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IslandLizard

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Back in October (2019) I pulled off a little brewing miracle. And one to be repeated, but preferably without the extra pressure of time. Yeah, yeah.

A few months before, I had signed up (again) to serve homebrew beer at a fundraising event: The 10th annual Homebrew Extravaganza at Checkerspot. The brewery, Checkerspot Brewing, located in Federal Hill, downtown Baltimore, opened 2 years ago by the event's originator, Judy Neff.

The gig is a yearly fundraiser for "BARCS," an animal shelter in the city of Baltimore. 40 homebrewers tapping 40 beers. 200+ people pay $10 for unlimited samples and vote for the 2 best. We raised over $2k.

It's Sunday evening, the event is Wednesday eve and I don't have any beer... Better get to it.

Brewing a NEIPA Sunday night/early Monday morning:

Monday morning 12:00 am: Dig up recipe in Beersmith and print.

12:15 am: Heat strike water, add minerals, weigh and mill grain.

12:45 am: Remove flask with crashed yeast slurry from fridge, decant, place in tub with tepid water to speed up acclimation.

1 am: Start the mash timer.

2 am: Start lautering and sparging.

2:20 am: Make yeast vitality starter:
  • Boil one liter of 1.040 second runnings for 15'.
  • Chill in sink.
  • Pitch into the awaiting yeast slurry.
  • Oxygenate for 8 minutes at 1/16 l/m.
  • Let stand for 1 hour, then place on the orbital shaker.
2:30 am: Brew the beer:
  • Brew goes smoothly, hops are bagged and "massaged" during the boil and whirlpool, as usual.
  • Whirlpool 2 hop additions. First one for 10' at 170F, second one for 30' at 150F.
  • Chilling down to 90F is fairly fast (cold tap water).
  • Then single pass (using ice in the pre-chiller) from plate chiller into bucket fermenter. Quite a bit of cold and hot break trub is mixed in and comes down with it, so be it.
5 am: Oxygenate wort and immediately pitch the large, healthy, actively fermenting yeast starter from the shaker.
  • Keep beer at (ambient) 70F.
  • Time for a nap.
9 am: Having good lift off, less than 4 hours after pitching. :rock:

Tuesday afternoon 3 pm: 30 hours after fermentation started, dry hop with 4 oz.
  • Should use double that, but don't want to overdo it due to the short time schedule. It needs to be drinkable in 24 hours.
  • Stir up with the back end of a long plastic brew spoon every 2-3 hours for 30-40 seconds through 1" access port in the lid.
  • Lid remains on, while streaming CO2 at a good rate through the airlock hole to prevent air ingress.
Wednesday morning 3 am: 46 hours after pitching, 12 hours after dry hopping. Fermentation has completed, bubbling has ceased, krausen has fallen. Aggressively start cold crashing in upright freezer at full blast.

Wednesday afternoon 3 pm: after 12 hours of cold crashing, the beer is ice cold, ~28F. Very hazy of course, but fairly clear otherwise. No yeast in suspension, at least not much.
  • Semi closed transfer into a 100% liquid pre-purged keg.
  • Force/burst carbonate (rolling) at 35 psi for ~10 minutes.
  • Reduce pressure to 12 psi, pours beautifully, nice and rich aromas.
  • Pack keg in 5 gallon gott, add ice, reflectix wrap around top.
4:30 pm: Put keg, picnic tap, and CO2 tank in car. Drive downtown to the event. Wife and puppy are coming along.

5:30 pm: Tapping "Ryed Down Under" NEIPA at the event.
  • Perfect pours all night at 10 psi.
  • Delicious!
3-day IPA!
 
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IslandLizard

IslandLizard

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Ryed Down Under (NEIPA)

Batch Size 5.5 gallon
OG 1.061
FG 1.015

Mash 60' 154F
8 lbs Golden Promise (64%)
2 lbs Rye Malt (16%)
1 lbs Crystal 20 (8%)
1 lbs Flaked Oats (8%)
1/2 lb Golden Naked Oats (4%)

FWH 60'
8 g Warrior (17.5 IBU)

Whirlpool #1 at 170F for 10'
30 g Ella (3.1 IBU)
20 g Galaxy (3.5 IBU)
20 g Vic Secret (3.3 IBU)

Whirlpool #2 at 150F for 30'
30 g Ella (2.7 IBU)
20 g Galaxy (2.9 IBU)
20 g Vic Secret (2.8 IBU)

WY1318 (London Ale III, Boddington)
230 Billion Cells - Pitched Active Vitality Starter

Dry Hop
60 g Ella
30 g Galaxy
30 g Vic Secret
 

madscientist451

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Great story, is this still an ongoing event? Any comments about the beer from the drinkers?
 

SouthBounds

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This is possibly the most delightful thread I have read here! I can almost "see" you going through the process. Simply amazing and my hat is off to you!

4 hours after pitch...:ban:
 
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IslandLizard

IslandLizard

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Great story, is this still an ongoing event? Any comments about the beer from the drinkers?
Yes, it's ongoing, every year in October. It used to be part of "Baltimore Beer Week (BBW)," which sadly is no more since we had our last in 2018. There are still quite a few of the BBW events around during that time. A good habit.

