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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Questions on my third brew - Double IPA
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:48 PM   #1
badclamz
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Default Questions on my third brew - Double IPA

Hi everyone - this is my first post after lurking a good deal here and elsewhere on the internet in search of information on home brewing. Registered here specifically because I found the people to be very helpful and kind in their responses. I'm not an expert, but I'm having a great time exploring a hobby I've always wanted to pursue.

My first two brews were pleasantly successful - neither were all-grain, both were from kits given to me to get started. I was very pleased with the Rogue Dead Guy Ale kit that I used to make my first batch, and just finished kegging my second batch, an India Pale Ale by True Brew. I'm a big fan of hoppy ales and my choice for my third brew is another kit by True Brew, "Whiteley Series Double IPA". The instructions are fairly direct (you can see them here). But before I brew this weekend, I wanted to ask a few specific questions so that I'm not making any mistakes.

In my previous boils, I've used muslin bags for my hop pellets. The directions here seem to suggest just adding the 7 oz. of various hops to the boil (only a grain steeping bag was supplied) I'm concerned that I will essentially have a lot of partially dissolved hops in my wort once I go to ferment. Is it best to loosely bag each ounce of hops and boil as directed, removing them prior to cooling and pitching? Are there any drawbacks to not bagging and allowing them to settle out of the wort during fermentation?

Second issue I have is where they indicate to add the yeast once its under 90 deg F. In previous brews I have used liquid smack packs, not dry yeast, and Ive diligently waited until under 70 deg F before pitching. Is 90 deg F safe? Does dry yeast require or warrant a slightly higher initial pitch temp? Doesnt say to shake vigorously but other places Ive read that people swear by shaking the wort to aerate before pitching?

Lastly, I plan to primary ferment in bucket with airlock and then rack to secondary glass carboy. In previous batches, I successfully dry-hopped in secondary / carboy and did not disturb primary fermentation (not even to peek, hard as that was to do :-) ) The instructions here says "3 days after fermentation has begun, open lid of bucket and dry hop by adding 1 oz each of Amarillo and Cascade hops"..... Is this as good a suggestion as waiting until i rack to secondary? My thought process was to primary ferment 7-10 days in bucket uninterrupted, then rack to carboy and add hops (loose) and secondary for another 7-10 or longer. Im skeptical of opening the primary to dry hop especially because in my previous batches I had active airlock bubbling going on 7+ days in bucket.

One final question - the final gravity on the package indicates 1.019 - 1.023. Ive read in a few books about adding sugar in the case of a double IPA to help dry them out and boost the overall ABV. This kit only comes with 6oz of crystal grain malt and then the 2 cans of syrup. Should i leave well enough alone or does it make sense to add sugar to it?

Sorry for more questions than I initially indicated....i just want to make a great double IPA

Thanks

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Old 02-06-2013, 12:43 AM   #2
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Whee! Where do I begin?

You can bag the hops or not bag them. Some people think that bagging them keeps them from being fully utilized. If you don't bag them they end up at the bottom of the fermenter under the yeast. That is only a problem if you are saving the yeast for another batch. I just throw them in and if I want to save yeast I do "yeast washing".

You have some of the worst instructions in that kit. Most instructions are somewhat wrong but this tops all the rest I've seen. You don't want to pitch the yeast too warm. For best results you want the wort cooler than what you would ferment at so the yeast don't have a chance to start making off flavors nor do you want them to get too fast of a start because you can't control them and they will get the wort way too hot which gets you fusel alcohol (think headache, hangover) and esters (think banana beer). For the liquid yeast you do need to aerate the wort to promote cell health and reproduction. Dry yeast typically has way more yeast cells so aerating isn't as critical but I still would recommend some.

Would you make kool aid by putting the flavor into a pitcher that is running over or would you turn the water off first? When you add hops for dry hopping and the yeast are still busy, the CO2 they produce will scrub the aroma just like the running water would wash away you kool aid flavor. Let the beer stay in the fermenter until fermentation is done. You make sure of that with your hydrometer, not the airlock. Fermentation continues for quite a while after the airlock stops bubbling. Think in terms of 2 to 3 weeks from pitching the yeast. Once you have a stable gravity, you can move the beer to secondary if you really want to or you could just drop the hops into the bucket for dry hopping.

I don't do Ipa's nor IIPA's but I've seen people posting about adding sugar to make the IPA more crisp so if you like it that way, sure, go ahead. I wouldn't go overboard on it as it may give you some weird flavors.

Oh yeah, welcome to HomeBrewTalk.

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Old 02-06-2013, 12:48 AM   #3
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Thanks for the tips RM-MN. Greatly appreciated. i'll plan on doing a bit of aeration and let the wort cool as I have in the past. Im on the fence about the sugar so I'll keep reading and digging.

