Monday, December 11, 2006

Mmm...Simcoe IPA

I think I've brewed my best IPA yet. My wife, Carol, particularly likes lighter-colored IPAs and I think I've delivered, using a late extract method I read about in Brew Your Own magazine. Although I mashed a couple pounds of grain (one pound each of Victory and Munich) in a grain bag on the stove, the bulk the fermentables for this beer came from liquid extract and I added half of this extract in the last 10 minutes of the boil. After about a few days in the primary fermenter and about two weeks in the secondary, I bottled this brew. I sampled a 12-ounce bottle yesterday and I was very pleased with color. I'm very happy with flavor of this beer, too. I used a single hop, Simcoe, which seems to have added a very refined bitterness and a wonderful fruity hop character. I dry hopped with a couple ounces of pellets, which added a noticeable fruity hop nose. I like this beer quite a bit and I will probably brew it again soon. I think the secret to the outstanding flavor is the hop schedule, so here's the recipe:

Mash:
1 pound Victory Malt
1 pound Munich Malt (light)

Extract:
Two four-pound cans of Alexander's Pale LME (one can added at the beginning of the boil and one at the end)

Hops:
1 oz. Simcoe pellets for 60 min.
1 oz. Simcoe pellets for 30 min.
0.50 oz. Simcoe pellets for 15 min.
1 oz. Simcoe pellets at the end of the boil
2 oz. Simcoe pellets in the secondary fermenter

Yeast:
Two packets of SafAle US-56

The alpha acid of these hops was measured at 10.4 percent. I bought a pound of 'em online at Northern Brewer.