After a number of months supping English bitters on hand-pull in the UK (nothing to complain about in my opinion), my brewing companion Dany was lusting after a hard-hitting hop number. Having taken a recent liking to BrewDog’s Dead Pony Club – until recently a self-proclaimed “session IPA” – Dany put together a clone of sorts, which I tweaked ruthlessly. BrewDog shared their entire recipe collection some years ago, and the original recipe is available here.
Given we had a double-batch planned, we undertook a yeast comparison, with Dany using US-05 and me using the reasonably new Lallemand New England strain. Reported to be Heady Topper’s famous Conan, I was intrigued to see how a philosophically West Coast style would fare with a North East yeast.
East Meets West
Batch Size (L): 45
Total Grain (kg): 9
Anticipated OG: 1.041
Anticipated SRM: 10.3
Anticipated IBU: 35.1
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65%
Wort Boil Time: 60 minutes
77.8% 7.00 kg. Gladfield Ale Malt (3.0 SRM)
10.00% 0.90 kg. Gladfield Supernova Malt (58.4 SRM)
7.20% 0.65 kg. Gladfield Wheat Malt (2.1 SRM)
5.00% 0.45 kg. Gladfield Medium Crystal Malt (56.3 SRM)
30.00 g. Magnum (Pellet, 11.8% AA) @ First Wort (22.7 IBUs).
21.00 g. Citra (Pellet, 12.30% AA) @ Flameout.
21.00 g. Simcoe (Pellet, 12.90% AA) @ Flameout.
50.00 g. Citra (Pellet, 12.30% AA) @ Dry Hop.
50.00 g. Simcoe (Pellet, 12.90% AA) @ Dry Hop
50.00 g. Mosaic (Pellet, 13.00% AA) @ Dry Hop.
50.00 g. Citra (Pellet, 12.30% AA) @ Keg Hop.
100.00 g. Simcoe (Pellet, 12.90% AA) @ Keg Hop.
50.00 g. Mosaic (Pellet, 13.00% AA) @ Keg Hop.
Lallemand New England – 1 pkg for 6 gallons
Safale US-05 – 1 pkg for 6 gallons
Loosely based on Randy Mosher’s Ideal Pale Ale Profile (sulfate reduced given session strength)
Ca 123 | Mg 18 | Na 6 | SO4 278 | Cl 50
Sacch Rest – 60 min @ 67 °C
18/10/19 – Brewed with Dany Jones.
Strike water heated overnight, treated with Campden tablets.
Mash temp initially settled at 61 °C, hence 4L of boiling water added, mash temp settled at 68 °C.
Sparged as usual with approx. 70 °C water.
Hop measurements given are assumed for the total batch, though in effect the dry hopping was split between the two batches.
60 min boil, then flameout hop addition added and cooling via counterflow chiller started immediately. Forgot to kill power to heating element, hence dropped to 80 °C over approx. 10 mins, effectively achieving a whirlpool period.
11 Brix starting gravity.
Batch split – half to Dany.
Chilled to around 32 °C, placed in fermenter, aerated via splashing.
19.10.19 – Pitched yeast around 18 hours later with temp around 19 °C, temp set to 17.2 °C.
20.10.10 – CO2 activity in airlock at 24 hours, active by 36 hours.
22.10.19 – Dry hopped with 25 g each of Citra/Simcoe/Mosaic as CO2 production slowing. Tilt added to fermenter.
23.10.19 – Ramped to 19 °C.
6.11.19 – Gravity stable (5.5 Brix) for several days, crash-cooling begun with CO2-filled balloon attached. Fined with 5mL BioFine Clear once below 8 °C.
11.11.19 – Kegged into CO2-purged keg with keg-hop addition in hop tube, beer around 1 °C. Bounce filter used for first time. Quite a bit of difficulty with leakage from fermenter outlet connection and oxygen ingress as a result. Will be easily fixed for next brew.
OG 1.044, FG 1.009, ABV = 4.8%
First of all, goddamn this is one slow yeast! I had anticipated a few days over usual expectations for fermentation time, however this was on-par with Belle Saison for a sluggish strain to finish out. Lallemand does allude to this in their product information (see below), though most brewers had reported best results at 17 °C , and hence I was hesitant to push above the 19 °C that I settled on for the end of the ferment. That being said, the aromas being thrown off in the fermenter were on-point for what we set out to achieve – tropical plus plus.
From the product information:
– [At 20 °C] fermentation can be completed in 7 days, a bit slower than most ale strains. This is a normal and perfectly natural characteristic of this strain.
– The optimal temperature range for LalBrew New England yeast when producing traditional styles is 15 °C to 22 °C.
– Lag phase can be longer when comparing with other strains, ranging from 24 to 36 hours.
Once finished out, the first pint drank straight from the fermenter at time of kegging was heavenly. With a hint of carbonation, it tasted like an outstanding English Bitter, albeit with a US hop-driven tropicality and hint of resin. I’m having ongoing fantasies of adding a touch more Crystal malt to a future rendition and serving on hand-pull… delicious! Two weeks of cold-conditioning later, we were ready for the first official tasting.
Tasting Notes on 1.12.19
I’m yet to try Dany’s US-05 version of this beer, so tasting notes below are for the New England version only.
Light amber, excellent clarity, with a persistent tight white head. Classic West Coast IPA at this stage.
Akin to thrusting one’s nose into a bag of hop pellets. The tropical notes have moved aside, letting in pungent US-driven notes. Simcoe’s resinous profile takes the lead, and although Citrus still plays a prominent role, pine and “fresh hop” character take the forefront.
Wow! This is my first double dry-hopped beer, and the effect is immediately evident. This is solidly bitter, and the hop character follows the aroma. A sturdy, toasty malt backbone balances the bitterness, without hefty toffee notes over-sweetening the beer. The piney aspect once again hits heavily, and a light grassy note at the end of a sip betrays the double dry-hopped nature of the brew.
Crisp, light to moderate malt body, and a cleansing carbonation.
Drinkability and notes
I’m overall very pleased with this beer, with its closest comparison likely being Emporium’s Citramatic (which I love). I have a relative dislike of Pale Ales with a prominent crystal component, as I feel this compromises their drinkability. To me, it adds a cloying aspect that gets in the way of hop expression. Hence, I thought long and hard about how I would use Gladfield’s lineup to achieve my ideal malt profile for a session IPA, and feel that we achieved what we set out to do. Gladfield’s Supernova malt adds a toasty caramel notes without any noticeable sweetness – bravo!
The faint grassy note is the only aspect I’d prefer toned-down in this beer, and either a smaller keg-hop addition or racking to a serving keg after a few days of conditioning would likely sort that out. Though as a silver lining, this beer is far too hoppy for Sophie, so it’s all mine to consume! *Insert sinister laugh* Would I use the LalBrew New England strain again? Absolutely, though I’d definitely run at a higher temperature to cut down on fermentation time.
Happy summer brewing!
One month down the track from kegging, this beer has changed significantly for the better. The clarity is now great, and the grassy notes have faded leaving a soft bitterness and heavy tropical fruits. Having shared the beer with a number of friends now, the most common descriptors have been ‘fruity’, ‘tropical’, and ‘like drinking mango juice’. A tiler that visited our house today texted me several hours after we had a pint together, saying: “Hi Ben. Paul here. I had to text and say your beer really is 10 out of 10. I had the flavour in my mouth for hours, best beer I’ve had in a long time”. Stoked!
Crisp, well-carbonated, and immensely refreshing, this has become an ideal summer crusher.