I’m a huge fan of the beers the likes of Verdant and Deya are making at the moment. And I wanted to round out the core range with a fourth beer. The idea being that each of our core beers will appeal to a different audience.
I had toyed with the idea of creating a West Coast IPA that has become the flagship of many a great brewery. However, as a nod to the experimentation with which Bullhouse began and that I plan to maintain, I thought I would brew a style I’ve never brewed before.
One of the main things I miss about brewing professionally is the time to mess around on my homebrew kit with experimental batches. Since I started selling the beer, I haven’t had time to do a single pilot batch. This means the first time you try one of our beers will usually be slightly different from the second.
I try things and then work on improving every batch by tweaking one of the 1000s of variables available to tweak during the brewing and fermentation processes. I try to make incremental improvements. For example if you tried Small Axe when it was first released and tried it again today, you would not think it’s the same beer. However if you try every batch one after the other, you will hopefully notice gradual changes and a small overall improvement every batch.
I mentioned many months ago that I would like to be transparent with my recipes as I believe it then allows fans of the beer to experience the little tweaks that I make from batch to batch.
So for a complete first, I would like to share my recipe in it’s entirety with you.
For The Dankness I wanted to create the most flavourful, full bodied, IPA that I could with a very low perceived bitterness.
I’m lucky to have extremely soft water, and I added a little bit of Calcium Chlroide (if you want the full water profile send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you) to bring the subtle malt flavours through and soften the perceived bitterness.
Recipe (for 10HL)
175kg Extra Pale Maris Otter
25kg Caramalt (added towards the end of the sparge)
25kg Pale Wheat
25kg Rolled Oats
815g Columbus (Whirlpool)
1185g Mosaic (Whirlpool)
1000g Simcoe (Day 1 Fermentation)
1000g Mosaic (Day 1 Fermentation)
1000g Simcoe (Day 3 Fermentation)
1000g Mosaic (Day 3 Fermentation)
2000g Galaxy (Day 3 Fermentation)
Mashed at 65°C for 60 mins.
Mash pH 5.45
Theoretical IBU 0
I ended up using US-05 as in my experience, it ferments quickly and when used at higher temperatures it can create a much fruitier flavour profile than normal.
Fermentation started at 21°C, at Day 3 I raised the cap to 23°C.
The beer fermented to terminal FG in 6 days. Temperature dropped to 19°C over another 4 days.
The plan was to get the beer canned as quickly as possible with a short conditioning time of around 7 days at 6°C.
Unfortunately canning was delayed for an extra two weeks so it had an extra two weeks of conditioning time.
I added the Caramalt to provide an increased depth of flavour. In my opinion this has reduced the ability for the hops to truly shine.
There are huge mango and passionfruit aromas. The sweetness provided by the Caramalt is very evident, and the dankness than exhibited during fermentation did not translate into the finished product as much as I expected. The malt profile has increased the complexity of the beer and it has that huge body and mouthfeel that I was going for, almost chewy.
Changes for the next batch.
For the next batch, I will remove the Caramalt completely, and switch the grain bill to 35% Extra Pale and 35% Pale Maris Otter with 20% Wheat and 10% Oats. I will also remove the Calcium Chloride addition to further reduce the malt profile.
I will also increase the dry hop in the next beer (and add some Nelson if I can get my hands on it) and add some Columbus during flameout to provide a little bit more bitterness. I’m happy with how the yeast performed and the ester profile the higher fermentation temp provided. I’m happy to brew a less complex, more dank version and I will update once the next batch has been made.
Overall, I’m really pleased with how the beer turned out. It managed to win Champion Beer of Belfast 2017 debuting on cask at Belfast Beer and Cider Festival last night which I am absolutely thrilled with!