The event crowd is typical beer drinkers who have been going for years, and are always looking forward to the event (for $10 it's hard to beat) as well as all the homebrewers participating, and whoever else stumbles upon it. It being in the brewery also attracts their regulars.

Given that, many are not all that familiar with NEIPAs apparently, but everyone who had a sample (even the ones I asked to just try) seemed to like it or at least appreciate it being different. A few came back for more. I kicked a bit over half the keg.
 
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IslandLizard

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505-Brewer

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Thats cool. How was it not loaded w diacetyl in that time frame? (Curious - did u do a forced DA test? I have a LA3 starter going now - haven’t used it in ages)
 
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IslandLizard

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Thats cool. How was it not loaded w diacetyl in that time frame? (Curious - did u do a forced DA test? I have a LA3 starter going now - haven’t used it in ages)
I think the large and super healthy pitch of LA3 kept diacetyl formation well at bay. The 70F ferm temp may have helped there too. I usually ferment it at 68F then ramp temps up toward the end of fermentation, but didn't here. There's also a ton of hops that easily overshadow minor amounts of diacetyl that may have been there. I didn't detect any and can usually point it out. I never have LA3 pumping out huge amounts of it. Have you?

LA3 has been my go to NEIPA yeast, haven't found a reason to change it, but willing to try others. Again, I pitch very vital and large amounts while oxygenating thoroughly and on the high side, 8 minutes at 1/4 l/min in a plastic brew bucket through a ".5 micron" stone.

I did not do a forced diacetyl test on this. I'll try it next time.
Most of my NEIPAs get the luxury of a week going from grain to glass. Rarely any longer. ;)
 
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Kirkwooder

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I love rye. My house beer is a 5% rye pale ale. I brew it 7-8 times a year. I would never even think about tasting it for at least 2 weeks (Mostly because I don't often have the need to hurry them along). What on earth made you believe that this would even be done in 3 days? That's impressive. Might explain why NEIPA's are so popular with breweries today.
 
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IslandLizard

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What on earth made you believe that this would even be done in 3 days?
This wasn't the first time. ;)
Might explain why NEIPA's are so popular with breweries today.
Exactly! NEIPAs lend themselves well to shorter fermentation cycles as clarity isn't an issue and hop freshness is paramount. I've had some canned NEIPAs that had definitely lost their luster after 4-6 weeks.

I was surprised how well the fairly short cold crashing had clarified this batch. That said, I'm going to experiment with cold crashing after fermentation is done to crash more of the yeast, then warm them back up to dry hop for 3-5 days. All under CO2 of course. Although with the stirring agitation I'm not convinced it takes even 3 days to extract most hop flavor and aroma.
 

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Yes, it's ongoing, every year in October. It used to be part of "Baltimore Beer Week (BBW)," which sadly is no more since we had our last in 2018. There are still quite a few of the BBW events around during that time. A good habit.

The event crowd is typical beer drinkers who have been going for years, and are always looking forward to the event (for $10 it's hard to beat) as well as all the homebrewers participating, and whoever else stumbles upon it. It being in the brewery also attracts their regulars.

Given that, many are not all that familiar with NEIPAs apparently, but everyone who had a sample (even the ones I asked to just try) seemed to like it or at least appreciate it being different. A few came back for more. I kicked a bit over half the keg.

Do they still do the Maryland Brewer's Association event down at Fell's Point? My daughter-in-law got us family tickets five years ago, and we had a blast. Still got the T-shirt. It was our Grand-daughter's first Beer Festival (she was 4 months old), but now we also have Grand-twins in Florida whose birthday conflicts with Octobers in Maryland, so we haven't been since.

Great story about your record run grain-to-glass, and a great cause to boot! The world needs more wag, less bark.

Brooo Brother
 
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IslandLizard

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Do they still do the Maryland Brewer's Association event down at Fell's Point? My daughter-in-law got us family tickets five years ago, and we had a blast. Still got the T-shirt. It was our Grand-daughter's first Beer Festival (she was 4 months old), but now we also have Grand-twins in Florida whose birthday conflicts with Octobers in Maryland, so we haven't been since.
You mean the event in Canton Park? Yes, it's still going. It's grown rather large the past 2 years.
https://marylandbeer.org/event/2019-baltimore-craft-beer-festival/

There's a similar, even larger event in Frederick, 2nd Saturday in May (first Saturday is reserved for Big Brew, of course). I always go on one of the buses that takes us there. By the time we get back I'm half coherent again. Then sleep it off somewhat more in the car.
They have 180+ beers listed each year. There is simply not enough time, even with a VIP pass and being very choosy. It takes at least 4 people. Oh, wait...

Hey, enjoy visiting your grand-kids, they're only little once. More rewarding than beer, in the long run.
 

Brooothru

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This wasn't the first time. ;)

Exactly! NEIPAs lend themselves well to shorter fermentation cycles as clarity isn't an issue and hop freshness is paramount. I've had some canned NEIPAs that had definitely lost their luster after 4-6 weeks.

