This is an Americanized version of my English IPA, Rājasthān. For this year's Vice City each of the brewers is providing 3 'competition' beers -- brown ale, bitters and American IPA. Since my English IPA is only barely English, I thought it would be easy to convert to a more American approach. For the base malt I went with my standby Canada Malting Pale. For the yeast I decided to try Anchor's Liberty Ale yeast, mostly because I've been using the Sierra Nevada strain a lot and wanted to try something else.
The hops were trickier. Rājasthān uses super-tropical hops like Citra or Pacific Jade. I definitely wanted to keep that tropical flavor, but the typical American approach tends towards pine and grapefruit flavors (at least the American IPAs I like do). My hop freezer was full of Amarillo, Simcoe, Cascade and Pacific Jade, so I decided to go with a mix of those. This should hopefully give me an interesting mix of tropical, piney and grapefruit hop aromas. Or maybe it'll just taste muddy and indistinct, we'll see.
Because of time constraints I'm not going to dry hop this beer, instead I'm going back to the hopstand technique. My last attempt at this still wasn't quite as hoppy as I wanted, so I made two changes: I upped the amount of hops added at flameout (now about 6 g of hops per liter of wort) and I stirred the wort every 15 minutes during the 90 minute hopstand. The stirring was suggested by hopstand evangelist Kristen England; I'm hoping that it gives this beer great hop character.
The name comes from a recent recurring joke on the Pod F. Tompkast which has tickled my fancy.
I apparently need to invest in a grain mill. Although the grist looked well crushed when I left the store, my extract efficiency didn't even crack 60%. I spent 30 minutes stirring and re-testing the wort, sure that the gravity measurement was wrong -- it wasn't. In order to make up the difference I threw in a little over 2lb of dextrose, and bumped up the honey addition by a half-pound.
When I looked at the grains after mashing it seemed like a lot of them hadn't been crushed, which would certainly explain the efficiency. I'm not entirely sure how the escaped the grain mill unscathed, but I'll have to pay close attention to the crush next time.
Even with all the extra sugar my OG came in 3 points low. I still haven't nailed down the evaporation rate of the new kettle. It seems to be dependent on the volume of wort I'm boiling. If I'm making a 5-gallon batch then I'll evaporate about 18% per hour. But with a 8-gallon batch like this one the evaporation rate drops to 15%.
Mishaps aside the wort looked and tasted good. I'm looking forward to the final result!