4 weeks in the primary, and then dry hopped for 14 days (per the recipe). Better, but not what I’m shooting for. I’m using RO water with the recommended CACL and gypsum. I chill the boiled wort down to 70* in about 15 min. I pitch at 65*, and I have a chest freezer with a Johnson control for fermentation, actual wort fermentation temps are 62-65. The hops (pellet) just get tossed in “free”… no bags or anything.

How do I get the hop-bomb taste I’m shooting for, if I’m clearly using the “quantities” necessary? What procedure am I missing? Here’s the recipe (taken from the Brewing Network interview with Wayne Wambles from Cigar City):

Grain Bill
Canadian 2-row-15.25 lbs
Munich I-12.5oz
60L-12.5oz
Victory- 4oz

Hop Schedule

FWH
Ahtanum-.5oz
Columbus-.5oz

Bittering-60 min
Ahtanum-.657oz
Amarillo-1.115oz
Columbus-.66oz

Flavor-15 min
Cascade-.69oz
Centennial-.625oz
Columbus-.715oz

Aroma-6 min
Ahtanum-.69oz
Amarillo-.57oz
Cascade-.94oz

Dry
Simcoe-2-3oz

Yeast
Wyeast 1275 Thames Valley

Thanks in advance.

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Old 10-30-2013, 12:45 AM   #2
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Try doing a hopstand? Never done it but you could try moving your 6 min additions to flameout / hop stand.. Maybe do a third at flameout, let it cool to ~160-170F and add the rest?

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Old 10-30-2013, 12:53 AM   #3
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+1 for hop stands. My best flavor so far has been from a 45 min hop stand at 145* with about 1.5 oz of galaxy. There's a good thread somewhere on here about whirlpools and hopstands that has a lot of good info from a lot of peoples experiences.

EDIT: found it http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/how-get-best-hop-aroma-flameout-additions-213803/

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Old 10-30-2013, 12:55 AM   #4
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At first I jump to the conclusion of water due to the maltier beers being good and the hoppier ones falling flat - but you say you use RO with salts. How much of each are you using? Someone with a bit more water experience should be able to confirm you are good on what you are doing there

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Old 10-30-2013, 01:01 AM   #5
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I do a 30 minute hop stand and add gypsum to the boil. Gypsum Helios bring the hops out.

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Old 10-30-2013, 01:03 AM   #6
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+1 on hop stand. I chill my wort to 170 and add 2 to 3 oz and let it sit for 30 min then continue to chill

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Old 10-30-2013, 01:06 AM   #7
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I was going to guess something related to water chemistry, but I know next to nothing about it.

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Old 10-30-2013, 01:12 AM   #8
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Water chem primer http://www.winning-homebrew.com/brewing-water.html

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Old 10-30-2013, 11:37 PM   #9
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I appreciate all the replies everyone.
So, looks like everyone’s in agreement on the “hop stand”; I’ll be brewing again Friday and I’ll give it a shot. I don’t think my water is the issue, like I said it’s RO water with about 1 tsp of CaCl and gypsum per 5 gallons.
I’ve read about hop stands before, but people seemed to be divided on its effectiveness. Some swear that cooling as quickly as possible brings out the best in your hops, and then some swear by the hop stand. I mean, before I developed my rapid chilling method, the first few batches probably took about an hour to get down to temp. I’m assuming that’s not going to give the same effect as a hop stand, though…you’d need to maintain a constant temp between 150-170 I’m guessing. If the hop stand doesn’t do it, I guess it’s on to the French press and the hop-back.

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Old 10-30-2013, 11:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrobank View Post
I appreciate all the replies everyone.
So, looks like everyone’s in agreement on the “hop stand”; I’ll be brewing again Friday and I’ll give it a shot. I don’t think my water is the issue, like I said it’s RO water with about 1 tsp of CaCl and gypsum per 5 gallons.
I’ve read about hop stands before, but people seemed to be divided on its effectiveness. Some swear that cooling as quickly as possible brings out the best in your hops, and then some swear by the hop stand. I mean, before I developed my rapid chilling method, the first few batches probably took about an hour to get down to temp. I’m assuming that’s not going to give the same effect as a hop stand, though…you’d need to maintain a constant temp between 150-170 I’m guessing. If the hop stand doesn’t do it, I guess it’s on to the French press and the hop-back.
1 tsp of gypsum per five gallons of water, or per 5 gallon batch?
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