I was surprised how well the fairly short cold crashing had clarified this batch. That said, I'm going to experiment with cold crashing after fermentation is done to crash more of the yeast, then warm them back up to dry hop for 3-5 days. All under CO2 of course. Although with the stirring agitation I'm not convinced it takes even 3 days to extract most hop flavor and aroma.
I experienced a similar thing on my current brew, a Pre-Prohibition lager. Even though I was fermenting at 50F, things had really slowed after about 5 days. I was afraid of a stuck fermentation, but when I drew a sample it measured within 5 pts. of Final Gravity as determined by an FFT. Yeast was already starting to settle so I did a rapid hard crash down to 34F and harvested about 2 cups of slurry. A day later I shot in a 1 oz charge of dry hops under CO2 pressure using Jaybird's yeast brink, attached the spunding valve and started raising the temperature +2C per day to around 68F for diacetyl rest and yeast cleanup for 3 days. Fermentation continued to 1.004 FG actually past the FFT predicted FG, and carbonation occurred under 15 psig release pressure. I 'recrashed' (soft) down to 48F overnight. Today I "pulled" the dry hops (actually dumped) and drew off an amazingly clear (for a hazy ale, at least) sample for the hydrometer jar to verify my refractometer readings, and maybe just a taste as well. BTW, tastes GREAT.

Ferment - crash - dry hop/spund - crash again. Started this beer (a lager, mind you) January 11, 2020, so 21 days from start to semi-finished fully carbed beer. The only thing lacking is near-brilliant to brilliant clarity which should come with 2-3 weeks of lagering, or 1-2 days with gelatin. If it wasn't for the dry hopping charge I'd be drinking a clear beer right now, even after using 6-row as the base malt and WLP-830 for the yeast. And I agree with you that flavor extraction for dry hops happens well under 5 days, even for Noble German hops, at temperatures in the mid- to upper 60s. I also roused the fermenter with CO2 several times during the D-rest/dry hop phase at higher temperature, which probably aided in extraction. After nearly a year and a half of upgrading my gear and incorporating LoDO processes I'm finally getting it all dialed in, but there's always something new to try. As long as the beer keeps getting better, I'll try to keep up with the changes.

Brooo Brother
 

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You mean the event in Canton Park? Yes, it's still going. It's grown rather large the past 2 years.
https://marylandbeer.org/event/2019-baltimore-craft-beer-festival/

There's a similar, even larger event in Frederick, 2nd Saturday in May (first Saturday is reserved for Big Brew, of course). I always go on one of the buses that takes us there. By the time we get back I'm half coherent again. Then sleep it off somewhat more in the car.
They have 180+ beers listed each year. There is simply not enough time, even with a VIP pass and being very choosy. It takes at least 4 people. Oh, wait...

Hey, enjoy visiting your grand-kids, they're only little once. More rewarding than beer, in the long run.
Dang! I keep missing all the cool events. We have spent the last four years since retirement doing extensive traveling Apr-June and early September-mid November. The itch gets so bad to get on the road that we barely stick around long enough for the Beer judging at the Great Frederick Fair! Might have to delay departure until after Big Brew this year, plus I'd really enjoy attending HomebrewCon in Nashville. Unfortunately SWMBO'd doesn't share my fascination with barley and hops, but does tolerate me as long as we take extended journeys to Wine Country. Guess I'd best start lobbying my case.

Brooo Brother
 

Kirkwooder

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How pronounced is the rye in the final product? With 16% rye in the grist it should be fairly forward, witch I would like. Would more be too much? How does this age? I would never drink 5 gallons of this in less than a couple of months, so might make a smaller batch. It sounds really good even though I'm not overly into the NEIPA craze. Not opposed to it either, so I just may have to try it. Head retention must be very good with all the oats in it as well.
 
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IslandLizard

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How pronounced is the rye in the final product? With 16% rye in the grist it should be fairly forward, witch I would like. Would more be too much? How does this age? I would never drink 5 gallons of this in less than a couple of months, so might make a smaller batch. It sounds really good even though I'm not overly into the NEIPA craze. Not opposed to it either, so I just may have to try it. Head retention must be very good with all the oats in it as well.
Under the huge hop load the 16% rye is definitely there, and accompanies very nicely. Only 3 people at the event mentioned it. They are homebrewers. One is a BJCP judge and teacher, I gave him a blind tasting at the end of the event. He was very surprised when I told him I brewed it 3-days before. He came up with the name: "3 day IPA" [huh]? Others in the know should be triggered by the name, and probably taste (for) it, so it's undeniably there.

The 50% Rye NEIPA I brewed in August, also on a short schedule, was an entirely different beast...

In the keg, the remaining short half finished up within 1-2 weeks between home and a growler at the club meeting. It did become clearer toward the end. Flavor was still superb but more matured, aroma had fleeted somewhat, no visual or other detectable signs of oxidation.
 

Kirkwooder

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This will definately be going on my "to brew" list. I won't push it into a three day turn around, maybe get it done in a week.

Thank You!
 
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