It’s not my name for Beer fifteen but the insistence of the witty brewing virgin I made it with. “It looks like a muddy puddle!” she exclaimed as we were doing the mash, “You have to call it that!” Not even seeing it clear during the Whirlpool could change her mind.

Recipe is based on a recipe from a Japanese homebrewer friend of mine with grain and first hop slightly changed to match what I have.

Strangely, post-mash pre-boil gravity was 1.075 at 37 degrees, which is about 1.079 at 25 degrees (where my hydrometer seems to be calibrated). This was way above the target 1.057 pre-boil, which would inevitably lead to a larger than predicted OG. So at cooling I didn’t hesitate when adding ice. Something went tits up somewhere though because I ended up with 12L of 1.053 (at 25), well below the 1.064 predicted!

In response to the higher pre-boil gravity, and because my IPAs have lacked bittering kick, and because I suspect my Zeus is either old or not really 16.4%, I upped the bittering from 6.6g to 9g. If 1.075 was the correct pre-boil gravity and my Zeus really is 16.4%, this will keep me at the same bittering level as the original recipe predicted. If my reading was wrong, I’ll get a bit more bitterness – probably not a bad thing. If my Zeus is old or not really 16.4%, hopefully again this will keep me at close to the right bittering level.

The unpredictability doesn’t end there though. I added the 4th hop addition and Irish Moss five minutes early, 20m before the end of the boil instead of 15m. And when I went to pour into the bucket, I discovered the plastic smells of cherries – too late to do anything about it! Plus the target OG was based on 75% efficiency and usually I use 68% – 68% gives me a target OG closer to the actual, but then the IBUs would be different. All this makes the future of this beer very muddy indeed!

So in honour of my virgin helper and this beer’s muddy unpredictable future, I present:

Muddle Puddle Unpredictable JPA

Boil volume: 14L
Anticipated final volume: 12L

Anticipated OG: 1.064 (based on 75% mash efficiency)
Actual OG : 1.053 (adjusted – see above)

Grain (all precrushed):
2kg American 2-row
140kg Wheat Malt
200kg Munich
103g Crystal 15L
260g Crystal 27L
79g Crystal 40L
13g Crystal 150L

Hops:
Predicted IBU based on anticipated OG and 6.6g first hop addition: 66
60m: 6.6g 9g Zeus 16.4%
30m: 7.4g Simcoe 12.9%
20m: 5.5g each of Amarillo, Centennial, Cascade – combined AA of 25.2% – plus 1/2 teaspoon of Irish Moss
10m: 5.5g each of Amarillo, Centennial, Cascade
5m: 5.5g each of Amarillo, Centennial, Cascade
0m: 5.5g each of Amarillo, Centennial, Cascade
Dry: 5.5g each of Amarillo, Centennial (I may adjust this depending on taste after fermentation, perhaps bottling half without dry hopping)
Update 25th May 2009: See here for the actual dry hopping used.

Method:
Full mash using a hop bag; 9L at 65-66 degrees, 7L at 75 degrees.

Yeast:
S-04, half a pack

Primary:
Bucket which still smells like cherries. Doh!

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