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Old 02-13-2013, 10:12 PM   #4
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So I brewed this on Saturday and its sitting in primary now. I winged it with the sugar and truly didnt know if I should add in the boil or after, so i did it in and now i guess im worried about carmelization and off flavors after reading another post on double IPAs and when to sugar. I went with 1 # of sugar in the boil. The directions were bad as pointed out, but i cooled wort to 68 degrees before pitching. I tasted the wort and it tasted pretty awful. Sweet, bitter and nasty. I dont know what I was expecting lol. I didnt taste the wort with my other batches but they turned out great IMO. I'm going with no dry-hopping during primary and doing primary for 14 days rather than 7. Then to secondary for dry hopping until all the hops fall out to sediment. What do you guys think?

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Old 02-13-2013, 10:43 PM   #5
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Have you ever been foreman on a job with a big bunch of laborers? Can you get the to all work together? Can you bring a big job to completion on time? Yeah, yeast are pretty much uncontrollable. They do their thing on their schedule, not yours. Instead of setting a 2 week time on this, use your hydrometer to determine when the fermentation is completely over. I would expect a double IPA to take longer than 2 weeks because there is a lot of fermentable material and as the alcohol level goes up the yeast activity slows down. Once you get a stable hydrometer reading, you can add the hops. Don't leave them too long, it's been reported that that can lead to a grassy flavor instead of the nice hop flavor you wanted. Don't worry about the hops to all fall out, sanitize a paint strainer bag and fasten it around the inlet to the siphon and use that to filter the hops out.

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Old 02-13-2013, 10:44 PM   #6
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Remember that most sweetness will turn into alcohol. Often only the more subtle malt sweetness remains, and everything that is plain recognisable sweet will turn into fairly dry-tasting alcohol. So, if you add four pounds of sugar and think it's way too sweet, wait till it ferments, because then you'll be saying it's way too dry and bitter. So, "sweet, bitter and nasty" is probably a good description for a DIPA wort. And pretty bitter indeed it should be!

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Old 02-14-2013, 03:05 AM   #7
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Ok - thanks for the advice, I'll let my hydrometer guide me on it. I used a muslin bag tied around my siphon last time and it worked very well in terms of keeping the larger hop particles out. I'll plan that route again. Its frantically bubbling away as I sip some Ruination. Thanks guys

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Old 02-22-2013, 07:41 PM   #8
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So yesterday i moved to secondary after 12 days in primary. My hydrometer reading steady at 1.016 for the past 3 days. This is only my third 5 gallon brew, and I'm already addicted to that moment when you first pull back the lid on the fermenter and get that blast of bready, hoppy alcohol odor..... immediate relief to see a nice clear, calm surface, a nice thick ring of hop/krausen residue on the sides....in general, a healthy looking batch. I transferred to glass carboy and dry hopped with 2oz Cascade and 1oz Amarillo (kit called for only 1oz Cascade, but I'm experimenting a bit). Near the end of the transfer, I grabbed a pint for myself.

Wow. This is one bitter batch. I think I had posted that I had tasted the wort as I transferred it to the fermenter on brew day. It really tasted pretty awful. I guess with about 5oz of dissolved hop pellets, it should taste pretty green but I wasnt expecting it to be so awful. After 12 days, that has transformed into what I can only describe as a hop bomb. I'm excited about how this is going to taste in two weeks when I take it out of secondary to keg and carbonate. Its definitely going to be a double IPA - no mistake about that, and its going to have quite a kick (7.1% abv by my calculation) I just dont know how drinkable its going to be.

Did I mention I'm excited?

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Old 03-07-2013, 03:04 AM   #9
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In case anyone cares...I wanted to finish this thread and just say that I really enjoyed this brew. The beer exceeded my expectations on every level. I had some reservations because this was the first batch where i deviated from the extract kit instructions. I was unsure about adding the # of sugar in the boil, and I was pretty revolted by the taste of the wort with all that hop pellet residue etc. But man, after 14 days in primary and 8 dry hopping in secondary, followed by a cold crash, this beer was amazing. I had to keep reminding myself that I had made it. BTW - what a uniquely satisfying feeling it is to drink your own fresh, delicious beer! I had the opportunity to share the 1/6 keg it produced with friends and family and everyone raved about it. It was darker than I wanted it to be, more amber than a pale ale would normally be, but the taste and aroma was wonderful. Well, its just about gone now :-) Maybe a growler or so left in the keg. But its still perfectly carbonated and each pint produces some great lacing on the glass and a nice 1/4 head. I will definitely brew this again!

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Past: Rogue Dead Guy Ale clone 5g (awesome!)
Last Brew: Whiteley Double IPA (going fast)
In Primary: Oatmeal Chocolate Stout

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Old 03-07-2013, 04:51 PM   #10
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Nice! Looks good man

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