09: Mini IPA (e)

…this man needs a plan!

Last night I bottled Beer seven (Green Scottish West Coast Flasher IPA) and Beer nine (Mini IPA), leaving Beer twelve (Chocolate-less Coffee Stout Experiment) because the gravity was a little above where it should be – as it has only been in for 6 days I thought I’d give it some breathing space. As I said yesterday, Flasher hit its FG exactly; I didn’t measure the FG of Mini IPA because there’s so little of it.

I now have three free buckets. It’s a joy to see them – all waiting to be filled with lovely beer! Today I’ll receive a delivery from Advance Brewing which includes:

6kg of American 2-row
4kg of German Weyermann Wheat malt
1kg of German Weyermann Munich
1.5kg of German Weyermann Pilsner
1kg of UK Chocolate
0.6kg each of C40 and C15
0.3kg each of C150, Flaked Rye, Flaked Oat, Flaked barley
200g Saaz pellets (I’ll need more Saaz than I currently have if I’m to make pilsners over the summer)

I didn’t have exact recipes in mind when ordering these – I did the order before leaving for the airport when I was in Korea because I knew I needed o-rings, and decided to add some grain to bring it over the free delivery limit. As it turned out Advance Brewing screwed up the delivery date and didn’t have all the o-rings in stock, so I may as well have just waited till I came back.

In retrospect – now that I have researched recipes – it would have been good if I’d ordered some C60, C75, and extra flaked rye, etc. Still, at least I have grain to get creative with!

This is what I’m thinking of:

1. A 3 US Gallon version of the Lagunitas IPA clone mentioned in this podcast from Jamil. The 6 US Gallon recipe given in the podcast has an OG of 1.060 and IBU of 46.8 according to Jamil. When I plug it into online calculators, I get the same OG but an IBU of 37 – I’ve tried different calculators and get the same result, so Jamil must be using different utilisation values for the hops.

I feel 1.060 is going to be a bit light for an IPA and I want something stronger so the version I’m working on is a 3 US Gallon recipe with an OG of 1.076 and an IBU of 40 (from the same calculators that gave 37). I’m keeping this as a 3 gallon version because (a) it is experimental, and (b) it made it easier to work out the hops (The original recipe is based on a boil size around the same at the batch size. I can’t do a 6G boil so I would need a 3G boil with 6G batch, which would have meant scaling up the hops because of the higher gravity 3G boil – too risky.)

2. Two 3 US Gallon white ales. Both will have wheat and pale malt. One will have flaked rye added to the mash; the other will use orange peel, coriander, and nutmeg. Both will use a Belgian yeast. I only have one pack of the yeast, hence splitting the batch – 3G also is better matched to the small amount of rye I have. Will be fun to compare these – Rye vs Spice.

3. A porter, and all grain bitter, and a pilsner. I’ve not even thought of recipes yet – whether or not the porter and bitter are possible depends on the weather. The porter will most likely include the oats and/or barley.

The weather is getting hotter in Japan so I want to start these as soon as I can, while my hallway is still around 24-26. The Lagunitas IPA will be first since I’ve almost finished the recipe.


It’s exactly two months since I bought the “homebrew kit” in Tokyu Hands and started homebrewing. Since that time I’ve:

What I’ve not achieved yet is making an IPA that I’m happy with. But I’m working on it. By the end of tonight I’ll have all 4 of my buckets free again, and by 9pm tomorrow I’ll have received a large batch of assorted grain (two row, wheat, chocolate, etc etc) to fill them up again with. It’s time to start planning more beer!

Last night I bottled Beer five (Brewferm Kriek racked onto cherries) and kegged Beer eight (All Fuggles Bitter). It wasn’t entirely a smooth event – the tap for the Kriek kept getting clogged up with cherries and the tap for the Bitter kept getting clogged up with hop leafs. I need to get better at “clearing” my beer – I need ensure the leaf hops are not transferred into the primary, and I need to remember to put in that Irish Moss (not that Irish Moss will help transferring, just that I always forget it).

Beer eight had a FG of 1.013-12 at 21 degrees – 1.014-13 adjusted to 15 degrees – which is higher than the predicted 1.009. I possibly should have left it a little longer, but it had been in for 12 days already. Unlike All Goldings Bitter, I’m not going to force carbonate this one – hopefully if there is any fermentation left to do, it will naturally carbonate the beer. I’ll leave it for a few days with some low power CO2 trickling in to help it along – but I’d be happy to drink this beer “flat”.

Tonight I’ll bottle Beer seven (Green Scottish West Coast Flasher IPA) since it will have been dry-hopping for a week. A few days ago it tasted fantastic – so much like citrus that I had to wonder whether I’d thrown peel in there in my sleep. Last night it smelt great but tasted a bit too strong – I hope this doesn’t go the same was as All Centennial IPA. Update: I just tried some again before bottling and it tastes fantastic. FG 1.017-16 at 25, about 1.019 at 15 degrees – exactly on target.

I’ll also bottle Beer twelve (Chocolate-less Coffee Stout Experiment). From the tasting last night, this has really turned out to be a fantastic beer. Depending on the hydrometer reading, I may not add any priming sugar to this – if it still has a little fermenting to do. Again, I’d be happy to drink this close to “flat”.

Final beer to tackle tonight will be Beer nine (Mini IPA). I had some of this last night and it wasn’t how I imagined it would turn out! Again, my quest for an IPA recipe that really makes me should “Man, that’s goooorgeous” is still ongoing.

Fermentation on a small scale!

Fermentation on a small scale!

How is this for fermentation on a small scale? 2L water bottles with blow-off host caps. The caps came from the plant care section of Tokyu Hands in Shinjuku and cost less than 300yen each. 

One of the biggest challenges of making beer on a small scale is hitting the target final volume. This time I boiled 6L and ended up with less than 4L before cooling, but I added too much ice and overshot by 1/2 a litre bringing my starting gravity to 1.059 from a predicted 1.067. I’ll know better next time.

Why make on a small scale? After All Centennial IPA turning out 19L of “not great”, I’ve been wanting to try out recipes with less cost and risk. That’s one big reason, but there’s another. I get restless when all my buckets are full! I can’t have 20 buckets at home, but I can buy a few more caps and water bottles. For a few hundred yen I can feed my addiction whenever I want! I like that.

This is Beer nine:

Mini IPA

Boil volume: 6L

680g (1.5lbs) Extra-light DME (Muntons spraymalt)
50g (0.11lbs) Crystal 60L
50g (0.11lbs) Crystal EBC70 (approx 25L)

Chinook AA13%: 60m 6g (0.2oz)
Cascade AA7.2: 15m 6g (0.2oz), 1m 6g (0.2oz)

Yeast: S-04

Based on final wort volume: 4L
Predicted OG: 1.067
Predicted FG: 1.017
IBU: 58 

Actual OG was 1.059. Plugging 4.5L into the Tasty Brew calculator gives me:
Based on final wort volume: 4.5L
Predicted OG: 1.059
Predicted FG: 1.015
IBU: 52 

Not the strong alcohol IPA I wanted, but not a disaster. This is how it looked this morning:

The morning after

The morning after