Saturday, April 13, 2019

Azacca Belma Pale Ale 1.0

While browsing of the online homebrew supply shop web sites, I discovered that they had both Belma and Azacca hops on sale. Having never used either, I decided to order some and craft a Pale Ale recipe around them.  I'd also wanted to try the relatively new Omega Yeast OYL-091 Hornindal Kveik yeast.  This recipe is the culmnation of that recipe design.  The flavor and aroma contributions from this combination should harmonize pretty well:
  • Azacca hops: Citrus and mango notes with a little orchard fruit.
  • Belma hops: Clean with a very orange, slight grapefruit, tropical pineapple, strawberry, and melon aroma.
  • Hornindal Kveik yeast: Complements fruit-forward hops with its aromas of fresh pineapple, mango, and tangerine. Fermenting at high temperatures (up to 95F) will intensify the aromas and speed up fermentation.
Blend all that and we should get lots of nice citrus, mango, pineapple, and grapfruit aromas and flavors. I plan to intensify that by using only later-addition hops and whirlpooling with a bit of the hops after flameout.

Ingredients

5 pounds 2-row Brewer's Malt
4 ounces Caravienne Malt
3 ounces Carapils/Dextrine Malt
2 ounces Caramel 20L Malt
2 ounces Flaked Corn
0.18 ounces Azacca hops @ 11.6% AA (20 min.)
0.18 ounces Belma hops @ 11.6% AA (20 min.)
0.18 ounces Azacca hops @ 11.6% AA (10 min.)
0.18 ounces Belma hops @ 11.6% AA (10 min.)
0.15 ounces Azacca hops @ 11.6% AA (10 min. whirlpool 156-176F)
0.15 ounces Belma hops @ 11.6% AA (10 min. whirlpool 156-176F)
0.25 ounces Azacca hops (dry hop)
0.25 ounces Belma hops (dry hop)
1/4 tsp. Yeast Nutrient (15 min.)
1.5 tsp. pH 5.2 Stabilizer
1/8 tsp. Brewtan B (mash)
1/4 tsp. Brewtan B (boil - 20 min.)
1/4 tablet Whirlfloc
1/2 vial White Labs Clarity Ferm
6.7 liters mash water
6.7 liters sparge water

BeerSmith estimates the beer to have the following characteristics:
  • BJCP Style: 18.B American Pale Ale
  • Batch Size: 2.6 gallons
  • IBUs: 33.4
  • SRM: 5.7
  • ABV: 5.7%
  • Original Gravity: 1.052 SG (actual was 1.053 SG)
  • Final Gravity: 1.009 SG
  • BU/GU Ratio: 0.65
Mash schedule:
  • Mash in at 138F for 30 minutes
  • Mash at 157F for 45 minutes
  • Mash out at 168F for 10 minute
  • Sparge at 168F for 15 minutes
Boil schedule:
  • 60 minutes: No additions
  • 20 minutes: Azacca and Belma hops, plus Brewtan B
  • 10 minutes: Azacca and Belma hops, plus yeast nutrient and whirlfloc
  • 0 minutes: Chill to 176F then whirlpool and dry hop 10 minutes with 0.15 ounces each of Azacca and Belma hops, then chill to a yeast-safe temperature
Fermentation plan:
  • Pitch yeast and Clarity Ferm
  • Place fermenter in an insulated bag with a heating element, set temperature to 80F.
  • Seal the bag and allow the yeast to maintain a temp of at least 80F through fermentation, raising to 95F after 65-70% attenuated and add dry hops of Azacca and Belma for 3-4 days.
I plan to bottle with a single Coopers carbonation drop per 12-ounce bottle. I don't plan to cold-crash or add finings.

Post-Brew Notes and Observations

04/13/2019:  At the last minute, I decided to add the Carapils to the recipe to ensure some body and a nice head on the beer. I also decided to toss in a couple of ounces of flaked corn I had lying around that needed to be used.  Pre-boil gravity registered at 1.051 SG on a refractometer.

Post-boil, after the built-in chiller had dropped the temp to 176F, I paused the process. I dropped in a muslin bag with the Azacca and Belma whirlpool charge and began stirring the wort around for the next ten minutes. After that, I resumed the chilling process and got to work sanitizing a fermenter. By the time I'd finished with the fermenter, the wort was down to a yeast-safe temp. I pumped it into the fermenter and was pleased to see it registered 2.5 gallons (my target volume). When I dropped in a Tilt Hydrometer (and tested a couple of drops on the refractometer), but measurements yielded the same 1.053 SG.  I pitched the entire yeast package and Clarity Ferm.

I then moved the beer into one of my large Igloo coolers, added a heat wrap, and configured temperature control to keep the inside of the chamber to 85F (at least initially) and see about getting the beer up closer to the top of the yeast's range. This will maximize the yeast's aroma and flavor contributions - and speed up fermentation.

04/14/2019:  It's roughly 12 hours since I pitched the yeast. Temperature in the fermenter is now up to 74F and the gravity has dropped from 1.053 SG down to 1.048 SG, which implies the yeast is alive and well in its new environment.

04/16/2019: The Tilt Pi stopped communicating with the Tilt Hydrometers yesterday. After the SD card was reimaged and reconfigured, it worked again. Today the gravity of the beer is reported as 1.027 SG and the temperature as 83F.

04/19/2019:  The gravity is down to 1.014 SG. The temperature is up to 86F, owing to an increase in the temperature of the fermentation chamber.

04/21/2019: The gravity is down to 1.013 SG. Temperature is holding at 86F but I plan to increase the temp in the fermentation chamber later today to try to get it up in the 90F-98F range.  At this point we're only about 4 points away from the expected final gravity.

04/24/2019:  The gravity is down to 1.009 SG today. The temperature is up to 98F. It seems that the increase above 90F really helped this yeast get going.  I need to remember that for next time if I decide to brew this again. It wants to ferment very warm and may need a starter.

04/27/2019:  The gravity held at a consistent 1.009 SG for three days, but late last night began intermittently reading 1.008 SG. This suggests to me that fermentation may not be complete yet. I'm going to give it another day or two at 97F to see if there's any change before bottling. I think this is why I've had some batches overcarbonate and gush... fermentation wasn't truly finished and ended up continuing in the bottle.

04/28/2019:  After several days now at 97F and gravity holding at 1.009 SG, I've turned off the temperature control system and am allowing the beer to drop down to room temperature on its own inside the insulated chamber. I'll most likely bottle the beer in the next night or two.

04/29/2019:  Today the beer was bottled, using 1 Coopers carbonation tablet per 12-ounce bottle, and placed in the "hot box" with the temperature set to 98F.  A sample taken from the end of the bottling bucket had a hint of a cracker or biscuit-like malt bit to it, some somewhat muddy (to me) citrus notes that remind me of orange with a bit of pith to it. I'll reserve judgment until it's had a couple of weeks in the bottle but my initial take is that it's "OK" but nothing fantastic. I harvested the yeast to use in another beer soon.  The yeast flocculates into a fairly thin, compact layer in the fermenter and seems to impart a little of a Saison-like funk to the flavor, reminding me a little of beers that included Brettanomyces.

05/11/2019:  The beer is mildly carbonated at this point. There is an aroma of fresh orange (pith mostly) to the beer. It's not as bitter as it should be for the style, but it's not cloying, either. If I do this recipe again, I need to increase the hop amounts to aim for perhaps 40 IBUs.

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