Key points for key pints
• Hop Selection. Mandarina Bavaria and Galaxy have been around for a minute, but Idaho 7 (citric/resiny experimental variety from—wait for it—Idaho) is slated to hit the local homebrew shops in late spring. I really like the combination of pine-citrus with sweet tropical fruit from this specific blend. Other good options to use here would be Citra and/or Mosaic and/or Simcoe partnered with El Dorado and/or New Zealand Rakau.
• Yeast selection. We don’t want so many esters that the yeast character starts to muddy up the hop profile, but we also don’t want it too scoured-out—balance can suffer in a beer this light if attenuation creeps up. Choose something that is clean or clean-ish, but without super-high attenuation. If you’re a fan of Vermont-style IPAs, this would be an ideal place for Wyeast 1318 London III.
• Hop stand, not dry hop. Allowing the hops to steep in the hot wort for a period of time after the boil is shut down, but before chilling commences, extracts all those lovely oils and aromatics without the processing challenges that come with adding hops to the young beer while it’s still in the fermenter. We won’t have to wait for dry hops to settle out or manage contact time on the cold side, and turnaround from brew day to packaging will be minimal.
To the homebrewery
Note: these steps are general guidelines and assume you’re already familiar with the all-grain brewing process. Refer to the instructions for your brew system and adjust as needed based on experience with your own particular equipment.
1. On brew day, collect strike water (I use 1.3 quarts per pound, YMMV) and heat to approximately 165°F.
2. Mill the grains, or have it done for you at the shop.
Mash & sparge
1. Add all grains to strike water and mix to achieve a uniform temperature of 151–153°F. Rest the mash at this temperature for 60–90 minutes.
While the mash rests, collect and heat sparge water.
2. When the mash rest is complete, heat it to 170°F for mashout.
3. Sparge and collect the wort in the boil kettle.
1. Bring the wort to a boil and boil for 60 minutes.
2. Ten minutes before the end of the boil, add 0.5 ounces each of Idaho 7 and Mandarina Bavaria.
3. At the end of the boil, add the remaining 0.5 ounces each of Idaho 7 and Mandarina Bavaria plus 1 ounce Galaxy. Let steep in the hot wort for 20 minutes prior to chilling.
4. Cool it!
Fermentation and beyond
1. Transfer the cooled wort to a sanitized fermenter, aerate well, and pitch yeast.
2. Depending on the yeast strain being used, aim for a maximum fermentation temp in the low to mid 60s°F. When fermentation activity begins to slow, allow the fermenter to warm up to approximately 70°F for a 2–3 day diacetyl rest. Depending on yeast and temp, this step should be completed within 10–14 days.
3. Package once the beer is clear (use a fining like gelatin or Biofine as needed) and enjoy as soon as carbonated. This beer will drink best fresh!
Until next time: Drink it like you brewed it.
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