Saturday IPA

Saturday IPA, well at least what it has been dubbed for now. This was a joint venture between myself and Garrett (mostly Garrett ;-)) brewing up a 20 gallon batch of a super Columbus-Simcoe IPA!! It looks and smells great!!


What is all that green goodness you may ask? That my friends is a pound and a half of equal parts Columbus and Simcoe whole leaf hops. Man, did it feel good and sticky playing with all those lovely green nuggets, it felt a little naughty too. This beer was my first time brewing with this much whole leaf hops and brewing 20 gallons (4 times what I typically brew) of beer. The day takes a little bit longer to brew that volume of beer, basically just because there is so much more water and wort to boil and chill. Otherwise the process is essentially the same as when I brew a 5 gallon batch of beer.

satipaweb1.jpgWe started around 8AM which came very early after the night before (see the short post on the Kinda Blue Band below) and not falling asleep until almost 2AM. Initially everything seemed like it was going to go OK, we had coffee brewing, water heating, equipment pulled out of the basement, and everything basically set-up. Oh, did I forget to mention that Garrett did all of that before I even got there. From there on we really only ran into one problem, though it was a problem that extended the brew day by a good hour plus. While grinding the grains that morning, Garrett had forgotten that he had his mill set to grind wheat (a tighter setting = smaller pieces), and had ground half of the grain bill at the wheat setting. So, we anticipated we may have trouble with one of the two mash tuns and possibly getting a stuck mash. At first it was just laboriously slow to run off, then it did stick. We wound up working on it a little bit and things got going again. Really the only true hang-up of the day. The rest of the day was pretty good: ran out and bought propane in the middle of the boil that we never needed (lucky us), had a quick and sticky boil-over (oops), and had a hell of a time getting four pounds of Turbinado sugar to melt gently yet quickly. Plus we got to play with all of those lushy hops! The IPA will be plenty bitter especially since both those hops are pretty high in alpha acids, but we REALLY front loaded the recipe with a whole pound going in with less than 10 minutes left in the boil – two 4oz. additions, one at 10 minutes and one at flame-out. The brew day finally wrapped up around 5PM and we enjoyed one last pint before I had to run off to go camping.

The set-up Garrett has to work with works really well – he has pumps to move all the massive amount of liquids, and falsesatipaweb3.jpg bottoms that in conjunction with the whole leaf hops do a crazy good job of presenting really clean wort, and really has his techniques down on his system so the whole day feels very smooth. The “worst” part is that he uses two separate mash tuns which are both really too small for the beers that he brews. Not only did it limit our grain bill some (not that I am complaining with the bill we created), but it really is a pain-in-the-ass and takes twice the amount of time to sparge two separate tuns. I addressed this on Saturday and not surprising he feels the same way and already has a plan to correct this, it’s just a matter of time, timing, and of course everyone’s favorite money. But the plan for him is to build a sick 20 gallon stainless steel brew sculpture that I am sure will be the shit!  Anyway, as of now there are two 5 gallon carboys sitting in the basement blowing off some of the best smelling hops-infused CO2 I have ever smelt, and can smell from probably about 20 feet away – delicious!

8 Responses to “Saturday IPA”

  1. Garrett Says:

    Good times, man. Yeah, the 2 tun method is a real PITA (double the opportunity for stuck mashes, and alot more work) but the whole 20 gallon thing is nice.

    You did a mighty fine job formulating this beer I think.

  2. Wife of Garrett Says:

    Okay! So what I am getting from this post is (1) when the cat is away the mice will play & (2) we really need to start work on this sculpture. It is not that I thought my dearest was pulling my leg but man this hobby requires a lot of “stuff”. Don’t get me wrong I love the results (not real keen on the hoppy goodness, but there is always something for me in the house). Just thought I had to comment if for no other reason then to let my dearest know that the request has been noted and I do try to keep up with the state of the world.

    Glad you guys had a fun day!

  3. Brian Says:

    (Dude, Garrett, she’s on to us. Who knew that she read our stuff online? ;-))

    “Not real keen on the hoppy goodness” – now don’t make us strap you down Clockwork Orange style until you HAVE to enjoy it. Try it, you’ll like it, it’ll make you feel good.

  4. Garrett Says:

    I am slowly bringing her around. She recently liked Dogfish Indian Brown Ale and the Iron Hill West Coast Ale… So there is hope for her yet.

    (and… uh… yeah. Who knew… Guess I gotta find some new haunts, huh?) :-p

  5. First State Brewers Blog » Blog Archive » Good gracious Says:

    […] with a portion of Briess 2-Row Brewer’s malt this weekend, repitching yeast from our batch of Saturday IPA a few weeks ago. This batch won’t use nearly the hop bill the last one did – I think right […]

  6. First State Brewers Blog » Blog Archive » New Additions and Malt Madness Says:

    […] & Tourists and an Abbey Brown, both in the Dubbel category), along with a co-entry of our Saturday IPA and the Gnarleywine we brewed in October of last year (Which is fan-f’ing-tastic, by the […]

  7. First State Brewers Blog » Blog Archive » Surplus Says:

    […] off my duff and made some tap handle labels. Only one of them am I particularly pleased with – the Saturday IPA I brewed with Brian. I hope we brew this beer again sometime in the future, but given the fact that […]

  8. Fool Circle - Artisanal Ales » Blog Archive » Prohibition Says:

    […] something like this, and the most I’ve ever dumped. This time I dumped about 20 bottles of Saturday IPA. Garrett and I had brewed a 20 gallon batch of this back in July. This was an awesome monster of a […]

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