I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and all that.
This Christmas I received some presents I had asked for… and the ones I wish to let you know about now were brewing ingredients! I received the ingredients necessary to brew a Double IPA, and a Russian Imperial Stout. On December 31st I brewed the Double IPA, and christened it the “Hoppy New Year Ale”. Today, I have just racked it to the secondary fermenter. It clocked in at 1.076 OG on brew day, and it went into secondary at 1.015. It looks, smells, and tastes good. One thing is for sure… it’s a hop monster.
There are two things I did with this brew that I’ve never done before. One is using oak chips. The recipe called for oak chips in the secondary fermenter… and in they went. Looks like bark. Hmmm.
The second thing is dry hopping. Dry hopping (which isn’t dry) involves putting hops in the secondary fermenter to re-infuse the beer with the volatile hop oils that are usually blown off during primary fermentation. This gives the beer a heck of an aroma. Like a blast of hops straight up your nostrils. Lovely! But I’m dry hopping using pellet hops, which look roughly like rabbit feed and turn to mush when wet. So I stuck ’em in a nylon hop sack, and crammed it into the secondary fermenter (a glass carboy). Getting that sucker out after secondary is bound to be fun, but hopefully it will cut down on hop detritus when it comes time to keg it.
The current plan is to leave the beer on the oak and the hops for a week, then I’m going to crash cool that sucker (to clear the beer) and keg it.
It feels really good to get back into brewing. Now I just have to plan the brew day for the Imperial Stout.