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Citra / Maris Otter SMASH Pale Ale - No Bittering Addition

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acetylcholine

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After being inundated with Mr. Zainasheff's commercials for Heretic's Evil Twin and all the other hoppy beers, I finally got around to trying a technique that he talks about, specifically brewing a beer with no true bittering addition at the start or early on in the boil. And I've been wanting to mess around with Maris Otter for a while. And I've never put Citra in any beer to date, so off I went to a newer HBS that's right around the corner from my house.

The owner just moved his shop, and while the brewing section is small, he's got a decent grain selection and a nice little mini fridge full of hops and dry yeast, so i got a bunch of Maris Otter malt and way too much Citra for a pale ale. I already had some US-05 at home, so that was that. This was also a bit of an experiment on the malt side of things, because this shop owner is trying out milling his grain and putting it in the bins like that. I'll be interested to hear what you guys think of this. It works for me bc i still don't have a mill.

I jumped on BeerSmith and started screwing around with the hop additions with the alpha acid numbers from my citra. I planned to boil for 60 minutes and reference the American Pale Ale category. Here is what i came up with:



Citra SMASH

American Pale Ale (10 A)



Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 2.50 gal
Boil Size: 3.64 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
End of Boil Vol: 3.12 gal
Final Bottling Vol: 2.00 gal
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage


Date: 28 Dec 2015
Brewer:
Asst Brewer:
Equipment: Ryan's Brewery
Efficiency: 62.40 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 74.9 %
Taste Rating: 30.0

7.00 lb Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 100.0 %
0.50 oz Citra [12.80 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 2 17.3 IBUs
1.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 3 -
1.00 oz Citra [12.80 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 30.0 min Hop 4 29.8 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) [50.28 ml] Yeast 5 -
2.00 oz Citra [12.80 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days Hop 6 0.0 IBUs


Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color

Est Original Gravity: 1.066 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.9 %
Bitterness: 47.1 IBUs
Est Color: 5.7 SRM

Measured Original Gravity: 1.056 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Actual Alcohol by Vol: 5.5 %
Calories: 187.7 kcal/12oz

Total Grain Weight: 7.00 lb
Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Mash PH: 5.20

Mashed at 152 for 60 min. Fermented at 68 for a week, then bumped to about 71 over the course of about 4 or 5 days. Used properly rehydrated Safale US-05, one packet. Dry hops sat longer than I intended, 7 days at 71F, but holy crap, I'm doing that again the next time I use Citra. I kegged it and forced carbonated it on 30 psi with about a 90 second to 2 minute shake.

Note that I brew on my countertop, Brew In a Bag, with an Induction burner. My batch size is 2.5 - 3 gallons.

Tasting notes: Are we allowed to swear on this forum? If not, i cannot really accurately convey what this beer tastes like. I totally swore the first time I smelled it. Prior to this, the favorite recipe was my Bells Two-Hearted clone with Simcoe/Amarillo/Centennial dry hop. Not anymore.

This beer has the most amazing citrusy aroma that i've ever smelled, including bottled stuff, draft, and beerfests. The lack of a bittering addition makes what bitterness that IS in the beer REAAAALLY different from a normal Pale ale or IPA. Its much more background, but still in balance, if i can try to describe it that way. If you want more bitterness, I would just up the 20 minute addition, and that will give you even more hop flavor to boot. As is, I think i'm just barely inside of the APA style guideliines.

The flavor and aroma from the citra are heavenly. One taster declared herself NOT a beer drinker, but she would drink this one. Even my mom liked the aroma, and she doesn't even drink. Everyone who's had it has really liked it. I want to show this one off, i'm really proud, and the recipe is dead simple.

I have extensive notes on this one in my brew log, so hollar with any questions. Its kegged and still cloudy, and I straight dont care on this one! The annoying thing is I'm on call for the next few days, so I can't even touch it.

Please brew this one, guys! And let me know how it turns out!
 

yeknom366

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Just came here to confirm similar results. I've made multiple ipa's without a bittering addition, and 2 with no hops until flameout. All of these beers were fantastic, including to anti-hopheads.
 

brewprint

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How did you do your whirlpool? Just cut the heat and let sit for 30 minute stand?

