I kept hearing about them. I kept reading about them. I kept seeing them. The New England-style IPA. A trend/style which just can’t be ignored anymore, especially for hop heads like me. It was hoppy. It was different. It must be brewed.
This is a relatively new “style” that can be traced, or at least credited, to Vermont Pub and Brewery, which was founded in 1988. In the late-90s John Kimmich became the head brewer of Vermont Pub and Brewery, but then in 2003 he went out on his own and founded Alchemist Brewing. Their Heady Topper IPA was unique in that it was unfiltered because Kimmich found that filtering his beers was potentially introducing unwanted oxygen into the beer. My kind of guy! Since the release of Heady Topper, other breweries such as Hill Farmstead, Tree House, and Trillium have helped pave the way to this growing style.
While I have never had a “real” New England-style IPA from New England, I have had ones inspired by them. These beers are juicy, oily, meaty, and of course cloudy, with the later being probably the most identifiable characteristic. Thankfully I had already kind of been replicating the style with my unfiltered, low temp massive hop stands. The idea being this is extracting huge juicy flavors and aromas, while not really focusing on that big dry bitter bite that us West Coasters have grown to love. While I am all for big and juicy, I have I have found them to be a little lacking for me in bitterness. Since I had yet to actually try a “proper” New England-style IPA, I wanted to make one to see what I am dealing with, and what I can do with my favorite style (have I mentioned I like IPAs?).
Keeping in line with a new style, I wanted to also try something new by trying a no sparge. I kept running across articles and videos where this can be done by adding all the water to the mash and what you runoff is your pre-boil volume. Mike Tonsmeire does something similar where he puts 85% of the water into his mash and cold sparges the last bit until he hits his target pre-boil volume (I actually did try this and I got some inconsistent results with my system). I figured I had nothing to lose trying this as I have not been getting that great of efficiency anyway. I did bump up the grain bill a little in case I lost too much efficiency and had some DME on hand just in case. Thankfully I have moved on (for now) doing weaker beers, and as a result the stronger higher gravity beers (using more grain) allow me to use all the water without going over the 2.4 qts per gallon water to grain ratio (this one ended up being 2.38 qts per gallon, so I was right there).
Let’s get weird.
Batch Size: 2 Gallons
Est ABV: 6.5%
Boil Time: 60 Min
5.5 lbs (81.5%) – 2-Row
8.0 oz (7.4%) – Flaked Oats
7.0 oz (6.5%) – Acid Malt
2.6 oz (2.4%) – Carapils
2.4 oz (2.2%) – Honey Malt (25 L)
60 Min @ 151F
.25 oz Chinook (13% AA) @ 60 Min
Hop Stand (180F)
1 oz Citra (12% AA) @ 30 Min
1 oz Mosaic (11% AA) @ 30 Min
.50 oz Simcoe (13% AA) @ 30 Min
Dry Hop (63F)
1.25 oz Citra (12% AA) @ Kegging
1 oz Mosaic (11% AA) @ Kegging
.75 oz Simcoe (13% AA) @ Kegging
Wyeast London Ale III 1318
1g of calcium chloride added to the mash. No sparge, added all the water needed to the mash and ran off 3 gallons at 1.051. Not bad efficiency! Post-boil the gravity was at 1.065. Added boiled and cooled water to bring it to 1.065 and just over 2 gallons.
9/19/16: Good fermentation.
9/25/16: The krausen as fallen.
9/30/16: Kegged with the dry hops. Keeping it at 63F.
10/20/16 Tasting notes:
It’s pretty good, but having now tried a few of these styles inspired by the “real styles”, it’s not how it’s supposed to taste. The citrus (largely grapefruit) is there, but it has a weird tannic sorta pithy bitterness as well that isn’t that pleasant. It’s sorta like if you left out a grapefruit just a little too long and ate it with a little of the rind attached. I think it’s possible my process was off with PH, or the hops weren’t totally fresh. It’s not terrible, but it’s not that super fresh juicy hop flavor I was going for. I noticed it’s darker than other authentic NE IPAs, but that is due to the honey malt in the recipe.
I will lastly add that the few times I’ve used a BYO clone recipe, it hasn’t turned out that well…at least for hoppy beer. I don’t think honey malt is needed for this and I would stagger the steeping additions and probably steep lower than 180F. But it was cloudy at least?