Update On My Pliny Brew

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Shepherd5

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My first all-grain! I brewed this 9 days ago, made a nice yeast starter and it fermented actively for about 7 days. This is now day nine and it is slowing down to a bubble every 15 to 20 seconds. Everything went pretty much by the book, hit all my temps, etc. My OG was 1.079.

There are different versions of this recipe floating around, so I was wondering what you all think of it:

Pliny The Elder
By SaveTheAles

Target OG: 1.074
Target FG: 1.014
IBU’s: 95-100 (despite the IBU calculator results)
ABV: 7.95%
SRM: about 7-8

The following grain amounts are based on collecting a pre-boil wort size of 8.0 gal. The corresponding Promash batch size is 6.2 gal and assumes 75% efficiency. With a vigorous 90 min. boil, losses due to evaporation, hop absorption, and transfers, the final amount should be close to 5 gal.

Malt Bill
13.3 lbs. Pale North American 2-row
1.1 lbs. Dextrose (aka corn sugar)
.94 lb. Carapils (aka dextrin)
.32 lb. Crystal 45L

Hop Bill

(Use all whole flowers; only exception is Simcoe if can’t find them whole)

1.50 oz. Chinook 13.0% Mash Hops
2.75 oz. Warrior 15.6% 90 min.
.50 oz. Chinook 13.0% 90 min.
1.00 oz. Simcoe 12.0% 45 min.
1.00 oz. Columbus 14.3% 30 min.
2.25 oz. Centennial 9.1% 0 min.
1.00 oz. Simcoe 12.0% 0 min.
3.25 oz. Columbus 14.5% (Dryhop 2 weeks)
1.75 oz. Centennial 9.1% (Dryhop 2 weeks)
1.75 oz. Simcoe 12.0% (Dryhop 2 weeks)

1.Mash grains with Chinook Mash Hops at 150-152 for 60 min.

2. Collect 8 gal. of wort.

3. Boil 90 min., adding hops at times indicated.

4. Chill to 68F and transfer to fermenting vessel.

5. Oxygenate with two separate 20-30 sec. bursts of O2.

6. Pitch large starter (2L or more) of WLP001 CA ale yeast.

7. Ferment at 68F for 1 week.

8. Transfer to secondary and add dryhops.

9. Secondary at 68F.

10. Wait two weeks.

11. Keg or bottle.


Questions:

1.) I used pellet hops in this. Will it still be ok?

2.) Fermentation temperature was between 70 and 73 F which might have been a bit too high. Will this temperature cause off flavors? The thing is, my first three brews were all fermented about the same temp, 68 - 73 F, in that range, and they came out fine. I have read that fermentation temp is very critical, but how much flexibility is there really?

3.) I am getting ready to transfer to secondary in a couple days and then dry hop. Should I use hop bags, and just drop them in?
 

paradoc

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The actual recipe for Pliny from Vinnie (the brewer/owner) was printed in Zymurgy a couple of months back. I posted the recipe from Zymurgy in my post here. Note there was a misprint in the original recipe that was corrected on the Zymurgy website later.

Questions:

1.) I used pellet hops in this. Will it still be ok?
YES. Pellet hops work great, probably even better than whole hops for this recipe. When you use whole hops, you get a TON of wort absorbed in the hops. I've brewed it with whole and with pellet, and lose about an extra gallon to hop loss with whole hops.

2.) Fermentation temperature was between 70 and 73 F which might have been a bit too high. Will this temperature cause off flavors? The thing is, my first three brews were all fermented about the same temp, 68 - 73 F, in that range, and they came out fine. I have read that fermentation temp is very critical, but how much flexibility is there really?
Lower end of the range is probably better, but not a huge difference. Depends what strain of yeast you were using. I'm sure you will enjoy it as long as temps were below 80. The hop-bomb will cover many slight off flavors ;)

3.) I am getting ready to transfer to secondary in a couple days and then dry hop. Should I use hop bags, and just drop them in?
I do the first dry hop addition in a carboy and just drop them in. Pellet hops work WAY better than whole hops for this because they are compact, and will eventually settle to the bottom of the fermenter. You need to be careful not to suck the hops out when you rack it, but that is pretty easy. I personally add the second dry hop addition to my keg in a clean, sanitized hop-bag.

Note that Pliny and most huge-hop IPA's are intended to be drunk sooner rather than later. The hop flavor diminishes with time.
 

paradoc

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I do the first dry hop addition in a carboy and just drop them in. Pellet hops work WAY better than whole hops for this because they are compact, and will eventually settle to the bottom of the fermenter.
One other thing... Vinnie specified in the Zymurgy article that he usually blows CO2 into the bottom port of his conical fermenter every couple of days to stir up the hops and get better hop aroma. I don't have a conical yet, but I give my secondary a good swirl every day or two to stir the hops up. Then I let it sit for a couple of days to let the hops settle out before I rack to the keg. Don't know if it really helps... but makes me feel like I'm doing something productive :mug:
 
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Shepherd5

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Ok, exellent! I am getting ready to secondary this tomorrow, looking forward to dry hopping for the first time.
 

GC89

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Paradoc, when I plug your Pliny recipe into beersmith I end up with 180 + IBUs in a 6gal batch? 3.5oz columbus alone in a 90 min boil is 160 some ibus....Am I just totally overlooking something?
 

paradoc

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Paradoc, when I plug your Pliny recipe into beersmith I end up with 180 + IBUs in a 6gal batch? 3.5oz columbus alone in a 90 min boil is 160 some ibus....Am I just totally overlooking something?
That isn't MY recipe... it is the actual recipe for Pliny supplied by Vinnie from Russian River.

