So, the Jehovah’s witness people came by the other day. Again. That’s all fine, but just like George Costanza felt about the carpet cleaners, I’m a bit offended that they never try to convert me. Either I give off an inconvertible vibe, which is both fine and true, or they just don’t want me to join, which I have a problem with. They always just ask for my wife, meaning that I always have to cover for her, tell them she’s not home.
This particular time I got in a somewhat sticky situation. We had just come home and when I did the old “she’s not home routine”, the woman kindly replied; We just saw the two of you come home… Quite the predicament. Do I come clean, or do I keep going? That wasn’t her, I said, and I would appreciate it if we could keep this between us, which I feel was a decent enough reply there on the spot. Then we both laughed it off. She knew I was full of shit. I knew she knew I was full of shit. She knew I knew she knew I was full of shit and so forth… It’s the kind of mind game you play with the Jehovah’s. It’s a back and forth battle of innocent lies. Good times.
Rocky IV, East Meets West, DIPA
I prefer my IPAs in the 6 to 7% ABV range. Below 6% they tend to be a bit thin, and above 7% they tend to lose drinkability. Why then did I decide to brew an 8.4% double IPA? Short answer is I didn’t. I did brew one, but never decided to. Either my mash efficiency went through the roof or I measured something wrong. If I remember correctly, I meant to brew a 7% ABV west coast IPA, but ended up brewing a double NEIPA instead.
At least the judges who evaluated the beer in this year’s Himabisse competition called it a double NEIPA, even though I entered it as a DIPA. Can’t blame them, as it looks and tastes like a NEIPA. So why wouldn’t it be a NEIPA then? Well for one, the malt bill was 100% Pilsner malt. No wheat or oats of any kind. Secondly, calculated IBU’s were 88. Not sure exactly how many IBUs double NEIPAs usually have, but I would assume less. At the same time, based on the feedback from the judges, they appear to have liked the bitterness and felt I could even have upped it a little. All in all, it got quite positive feedback from the judges. One judge even called it exemplary. Now I only need to figure out exactly what style it is exemplary of.
So what’s up with the identity crisis of this IPA? Basically I wanted to brew a west coast IPA, but since I didn’t have the proper ingredients, I decided to make it west coast on the hot side and NEIPA on the cold side, expecting it to come out more like a west coast IPA. Malt bill was as said 100% Pilsner malt. Kettle hops were; 50 grams of Sorachi Ace at 60 minutes, another 50 grams of Sorachi Ace and 100 grams of Simcoe in the whirlpool, giving a total of 88 calculated IBUs. On the cold side I fermented with London ale III and dry hopped with 100 grams of Mosaic for five days, dumped that and dry hopped another five days with an equal amount of Citra. The Mosaic I added two days after brew day, i.e. during active fermentation.
1. You need a decent amount of bitterness in double IPAs to make them at least semi-drinkable. Even though I’m quite happy with how this one turned out, I’m not drinking more than one pint in a session. Final gravity got down to 1.016, which I suppose is ok considering that I didn’t add any simple sugars and it started from 1.080. Had I intended to brew a double IPA, I would have incorporated simple sugars into the recipe, but since this was a double by mistake, adding sugar would only had bumped up the ABV even further.
2. You don’t need to add wheat or oats in order to get haze that sticks around. Haze stability if you will. Never thought I’d use that term, unless I’m punching someone in the face for bringing it up. It looks more or less the same after two month of lagering at 1°C as it did coming out of the fermenter. My theory is that the haze comes from dry hopping during active fermentation. Perhaps choice of yeast and hops matter, but you don’t need to add wheat or oats in order to make a permanently hazy beer. For mouthfeel perhaps, but for me, a double IPA has enough mouthfeel as it is. But maybe that’s just me. You do what you want. Add lactose, pineapple juice, bananas, enzymes and ferment at 60°C with a Kveik strain under pressure and serve it 3 hours after pitching the yeast and call it a lager for all I care. Ciao!