The Beagle Double IPA – First Trial

For those familiar with the story of the IPA beer style, you’d know it’s characterised by being higher in the hops and alcohol.  This trend started when the British colonised India and were unable to transport their beloved pale ale from England to India without it spoiling.  Fortunately, hops and alcohol act as a natural preservative: so increase these two important beer ingredients, and your beer can go anywhere!

A double IPA, or an Imperial India Pale Ale, is generally even higher in hoppyness and alcohol than a standard IPA.  This should last even the longest sea journeys…

So, in honour of one of the great scientific sea journeys of all time and the boat, the HMS Beagle, today we made The Beagle Double IPA.

And before I go into the recipe, hopefully readers will have noticed the general theme going on in my beer names.  At the risk of starting a flame war with Mikey, at least my names are better than Mikey’s “Australian Pale Ale”.  Take that Mikey.

The trend of naming my beers after famous science figures is thanks to the proprietor of my favourite cafe, Husband.  So I’ll give credit where credit’s due.

Anyway, the recipe!

A friend of mine, Matt, had had some success with a simple mini-mash (edit, this is not actually a mini-mash recipe.  I’ll go into it another time.  i have a bad habbit of just saying “mash” if i use grains.  cheers Stu for keeping me honest) IPA recipe that called for a small grain bill of crystal, some dry malt extract, and two types of hops for bittering and aroma, but no dry hopping…  I need to have a chat to Matt about this as well, because the recipe called for a total of 50 grams of hops for a four litre batch.  Now I like hops as much as the next guy, but this would have just been nuts…  Mikey and I modified the recipe to our taste and sanity levels accordingly:

  • 75 grams crystal
  • 25 grams dark crystal
  • 30 grams rye
  • 1 kilogram golden light dry malt extract
  • 15 grams Citra – bittering hops; 60 minutes total boil
  • 10 grams Willamette – taste hops; 30 minutes total boil
  • 15 grams Amarillo – aroma hops; five mintues total boil
  • 10 grams Citra – dry hops; after two days
  • Safale yeast US05

Steep the grains in 1.5 litres of water in a grain bag for a total of one hour, keeping the temperature between about 70 and 80

It begins!

It begins!

degrees C.  This needs to go in at about thirty minutes into the boil, so start this first.  Personally, I prefer a grain bag but they’re not mandatory, it just makes things a little easier.

While the grain does its thing, boil 2.5 litres of water with the kilogram of malt extract.  We got a huge hot break, but that was mostly Mikey’s fault for purposefully making bubbles when stirring in the malt.  I’m glad we used the big pot.

At the hot break, throw the Citra in for a total of 60 minutes.

After thirty minutes, put in the Willamette and the water from the steeped grain.  Sparge the grain with about 0.5-1 litre of boiling water to make sure you get all the goodness.

Thanks Mikey...

Thanks Mikey…

Finally, with five minutes left in the boil, throw in the Amarillo.

Put the pot in a sink of cold water or use a wort chiller to get it to temperature, throw it all into a 5 litre carboy and top everything up to 4 litres in total.  Pitch the yeast and you’re done!

Don’t forget, after two days, add the second batch of Citra for dry hopping!

Other Brewing Notes:

We got a final gravity of 1.076, which I was pretty happy about.  With any luck, this should give an alcohol content of at least 7.5% ABV.  Because of this (and the general hoppyness), this is starting to get into the Double IPA range, so that’s what we’re calling it.

In regards to the hops, this recipe has three types of hops.

The Citra had a typical bittering hops smell: lots of bitter and spice aromas, with a bit of a tropical feel to it.  I find Citra a little more laid back than other bittering hops, but it’s definitively still there!  When this was first added to the wort, it didn’t do much to combat the malt smells, which were quite milky.

The Willamette was far more laid back than the Citra, a brief description of Willamette can be found in the Friedlieb Porter recipe.  Generally drier in smell.  With the Willamette, the malt smells were finally getting put in their place and the hops were finally starting to come through.  There was going to be a lot of spice in this beer.

