Saturday, September 29, 2018

BrewDog "IPA is Dead" Mandarina IPA

Despite having had the DIY Dog book of BrewDog's recipes for a while, I've never taken the time to make one of their beers. I decided to change that today, selecting the "IPA is Dead" Mandarina IPA since I had plenty of Mandarina Bavaria hops and (what I thought was) enough Maris Otter malt. As it turned out, I was a little shy on the Maris Otter and had to fill in with some Belgian Pale Ale malt I wanted to use up.

Ingredients (as Brewed)

5 pounds plus 5 ounces Maris Otter Malt (6 pounds 4 ounces was the original recipe)
15 ounces Belgian Pale Ale Malt (not included in the original Brew Dog recipe)
0.75 ounces Mandarina Bavaria Hops pellets @ 9.2% AA (60 min.)
0.80 ounces Mandarina Bavaria Hops pellets @ 9.2% AA (20 min.)
0.85 ounces Mandarina Bavaria Hops pellets @ 9.2% AA (5 min.)
1/4 tsp. Brewtan B in the mash
1.5 tsp. pH 5.2 Mash Stabilizer in the mash
1/4 tsp. Brewtab B in the boil (20 min.)
1 packet Safale US-05 yeast
1/2 vial White Labs Clarity ferm for gluten reduction
3 gallons, 40 ounces filtered Dublin Ohio Mash water in keg

According to the PicoBrew recipe crafter, this beer should have the following characteristics:
  • BJCP Style: 21.A American IPA
  • Original Gravity: 1.066 SG (actual was 1.056 SG)
  • Final Gravity: 1.009 SG
  • IBUs: 70
  • SRM: 7
  • ABV: 7.3%
  • Batch Size: 2.5 gallons (actual was 2.3-2.4 gallons)
The mash schedule is the PicoBrew High Efficiency Mash Schedule, modified so that the main mash step is 75 minutes at 149F per the Brew Dog recipe.

The boil schedule:
  • 60 minutes: 0.75 ounces Mandarina Bavaria hops
  • 20 minutes: 0.80 ounces Mandarina Bavaria hops plus 1/4 tsp. Brewtan B
  • 5 minutes: 0.85 ounces Mandarina Bavaria hops
Fermentis says the ideal range for the US-05 yeast is 64-82F. Since I'll be pitching a full packet of US-05 into a 2.5 gallon batch, I do not plan to rehydrate the yeast or create a starter. There should be plenty of viable yeast without doing that.  My plan is to hold the beer at 68F, near the lower end of the range, until fermentation is complete. After that, I'll treat with gelatin and cold-crash to brighten the beer before bottling. I'll be aiming for medium carbonation at bottling.

Post-Brew Notes and Comments

09/29/2018: The addition of Belgian Pale Ale malt was a last-minute choice since I was about a pound short of Maris Otter. I chose the Belgian malt because it was closer to something BrewDog might have used in Scotland than a domestic 2-row. 

The PicoBrew recipe crafter recommended 3.22 gallons of staring water, but I decided to go with 3 gallons plus approximately 40 ounces because it seems that in a high-efficiency mash they are sometimes a little short and this causes foaming.  It looked like this starting water amount was about all the machine could hold. I didn't see any overflow but it certainly filled the step filter to its absolute limit. 

Gravity came up about 10 points low on this batch, possibly due to the thinner mash. However, volume also came up low, so that implies a fairly low overall efficiency. One consequence of this is that the beer is likely to seem more bitter than it would have if I'd hit the gravity target. For an IPA that isn't a concern, but for some other styles it could make a big difference.

Wort volume, between 2.25 and 2.5 gallons
The wort came out of the chiller at about 84F, so I let the temperature control system get to work before pitching the yeast or Clarity Ferm. Around midnight the temperature had dropped to a range where it seemed appropriate to add the yeast.

During cleaning, it was clear that wort had overflowed from the mash compartment and carried some kernels of grain into the boil chamber. Given past experience, I don't expect this to create an unpleasant level of tannins in the finished beer as the amount was fairly small.

09/30/2018: It's about 17 hours since the yeast was pitched. Temperature has held at 67F. Gravity has dropped from 1.056 SG down to 1.054 SG, so there is clearly some fermentation going on. If I don't see a significant improvement by Monday evening, I'll pitch another packet of yeast.

10/01/2018: It's approximately 41 hours after pitching. The temperature has held at 67F. The gravity has dropped to 1.043 SG, which is about 23% attenuation. The fermentation has been slower than I've often seen US-05 work, probably because the temperature is being held low in the yeast's range. It will be interesting to see where things are tomorrow.

10/02/2018: The gravity is down to 1.028 SG as of this writing. That's about 50% attenuation and an estimated 3.7% ABV.

10/03/2018: The gravity has dropped to 1.023 SG, 14 points away from the expected FG. The temperature has held at 67F, but I'm planning to raise it up tonight to 70F to help it finish out.

10/05/2018: The gravity is down to 1.009 SG. I've raised the temperature up to 72F to give it more help finishing up. I've seen momentary gravity readings between 1.010 and 1.008 SG over the last few hours so I suspect it's down near its final gravity (FG).

10/06/2018: The gravity is registering 1.008 SG today, a point below the expected final gravity. I turned off the temperature control, mostly to save energy, and will let the beer finish out at ambient temperature before treating with gelatin and cold-crashing it.

10/07/2018: The gravity is reading 1.009 SG today and has been holding steady now for a while. I'm planning to treat the beer with gelatin and cold-crash it before bottling next week.

10/09/2018: The gravity has continued to hold at 1.008-1.009 SG so fermentation appears to be over. As I write this entry, I'm blooming a teaspoon of gelatin in distilled water. I'll use that to clarify the beer while it cold-crashes in the mini-fridge.

10/13/2018: The beer was bottled today with 4 small carbonation tablets per bottle. Yield was 25 bottles. A sample of the beer at bottling tasted much like any Brew Dog beer I've ever had, with a similar flavor profile and bitterness. A hint of mandarin orange flavor comes through in the middle.

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