In terms of the IBU's... the various IBU formulas used in software like Beersmith are not accurate in high IBU beers (eg >100 IBU's). I think Vinnie talked about this in the Zymurgy article, which I can't locate at the moment. Something about alpha acid utilization being non-linear. There are also a lot of things that influence hop AA content. My simple way of thinking about it is that these hop-bombs blow up the calculation :mug: There are lab techniques for measuring actual IBU's... but what is the fun of that? If you enjoy the beer, do you really need to know how many IBU's it has? :D

Try it... I think you will enjoy it. It is my favorite homebrew by far.
 
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Shepherd5

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I transferred to secondary last night. The recipe says 2 weeks dry hopping, is this longer than it needs to be? I have heard 7 to 10 days is sufficient. I should have taken a gravity reading during transfer, but didn't. Maybe I will take a reading tonight. I don't think it is that important at this point, because it had a full 7 days of active fermentation, at total of ten days in primary, and still have 7 to 10 more days in secondary. Besides, I really don't plan on adding anything else to it between now and kegging.

I purged my secondary bottle with CO2 before transferring it. This time I used my 6.5 gallon carboy instead of the 5 gallon one, because I had closer to 6 gallons of beer and didn't want to have extra in case the 5 gallon carboy wasn't big enough.

This was my first AG. I used a bare bones setup, and didn't feel very accurate or scientific about it. Not knowing how my setup was going to perform, and not knowing whether I would be able to comfortably hit my target temps was very unsettling, but it all worked out well. Still, I have some insecurity about the outcome because this is all relavely new to me. On the other hand, I am excited to see how this brew turns out.
 
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Shepherd5

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Result are in!

FG on this Pliny is 1.010 and an ABV of 9.0% ABV. It tastes very good! It is a little sweet, a little bitter, but not too bitter, and hoppy. Compared to the Pliny I had last week, I prefer this more. I dry hopped it for 10 days.

I'd say this, my first All-grain brew is a success, but I will post again after it is carbed.
 

oldschool

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Vinnie specified in the sunday session on the brewing network that he has never released the exact pliny recipe-only released a good starting point for a double IPA. If you don't believe me, check it out @ www.thebrewingnetwork.com . Also he says they only use pellets and now they added amarillo to the recipe just for fun. Also the 90 and 30 minute addition is all extract.
 
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Shepherd5

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Vinnie specified in the sunday session on the brewing network that he has never released the exact pliny recipe-only released a good starting point for a double IPA. If you don't believe me, check it out @ www.thebrewingnetwork.com . Also he says they only use pellets and now they added amarillo to the recipe just for fun. Also the 90 and 30 minute addition is all extract.
Why would I not believe you? A beer in the vicinity of the original is fine with me, especially if mine ends up tasting better.
 

malvado78

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We made the AHS Pliny Clone. It is amazing. I have one left. Just trying to sit on it because I will be so sad when it is gone. :(

Possibly the best beer we have ever made.

Only issue was we had ALOT of trub loss to the hops and ended up with only 33 or so bottles from a 5 gal batch. :mad:
 

oldschool

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Why would I not believe you? A beer in the vicinity of the original is fine with me, especially if mine ends up tasting better.
I just find some people like to disagree. sorry. I just tried to help, not be a "no-it-all." I wouldn't doubt that his recipe is really close though. The only pliny or pig i've had was what i traded for at DLD. It was a year old. At a little over a year old the Blind Pig was way better. I would just love to try some fresh. at least fresher.
 

oldschool

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We made the AHS Pliny Clone. It is amazing. I have one left. Just trying to sit on it because I will be so sad when it is gone. :(

Possibly the best beer we have ever made.

Only issue was we had ALOT of trub loss to the hops and ended up with only 33 or so bottles from a 5 gal batch. :mad:
If this recipe is so bad ass...and I'm sure it is. why don't we make beers like it all the time. so many recipes you see for IPAs don't have nearly that much hops but apparently mucho hops=awesome!
 
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Shepherd5

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Not a beer I would drink for every occasion, but I sure am glad to have it as an option for the Summertime. Now that I have tried a few hoppy beer types, I can understand the craving one can have for hops.
 
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Shepherd5

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Last night I drew my first partially carbed sample and it was delicious! I do have chill haze, not a big deal, but I was hoping to have a clear beer. Perhaps some time and settling will clear this up. Either way, haze or no haze, it is a really tasty brew!
 
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Shepherd5

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Simcoe, Warrior, Columbus, and Centenial

Which of these hops contributes to a citrusy orange aroma I am getting. It really is a nice character! I would like to tweek this recipe a bit for next time.
 

robtotten

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Simcoe reportedly has lots of orange / tangerine / citrus flavor. It's used along with Amarillo in Stone's Sublimely Self Righteous (their 11th anniversary brew), which is possibly my new favorite beer. Good lord that stuff is good.

Simcoe, Warrior, Columbus, and Centenial

Which of these hops contributes to a citrusy orange aroma I am getting. It really is a nice character! I would like to tweek this recipe a bit for next time.
 
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Shepherd5

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Oh ok, cool! Thanks for the info. I would like to try that Stone Self Righteous beer.
 

KevinWP

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I do have chill haze, not a big deal, but I was hoping to have a clear beer. Perhaps some time and settling will clear this up. Either way, haze or no haze, it is a really tasty brew!
Hop bombs like this normally have 'hop haze' as well, from the extreme amount of dry hopping. It's not something you can settle out or fine away, or wait for it to clear on its own... because when it clears/fines/settles it 'is' a significant portion of the hoppiness dropping out and the beer may look better but it will taste much different.
 
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