So I am dusting off the home brewery after months away followed by months of work travel. I tried to rush a 5 week Imperial IPA for a small competition (EDIT: not a real competition just homebrew tasting) next month. I also decided to upgrade from plastic mash to a Keggle! This recipe is a modified version of the Three Floyds Dreadnaught Clone, with some Black Patent and Chocolate Malt to attempt an Imperial Black (bad idea).
I think a few things might have gone wrong. My first time mashing in the keggle, my strike temp was just right but within 5 minutes the temp had dropped to 152 from 159. In trying to heat up and recirc the mash, I blew into the low 170s! After panic subsided, I stirred and worked it down to target temp, added time to my mash then mashed out and sparged as normal. Idodine drops revealed no black and my pre-boil gravity was on target. In the end I had 5 gallons into primary at 1.093 which I diluted/cooled with a half gallon (net 5.5G at 1.085). I figured I am off to a good start with such a high OG.
Following the recipe and the advice from the LHBS, I did NOT create a started but rather pitched TWO slap packs of 1968 (London ESB) which was fermenting happily by the next morning. However by the afternoon of day 2, barely 48 hours into it, the krausen was gone, small spots on the surface and little to no activity from the blow off. I gave it a few more days.
Tonight I racked to secondary, added 2oz of Cascade Dry Hop and measured a gravity of 1.044. My target FG is 1.033 so this is meant to be a big, malty and hoppy brew. But it does not seem possible to drop another .01 over a two week secondary. While I would happily leave it for months in secondary, I need it bottled and ready to open by 9/20 (four weeks). Should I drop some US05 into secondary, even a half packet, to eat the extra sugars?
I am hoping the HB gods have some advice. I believe I made a few key mistakes such as complex high gravity beer on new equipment after a long hiatus AND not making a starter. I will devote some time to learning starters.
Thanks in advance for any thoughts you might have!
Style: Imperial IPA
TYPE: All Grain
Boil Size: 9.24 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.24 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Bottling Volume: 4.75 gal
Estimated OG: 1.092 SG
Estimated Color: 28.7 SRM
Estimated IBU: 90.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 88.6 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
16 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 88.0 %
1 lbs 4.0 oz Melanoiden Malt (20.0 SRM) Grain 2 6.7 %
8.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 3 2.7 %
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.7 %
0.75 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 22.7 IBUs
0.75 oz Warrior [15.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 26.2 IBUs
0.75 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 45.0 min Hop 7 16.0 IBUs
0.75 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 8 13.4 IBUs
1.10 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 9 -
2.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 10 12.7 IBUs
2.0 pkg London ESB Ale (Wyeast Labs #1968) [124. Yeast 11 -
2.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Dry Hop 14.0 Days Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
Mash Schedule: Temperature Mash, 1 Step, Full Body
Total Grain Weight: 18 lbs 12.0 oz
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Saccharification Add 25.44 qt of water at 173.9 F 159.0 F 60 min
Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 10 min 168.0 F 10 min
Sparge: Fly sparge with 5.63 gal water at 168.0 F