AG#59 – Hops & Glory India Pale Ale

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I’ve used a few English yeast strains in the past, but one in particular delivers the flavour profile I want in my English beers and that is “WhiteLabs’ WLP002 – English Ale” strain. This strain was reportedly isolated from beers made by the renowned Fullers’ brewery in London. My recent experiment with SMaSH brewing, where a brewer designs a recipe using a “Single Malt and Single Hop” approach, was a great success, and I’m keen to try this technique out on an English style ale. I will be using only Munton’s Maris Otter in the grain bill, which will keep the beer relatively light in colour. Another reason for using only base malt in this recipe is that it will age better without crystal malts, which as they oxidise over time, tend to take on additional raisin and plum flavours. I want a cleaner malt profile for this beer.
For hopping, I’ll exclusively use East Kent Goldings in the kettle and for dry-hopping. EKG is a dual-purpose hop variety, good for both bittering and aroma. They contribute a floral and spicy character to beer. I’ve never dry-hopped an English ale, a practice which is very traditional, so I’m looking forward to seeing what it contributes to this particular beer style.
In keeping with the spirit of India Pale Ale, where the beers were aged extensively during the long sea voyage from England to India, I’d like to lay this beer down for a few months to improve its flavour. But the problem is that delicious beers often don’t last too long!
Recipe Specifications
Post Boil Volume: 23.92 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 19.00 l
Bottling Volume: 17.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.060 SG
Estimated Color: 11.7 EBC
Estimated IBU: 50.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 58.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 70.2 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients

1.00 tsp Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins)
6.253 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter, Muntons (6.5 EBC), 100.0 %
29 g East Kent Goldings [5.70 %] – Boil 60.0, 21.5 IBUs
28 g Fuggles [4.90 %] – Boil 60.0 min, 19.6 IBUs
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins)
30 g East Kent Goldings [5.70 %] – Boil 10.0, 4.9 IBUs
40 g East Kent Goldings [5.70 %] – Steep Whilpool 4.6 IBUs
1.0 pkg English Ale (White Labs #WLP002)
30 g East Kent Goldings [5.70 %] – Dry Hop, 0.0 IBUs
Mash Schedule: Bubbles’ Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 6.253 kg
Mash In Add 17.51 l of water at 71.2 C 65.0 C 60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun , 17.17l) of 77.0 C water

11/06/2016 – Dry hopped with 28g of EKG.

17/06/2016 – I’m starting to get worried about this now. The airlock is still burping regularly, despite the fact that the kreusen has dropped entirely, and the beer looks completely still and fully-fermented.
18/06/2016 – I opened the fermenter and it seems that there are big bubbles coming out of the hop bag. I do hope it’s just carbon dioxide, trapped by a yeast covered hop bag. Maybe the dense yeast cake is off-gassing in some way, though I’ve never seen that before. Unless there’s something more sinister going on, like an infection.
22/06/2016 – Bottled with 115g of glucose (18 litres @ 2.4 vol). Got 35 bottles from the batch. Airlock was still going, so I decided to rack to secondary to see if there was still fermentation going on, or if the hop bag was trapping gas. I took a gravity reading of 1.010 which tells me this is entirely fermented. The sample also tasted finished, so I decided to bottle, as I had the bottles all cleaned and lined up on the draining rack. Sample tasted decent. The alcohol is a little prominent, but this will condition out. Will be lovely when it’s cold and carbonated.

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