Citra is an awesome hop...there's just no doubt about it. It seems most people love it. I like other hops just not as much as I like citra.
 

hanuswalrus

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This was also a bit of an experiment on the malt side of things, because this shop owner is trying out milling his grain and putting it in the bins like that. I'll be interested to hear what you guys think of this. It works for me bc i still don't have a mill.
This sounds like terrible practice to me. How long is this milled grain sitting in bins? The quality of the malt falls off in a much shorter period of time when it is milled. I have never seen any LHBS store their grain like that.
 
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acetylcholine

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You make valid points. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the future. He did say that I could mill grain fresh in the future.
 

brewprint

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You make valid points. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the future. He did say that I could mill grain fresh in the future.
If he has enough business it'll be fine. He can just say it's milled grain fresh today.

Kind of like when I go the grocery store to get pre sliced turkey. It cannot sit long.
 
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acetylcholine

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What does happen if it sits? I don't have a mill, and I've purchased grain at my bigger LHBS that has sat, milled, at my house for a week or so, and I'm making pretty good beer. Just oxygen uptake? Staling as anything else? My 2.5 gal batches don't last long enough to tell, maybe
 

masskrug

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I've moved to extract brewing; 10-15 minute boil with hop additions between 5-15 minutes. No bittering. My brew day now takes an hour. With kids, it is the way to go. The additional cost of DME is made up in propane savings (I tell myself) :)
 

brewprint

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What does happen if it sits? I don't have a mill, and I've purchased grain at my bigger LHBS that has sat, milled, at my house for a week or so, and I'm making pretty good beer. Just oxygen uptake? Staling as anything else? My 2.5 gal batches don't last long enough to tell, maybe
I don't know exactly. I suppose that it could be BS but it would seem to me that it could go stale after cracked.

Before I bought a mill I used to throw the crushed grain in the freezer.
 

Ruckusz28

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In my past experience, maris otter lends itself well to SMASH styles. I did a VERY similar recipe once using all Simcoe instead of Citra and had excellent results. There is beauty in simplicity.
 

brew703

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I plugged in the grain bill into brewers friend and it's almost 1.080 using 7 lbs of grain. I just noticed you are showing your efficiency at 62.4%. Is that normal?
I would like to brew this in a few weeks. I dropped the grain to 5.25 lbs assuming 72% efficiency.
 
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acetylcholine

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My efficiency is all over the map because of different Mills or double crushing grain. I hit 1.056 with this one. I try to hit 70 percent efficiency, BC there is no danger of pulling out tannins and other baddies at that efficiency.

Using double crushed grains, I was approaching 90%, but the beer suffered.
 

hanuswalrus

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If the milled grain is in a good environment (dry, sealed in a bag/bin) it should keep for a while. IMO, the fresher the better. It just doesn't sound like good practice for a LHBS to me, but if they have good turnover, I guess it's not a huge deal.
 
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acetylcholine

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I am about to attempt becoming a homebrewer, and I was wondering is a steam "wand" would be the best tool for sanitizing equipment and bottles. It would be easy for me to make one, as I have a complete metal fab shop. Any feedback?
I don't have the ability to actually whirlpool, except w a big stainless spoon. I usually toss in my IC w 10 or 15 min to go, kill the heat at 0, and add my whirlpool editions. I use the default beersmith parameters for whirlpool hopping.
 

MadHomebrewer

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I did the 15 min pale ale recipe that was on here with all Citra hops. It turned out great. I did 2oz at 15, 1oz @ 5, 1oz @ flameout and 1oz dry hop. It was my favorite beer yet. I am in the process of moving to biab. So I am planing, hopefully this weekend, to do a pale ale Maris Otter smash with Citra and the same hop schedule. Going to do a 90 min boil though.
 

Johow

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Storing grain for sale after milling just seems bad practice to me. After you crack that grain there are particles that settle. I notice this when I mill mine in a bucket. The last thing I dump into the brew bag is fine flower that has settled to the bottom of the bucket. This settling is going to go on in the storage container as well so you may not be getting your monies worth. I'd prefer to buy the whole grains then mill them, (or have them milled) then I know all the grain particles are present when I mash in.
 
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acetylcholine

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Yep, me too, but so far, the resultant beer is incredible. I also don't care about squeezing efficiency out or the grain. I'll just buy a little more.
 

MadHomebrewer

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Yep, me too, but so far, the resultant beer is incredible. I also don't care about squeezing efficiency out or the grain. I'll just buy a little more.

Can you post a picture of the beer in a glass? Would love to see how it looks! Looking forward to brewing one similar very soon!
 
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