It will probably be the last brew day of October, and it may well be the last brew day under the open sky before the looming winter of 2013/14 ushers operations into the garage and kitchen. It will be a day to play hooky and eat lustily of the tacos of bachelorhood, even if only for an afternoon, and over the sink so I don’t have to wash dishes later.
It will be a west coast IPA with West Coast IPA, riffing on the recipe for Russian River Blind Pig in Mitch Steele’s IPA. It will have some well-loved old friends – Rahr 2-row, Amarillo, Simcoe – and some new blood too: Polaris for the bittering power, EXP 5256 standing in for CTZ and Cascade where called for in the Blind Pig bill.
Sidebar: I first smelled EXP 5256 at this year’s Craft Brewer’s Conference and was very stricken. I remember the sample at the HopSteiner table as being pinier and more roundly fruity than the pack I ended up getting months later, but I think it’ll still do very nicely here – very pungent and dank, a bit cat-pissy, a bit musty, with some of that Summit-like garlic-and-orange citrus and overtones of wild grapes.
Anyway, IPA: it’s America’s beer now. This was reinforced for me at the GABF last week, not only through its – surprise, surprise – ubiquity, but through the realization that, tasting through some admittedly excellent domestically-brewed continental lager styles and saisons, the battle for global supremacy in those styles is still contested with the brewers in those beers’ native countries; but that citric, dank, Colorado-dispensary-stinky, hoppy expression is still best spoken in a nasal accent that just talks louder to make itself understood, and it’s not ordering from the menu and it wants a hamburger with plain yellow mustard.
Now I need to get back to the sink and finish lunch, then go see a mash about denaturing some amylase enzymes.
Get The Acorn IPA
Target OG: 1.057
- 96% Rahr 2-row pale
- 3% Caramel 60L
- 1% CaraPils
- 152F for 75′
- 170F for 10′
- Polaris (pellet, 21.6% aa) at 60′ to 49 IBU
- Amarillo (whole, 9.5% aa) at 30′ to 12 IBU
- Blend of equal parts Amarillo, Centennial, Simcoe, and EXP 5256 at 0′, at a combined rate of 11 grams/gallon
- Chill to 65F, O2 and pitch with Wyeast 1217 West Coast IPA (2nd generation, washed & re-propped)
- After attenuation is complete, dry hop with more Amarillo and EXP 5256 at a rate of 3 grams/gallon and 4.25 grams/gallon, respectively, for an additional 10 days