In a previous post I shared the recipe for the Digital Haze IPA kit that was offered to attendees of HomeBrewCon 2021. Today, I decided to brew the kit. It was at that point that I realized the 8 ounce package of Carapils was missing from my kit. I decided to swap in some Pilsner malt I had that I wanted to use up - so what you see below is slightly different from the actual kit from Brewer's Best. Refer to the link above it you want the exact kit recipe.
4 pounds Pilsen DME
1 pound Corn Sugar
8 ounces White Wheat Malt
8 ounces Flaked Oats
1.5 pounds German Pilsner Malt (8 oz. to replace Carapils, plus 16 "just because")
1 package Lallemand Voss Kveik yeast
1/4 tsp. Brewtan B (boil, 10 min.) - added to reduce oxidation
5.5 gallons of RO water, treated with:
- 1g Baking Soda
- 6.5g Calcium Chloride
- 3.3g Epsom Salt
- 1.5g Gypsum
- 2g Magnesium Chloride
- 1 Tbsp. pH 5.2 Stabilizer (optional, to hold pH at 5.2)
Brewfather estimates the beer to have the following characteristics:
- Batch Size: 5 gallons (4.5 gallons actual)
- Style: 21B New England IPA
- Original Gravity: 1.053 SG (1.058 SG actual)
- Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.032 SG (actual value not measured)
- Final Gravity: 1.008 SG estimated
- ABV: 6.7% estimated
- IBUs: 15
- BU/GU Ratio: 0.28
The partial-mash process was:
- Draw 5.5 gallons of reverse osmosis (RO) water
- Place 2.5 gallons in the Grainfather kettle and heat to 155F
- While heating, add the minerals to the RO water
- Add the grains, in a muslin bag, and start the circulation pump
- Add the pH 5.2 Stabilizer (optional)
- After 30 minutes, remove the grain bag and set it on a colander on top of the kettle to drain
- Set the controls to boil
- While the kettle heats, sparge the grain with 3 gallons of RO water
The boil schedule was:
- 60 minutes: Add 3 pounds of Pilsen DME, saving 1 pound and the sugar for later
- 10 minutes: Add Brewtan B, 1 pound of Pilsen DME, 1 pound of corn sugar while stirring constantly to ensure that everything is dissolved
- 0 minutes (hop stand): Chill to 180F and set the Grainfather controls to hold 180F. Add 1 ounce of the Cryo Pop hops, stirring the wort occasionally. After 20 minutes, this hop stand is finished.
- Pump the wort through the counterflow chiller into the fermenter
The fermentation schedule was:
- Stabilize the wort temperature to 90F
- Pitch the dry yeast directly on top of the wort, wait a couple of minutes for it to hydrate a little, then stir it into the wort and seal the fermenter.
- Hold the temp at no less than 90F and no more than 104F
- 24 hours after the yeast is pitched, add the remaining 2 ounces of Cryo Pop hops to allow for biotransformation to occur
- When fermentation has finished, prepare to bottle as soon as possible to avoid any off-flavors from oxidation or from the hops remaining in contact with the beer for too long
Brewer's Best describes this as an advanced kit. If you have a way to hold the temperature during the hop stand, know how to steep grain in a muslin bag, and you can remember to drop in your dry hops within 24 hours of pitching, you know everything you need to know how to do to brew this.
Post-Brew Notes and Observations
06/26/2021: This is the first kit I have brewed from for a while, and the first extract kit I've done in several years. That said, it was a fairly easy brew day and it went off without a hitch.
06/27/2021: This morning, the gravity was 1.017 SG, down from 1.058 SG when the yeast was pitched the previous day at around 5:30pm. The Kveik yeast makes quick work of a wort when held at a temperature it's happy with. I added the 2 ounces of dry hops in three tea strainer containers to give them room to expand. There was a thick krausen atop the fermenter and the airlock was bubbling quite well. The temperature has stayed within the 90-93F range throughout fermentation to this point.
06/28/2021: The gravity is down to 1.009 SG, just a point away from the expected final gravity. I've had the temp up to 94F since yesterday afternoon, to encourage the yeast to finish up its work. I'm expecting to perhaps be able to bottle this one in 2-3 days, given that fermentation seems to be practically finished now.
06/29/2021: The gravity is down to 1.008 SG today, which was the expected final gravity. That puts the beer (so far) at 6.7% ABV. Assuming the gravity holds for 2-3 more days, I should be ready to either bottle this or rack it off the yeast and dry hops.
06/30/2021: Gravity is flitting back and forth between 1.007 SG and 1.008 SG, suggesting that there may still be fermentation going on. Most likely this is a bit of "hop creep" caused from the dry hops in the fermenter. In any case, I think we're going to be in good shape to bottle this Thursday or Friday.
07/01/2021: Gravity has dropped to 1.006 SG.
07/03/2021: Bottled the beer using two Brewer's Best carbonation tablets per bottle. (Three is supposed to be the minimum, but my experience has been that 3-4 seem to overcarbonate the beer.)
07/10/2021: I chilled a bottle of the beer in the freezer for an hour and then opened it. Unfortunately, it was still quite flat. I think it will need to be conditioned a while longer.
|The "still mostly flat" Digital Haze on July 10, 2021|
|The labels provided with the kit|
08/25/2021: Despite more than a month in the bottle, carbonation levels in this batch remain low. This suggests to me that the hypothetical "infection" I was dealing with a while back is no more, or perhaps was a result of using too many of the Brewer's Best carbonation drops in some batches and not an infection at all...
10/10/2021: Bottles of this beer opened yesterday showed a nice carbonation level. The fruitier elements of the flavor have unfortunately become muted, leaving it more like a traditional IPA than a Hazy or NEIPA.
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