If it tastes so good, it must be terrible for you, right?
We’ve all read countless articles about how beer is good for your health. In moderation, beer has shown to help lower the risk of heart disease, lower the risk of Type-2 diabetes, and helps to prevent kidney stones. But don’t worry FDA, I’m not here to claim any of these things, I’ll leave that to the scientists who unlike me decided not to abandon the world of Food Research in favor of brewing oh so tasty beer. Since the dawn of time, Beer has been considered the bread of the people. Both safer than the average water source as it was both boiled during the brewing process as well as containing alcohol and hops for shelf life, as well as healthier as beer contains significant amounts of protein, fiber, selenium, B vitamins, phosphorus, folate, niacin, and silicon. But if you wanted bread, you could just go to the bakery, so instead for your physical benefit, and our mental and eventual monetary benefit, we decided to work on perfecting a new IPA recipe.
What could be more healthy than morning Oatmeal? Well that’s where we started with this recipe, making almost 20% of the grain bill Flaked Oats to give a full mouth feel for this 7% ABV sipping beer. The base malt was mostly pilsen, keeping things simple we then went with a little Munich and CaraMunich for a hint of malty sweetness as well as a light amber color.
While the malt is always important to every beer, it is definitely not the highlight of the day, which should be spotlighted on the hop profile. We went in to this wanting something bitter, but not so bitter that you’re stuck with the bitter-beer face the rest of your life. We settled on 80 IBU, which is definitely up there but can be crafted to taste deceptively lower when balanced properly with the malt. Rather than just throwing everything at the wall and seeing what would stick, we went with one hop profile: Spicy citrus. We First Wort hopped with Chinook to really get the spicy out of the way early and the mass of the bitterness. Both our late hops and dry hops are balanced with Cascade and Amarillo, aiming for that in your face citrus and orange flavor and aroma.
One of the oft forgotten facets of brewing that people tend to overlook is the brewing water. There are scientific journals, books, and textbooks dedicated just to the subject of brewing water, and for very good reason, water is 90%+ of the beer, its going to impact everything along the brewing process. The key difference for the “water salts” in this IPA as compared to say one of our Stouts is the much higher ratio of Sulfates added compared to the Chlorides in the water. While chlorides accentuate the malt flavors, sulfates add a dryness and accentuate the hops and bitterness they provide. We went with a 3:1 ratio of sulfates to chlorides, just enough to really accentuate the hops without imparting a sulfur flavor of its own.
The IPA is currently in the Fermenter rocketing away, one huge CO2 bubble at a time. After the Fermentation settles down slightly we will dry hop it with an additional 3 ounces each of Cascade and Amarillo, a real juicy citrus hop punch. While the IPA is fermenting we are currently doing our Yeast drops on the Irish American Red Ale, which should be ready to move into kegs and tested in a few days.
Beers on Deck to be Brewed:
Oatmeal American IPA
Currently finishing Fermenation:
Irish-American Red Ale
Currently in Barrels:
Imperial Coffee-Rye Porter