Hoppy New Year!

{Originally posted on January 6 – somehow erased/removed from the website! Technical difficulties or gremlins? You decide…}

A year ago, I began writing this blog to share my brewing experiences, advice, recipes, etc. Among other things, the blog has led to the formation of a loose-knit group of local brewers who swap beers, recipes, advice, and that group has even begun to compete against each other, arranging informal tasting and judging events. In the fall we held our Black IPA Challenge, and in March we will gather again to compare American IPA’s. I know of at least eight brewers who have brewed or are about to brew their entry, basing their efforts on clone recipes of IPA’s by the Pike Brewing Co., the Oregon Brewing Co, Rogue, Stone…

I decided to take a different tack. After a little research, I finally came to understand what one brewery meant by “continuously hopped”. It seems that the brewers at Dogfish Head actually do add hops, a little at a time, at short intervals, throughout the entire boil. They make three (at this point) different IPA’s, of differing strengths and bitterness, each identified by how long they boil it and how long they continue to add hops. You may be familiar with their 60 Minute, 90 Minute and perhaps even the 120 Minute version.

I hope they have an automatic, programmed hop-feeder, because even the 60 Minute version which I did was labor-intensive.

This brew is smooth, hoppy, fragrant, complex… all the things a good IPA should be. Lighter in color than many, barely a deep gold, bold at about 6% abv, pleasantly bitter without being overwhelming… I didn’t bother to calculate my IBU’s because there were literally more than 45 different hop additions (Dogfish claims 60 IBU’s, thus reinforcing the 60 Minute name)…

For authenticity, I used only North American malted barley (from MaltEurop, in western Canada) and US-grown hops (indeed, the whole hops were all home-grown!).

Fishhead 60, American IPA
5.5 gallons, all-grain

Ingredients:

  • 9 lbs. MaltEurop 2-row pale malt
  • 1 lb. toasted MaltEurop 2-row pale malt
  • 1 lb. 30°L crystal malt
  • 1 oz. Pallisades hop pellets (8.3% aa)
  • 1 oz. Amarillo hop pellets (9.1% aa)
  • 1 oz. Simcoe hop pellets (12.2% aa)
  • 1/2 oz. home-grown whole Nugget hops
  • 1/2 oz. home-grown whole Cascade hops
  • 1/2 oz. home-grown whole Willamette hops
  • White Labs East Coast Ale yeast (WLP008)
  • 3/4 cup corn sugar (for priming)

Procedure:
Toast 1 lb. pale malt (375°F for ten minutes on a cookie sheet). Grind pale, toasted and crystal malts. Heat 13 quarts water to 164°F. Mash in grains, hold at 152°F for 60 minutes. Heat another 15 quarts water to 170°F, runoff and sparge. Collect 25 quarts of sweet wort. Bring to boil, begin adding hops over the whole 60 minute boil: start with the Pallisades, adding a few pellets at a time over the course of the first 30 minutes. Start adding the Amarillo as well at the 15 minute mark and continue to the end of the boil. Add the Simcoe over the last 20 minutes. Chill wort to 80°F, take a hydrometer reading, pour into a sanitized primary fermenter. Add the whole hops (in a mesh bag), pitch yeast, seal and ferment 10 days at 60 – 65°F. Rack to secondary, removing dry hops, and age ten days to two weeks at 45 – 50°F. Prime with corn sugar, bottle and age three weeks at 40 – 45°F.

OG: 1058

Note on hops: Dogfish uses Warrior, Amarillo, and Mystery Hop X – Simcoe is a guess, Pallisades replaced Warrior which was unavailable to me. I will be adding a few pellets of whatever aroma hop I have on hand to the bottling sugar mix, to add one more dose of fresh hop aroma. I opted to dry hop this beer in the primary rather than the secondary, purely out of convenience. If you can get the hops in and out of your secondary fermenter, feel free to dry hop then instead.

2 Replies to “Hoppy New Year!”

  1. I’m inspired to try continuously hopping my next batch (IPA of course) with my last freezer bag of homegrown hops (of an unknown variety). I do have a question about your notes on hops though; When you say “I will be adding a few pellets of whatever aroma hop I have on hand to the bottling sugar mix” do you mean that you throw a few pellets in as you boil the sugar for priming? How does this differ from dry hopping? Relative to my next aforementioned IPA, I’m curious if this would have a noticeable effect since I’ll be using a single variety of hops.

    Cheers,
    Jeff

    1. The idea, Jeff, would be to reinforce the existing hop aroma, as fresh as possible – during boiling of course, but also during fermentation, the volatile oils contained in the hops are broken down and fade – if you want to get the freshest possible hop aroma, it makes sense to add it as late in the process as possible. I guess this would qualify as a kind of dry hopping, sure – my take on that is: any hops added after the boil (either in the cooling kettle, in the primary, in the secondary, in the bottle or serving tank…) are “dry hops”. As far as single variety hopped IPA’s, your beer might still benefit from a late addition for fresh aroma… All that said, I have not really tried this technique often, so I can’t guarantee the results! I’ll report back after the competition in March, see if the judges liked it!
      PS: Don’t confuse this with the trendy “wet hops” which has nothing to do with when they are added, but rather when they are harvested – i.e. wet hop ales have a dose of hops added that are just freshly picked and not allowed to dry…

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