Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Brew Day! Tropical Closet Hop Head Belgian IPA

It's been something like 9-10 months since I last home brewed and with a free weekend, decided I had to do something about that.  So last Sunday, I did a little twist on my last home brew, a Belgian IPA I called Closet Hop Head.  Giving it more of a tropical vibe, Galaxy hops replaced Cascade while cinnamon spice substituted for coriander.  Making snap changes on a whim is part of the fun of home brewing which professional brewer rarely have the luxury for.   Can you imagine Ken Grossman waking up one day and deciding to use Galaxy hops instead of Cascade in his Sierra Nevada Pale Ale?

I call this beer Tropical Closet Hop Head and here's few pictures the afternoon of brewing along with the recipe at the bottom.  I'll let you know how it turns out.
Floating Thermometer in a Sea of Mash

All set to start sparging

Boiling away 

Galaxy and Chinook hops, along with some cinnamon
ready to go in at the final minutes

My extremely primitive wort chilling method.
(But it works!)

Time for the yeasts to do their thing!

Tropical Closet Hop Head Belgian IPA

4 lbs. 2-row Malt
1 lb Munich Malt
1/2 lb clover honey  (added at 5 minutes)

Mash with 1 1/2 gallons water

Sparge with an additional 1 1/4 gallons water

Boil for 60 minutes
0.3 ounces Amarillo hops 60 minutes
0.3 ounces Amarillo hops 45 minutes
0.1 ounce Amarillo hops 30 minutes
0.5 ounces Galaxy hops five minutes
0.5 ounces Chinook hops five minutes
0.2 ounces ground cinnamon, five minutes
Cinnamon, Amarillo, Galaxy and Chinook hops, steeped at flame out for additional 15 minutes

Add 1/2 gallon cold water at flame out

White Labs Belgian Ale Yeast in 1-gallon fermenter
White Lab California Ale Yeast in a second 1-gallon fermenter
Makes two gallons

Original Gravity:  1.070
Final Gravity: 1.016
Approximate ABV 7.1%

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