Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lets try this again....

Imperial "5400" Pale Ale
I started with a clone recipe for Dogfish Head's 90 minute pale ale, and came up with:

9.0 lbs Pilsner Dry Malt Extract
1.5 lbs British Amber Malt (20-35 lovibond)
1.75 lbs Pilsner Malt
2.0 oz Amarillo Pellet Hops
0.75 oz Simcoe Pellet Hops
0.50 oz Warrior Pellet Hops
1.0 oz Centennial Hops Plug
1.0 oz Chinook Hops Plug
1.0 oz Simcoe Hops Plug

I steeped the grains in 2 gallons of water at 150-160 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. I added the malt extract and started adding hops that were separated into 90 medicine cups, one cup every minute for 90 minutes. The addition of drinking a shot of Sam Adams Octoberfest with ever medicine cup of beer was wonderful, until it digressed into drinking a few big sips out of the boot once a minute. After straining and cooling the wort into the fermenter, I took a gravity reading of 1.076.
The my local home brew store sells this amazingly magical product called foam block. I have no idea what it is, but it will stop a brewing pot of beer from boiling over, and it also stops fermenters from exploding. After about 24 hours I added the foam block and not a moment too soon. The foam had almost breached the air lock. After the gravity readings leveled out, I transfered the beer to the secondary fermenter and added the plug hops. I've never worked with plugs before, and they are quite potent.
Bottling blah blah blah and wow a few weeks later this is one amazing beer! I don't think it's quite as hoppy as the Dogfish original, but the bitterness is definitely present. The finish on my version is incredibly floral. The color has really cleared with age, and the addition of a wirlfloc tablet with about 15 minutes left in the boil.
I went with a Wyeast Whitbread yeast (1099), which imparts a "mild and slightly fruity fermentation profile," according to the Wyeast website. There was a lot of discussion online about using the Ringwood yeast. I don't know how much of a difference it would make, but the whitbread really works with the hop and malt profile I was looking for.

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