I’ve had a hop craving for the last few months that I just cannot satisfy. I’ve tried everything, every IPA that’s around, and they’re just not hitting the spot. I need something bigger. Something that’s not an exercise in balance. Something that’s so hoppy it can’t help but lash out. Something that wants my lunch money. Everyone says, “anyone can just throw a bunch of hops in a pale ale and call it an IPA.” I’ve never done that! Can they really?! So, caution to the wind, here I go. The world’s first B’yPA!
The Idea: In Newfoundland if your grandmother caught you doing something stupid she would likely say that “you’re some stunned b’y.” Well, this is “Some Stunned IPA” by virtue that it’s so very, very hop heavy. I’m going to throw as many big, highly prized (or just hyped) hops into this beer as I can. I’ve never been bowled over by a beer being too hoppy, so even if that’s the only thing I accomplish, it’s progress.
The Idea (less stunned): This batch stated out in Beersmith as a beer called “Efficiency IPA.” After the Porter, I wanted a simple grain bill to get a better idea of my efficiency and so, to make that simple grain bill into a tasty beer, I wanted to make it hoppy. Also, because I have to bottle condition these beer and because hops fall off with time I am going aggressive at the outset so it will remain tasty longer.
The Design: This is a single IPA, but I’m drawing my inspiration from big double IPAs.
Malt: I wanted to go pretty standard, so I’m using a grain bill that I’ve used many times before in partial mash (though there I added malt extract). It’s a little Caramel 60 and some Carapils cut into a bunch of Canadian 2-row.
Yeast: American IPA? American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056).
Water: I’m trying some water conditioning for the first time in this brew. On the advice of Jason Tremblay (of Shacklands Brewing, who made an excellent pale ale I enjoyed earlier this week) I’ve decided to use about 6 grams of gypsum (Calcium sulphate/CaSO4), 3g in the mash and 3g in the boil. I’ve heard adding it to the mash helps ph and the boil helps bittering, so I’m doing a little of both. For the info on Toronto water analysis I’m using for this, see here. Water treatment is something I’m currently reading up on!
I’m also using about 1/2 a Campden Tablet to dechlorinate my tap water (as per here). I have gotten a kind of plastic taste on some (much) older beers, so this should mitigate chlorine-based off flavours. They were only around $1 for 50, so it’s almost no cost to use them. Oh, and of course I’m using irish moss at the 15 minute mark.
Hops: Having looked around at Pliny the Elder and Heady Topper clones I decided to use both Simcoe and Amarillo hops for a large part of the aroma. Super Galena seemed like a decent high alpha bittering hop and, based on this Pliny recipe from the brewer himself, I decided to add some CTZ (Columbus in this case) to the mid-boil schedule. I also got the idea of a second dry hopping from Vinnie’s wisdom. The idea to add Citra to this came from the popularity of beers like Zombie Dust (Three Floyds) and Karma Citra (GLB). It also came from the temptation to use three highly hyped hops (at least as judged by the criteria of forms and “out of stock” listings on supplier sites) in one beer.
Characteristics: American IPA’s are (mostly) about the hops, so the main characteristics of this beer are found in the varieties used for aroma. These are all higher alpha hops, but higher alpha hops that are prized for their aroma. Simcoe is in the citrus, grapefruit, and pine ballpark, and Amarillo is flowery, spicy and citrus, though I usually like to think of it as peach and pine. Those make sense together. Same with the supporting CTZ, which is citrusy and woody. The Citra is a bit of an outlier, being more tropical fruits (guava, mango, tropical fruit). I’ve never seen Amarillo and Simcoe married with Citra, but that’s what the Stunned IPA drinker will get to find out!
The Plan: Pretty simple. Mash in at 165F to settle at around 152F for 60 min with about 14L of water. Batch sparge and then do a 90 minute boil.
Specifications: BeerSmith says the following,
It’s a little out of range with the bitterness, but everything else is nominal. The ABV will likely be lower. I’ve designed the grain bill to be able to afford a poor efficiency. I’m expecting an OG of around 1.064, honestly. Anything higher and I’ve done well with the efficiency.
That’s it. The smack pack is broken. Brewing tomorrow.