20130728_143554Finally, the Amarillo had less bitter than anything else in there.  It’s a typical fruity hop for aroma.  The citrus really pushes through and there are a few earthy smells to it as well.  With the addition of the Amarillo, the malt finally lost the battle and the true IPA scent filled the kitchen.  Everything was much more balanced.

The wort tasted great, albeit, very sweet thanks to the very high gravity.  Of course the hops hadn’t had time to settle, so rather than get multiple notes, all there was was one big blast of bitter and spice – it hit and it hit hard.  I’d like to keep some of that for the final beer, but a little more subtle!  We’ll see what happens.

Anyway, great brew day.  Afterwards we went out for Mexican.  So for those wanting to re-produce this recipe exactly, go out for Mexican afterwards to ensure the same results.


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11 thoughts on “The Beagle Double IPA – First Trial

  1. mikey says:

    Oh it’s a flame war you want? Well…! …nope I got nothing. But at least my beers say what they are! Ha, take that.

    As for the hot break, I’m pretty sure that’s what you’re meant to do. That is, stir the wort up heaps so it’s all aerate. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it no matter how wrong it might be.

    A quick comment on the hops. This recipe DID end up using 50g of hops. But, because of the spread it won’t be as bitter at what Matt’s recipe calls for.

    And finally, Mexican is good. if we could of done it any better we would of got take away and come back to have it with home brew.

  2. stu says:

    Beautiful recipe! Keen to see how it ends up.
    rye is completely delicious.
    50g hops isn’t too much at all! with an OG of 1.076 a ~20l batch could easily do with around 200-250g which is about that rate. an old english IPA recipe (Dr. Hodgson’s) i’ve got here scaled to 19l involves only 4.6kg base malt, and 213g hops @ 7.8%AA. with the amount of crystally stuff in there the extra hoppage wouldn’t have gone astray at all!

    Small terminological peeve of mine – the word mash refers specifically to the process of converting malted grain’s starches into sugars.
    Thus a mini mash is where one mashes a smaller amount of base malt (enzyme rich malt) and uses that liquor in conjunction with malt extract to form the sweet sweet wort. You gotta do it soon! Also it wouldn’t be too difficult to go all-grain at 4l… just sayin ;)!

    • Chas says:

      Cheers Stu. I tend to just say mash if I’m using grains… BUT in my defence, you can get the same reaction at 73 degrees that you do in the mid-60s, it’s a different enzyme though. In your defence though, this was a pretty small grain bill and yes, the recipe is an extract brew with a speciality grain steep. BUT in my defence, there would have been SOME sugars coming out of the grain, albeit too little to really make a difference. Lets agree to disagree and just call it a nano-mash.

  3. stu says:

    also you want to be aerating when the thing is cold, oxygen for your yeasties. the action of boiling will drive all oxygen out of solution anyway… the break totally would have been flipping out!
    nothing wrong with teddies

    • Chas says:

      Awww, Stu, you care so much for my beer. Yeah, I didn’t go into it, but one of the advantages of using a small carboy is it’s easy to give everything a good shake once the yeast is pitched. Unfortunately since I’m not a strong guy, this usually results in placing the carboy against my hip and making a humping motion. But it gets results!

  4. stu says:

    Sure you’ve got sugars from the crystals – unfermentable sugars! You didn’t convert any starches, you steeped in water to get the sugars in solution.
    The rye’s starches could have potentially converted, but it would have needed the aid of an enzyme rich malt.
    Crystal malts are malted barley that have been mashed at the maltster’s joint, then kilned to a temperature that evaporates the water, kills the enzymes, and creates molecularly complex yet delicious unfermentable crystalised sugars.
    There were no active enzymes, no convertin’, and thusly no mash occurin’
    Mashing refers specifically to the process involved when converting starches of malts.

    Also mashing enzyme rich malt at 73 degrees will give you a sugary, but extremely unattenuable wort as you are only working one of the enzymes involved in starch conversion. Mashing mid 60’s works both alpha and beta amylase and thus creates normal sorts of beers.
    this shaking method of yours sounds like a good candidate for the title of the nano-mash.
    he did the mash!
    he did the nano-mash..

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