As the last of my Spruce Tree IPA begins to dwindle down it comes time to brew once again. This is my second batch since getting back into scratch brewing and I wanted to try another style of beer I really like.
Anyone who has followed this blog knows that Peak Organic White IPA got my top pick for the Craft Beer Advent Calendar last year. I’ve had a number of White IPAs and it is definitely a style that I really enjoy. I also like to be creative and try things I haven’t had before. It’s why I got into home brewing, I wanted to try different things out, see what works and what doesn’t, and make beer I want to drink. So, rather than the tradition orange and coriander combination oft found in White IPAs, I went with lemon and thyme.
I never did get around to posting an update to my Spruce Tree IPA. It turned out really well. I was very happy with it and the spruce definitely comes through. I’ve had the opportunity to share it with a number of people who I trust and overall the reception has been good. I do end up with a bit of cold haze in the beer and there are times when the spruce isn’t as strong as I’d like, but overall I am happy with it. I did make a few of mistakes and I am trying to learn from this time.
First off, I didn’t treat my water. For those who don’t know chlorine and chloromine are often found in city water. It’s a way for them to ensure the water clean. Chlorine boils off during the brew process, but chlormine does not and can interact with the proteins in your wort and make for a funky taste. I lucked out on my Spruce IPA that I didn’t end up with a noticeable change with this interaction, but this time I treated my water to remove the chloromine. This should improve this batch of beer.
The second mistake I made was not cold crashing. I was new to doing this before I picked it back up and something I’ve recently learned is that you want to cool your beer down after the boil as quickly as possible. This is a cold crash. It also helps with the cold break to allow the particulate in your wort to drop to the bottom so you don’t transfer it over to the fermenter resulting in a clearer beer. As well, dimethyl sulfide is a compound which forms in wort when it is hot. This is boiled off but if you don’t cool your beer quickly it can form again resulting in off flavours in the finished beer. Again I was lucky to avoid any significant off flavours, but something I wanted to learn from and made sure I did on this batch.
The third (yes I made three) mistake I made was not considering the hop profiles. I was so excited to get started I just grabbed a few hops not even considering how they might play with the spruce. This time around I made sure to consider this and end up using Chinook hops from Prairie Gem Hops.
Overall, I am quite pleased with this batch so far. It smells really good and I’m hoping that the taste will be there at the end of the day as well. As I am still new to this, I don’t mash. So for this recipe I used extract. I also ended up using pellitized hops for the knockout.
5.25lbs pale malt extract
2.5lbs wheat malt extract
2oz dried chinook hops (Praire Gem, 60 minutes)
5 oz dextrose (30 minutes)
whirfloc tab (30 minutes)
1/2 oz dried lemon peel (5 minutes)
1 oz fresh thyme (5 minutes)
wyeast 3787 (High gravity trappist yeast)
Now I just play the waiting game. I’ll let you know how this one turns out.