A check in on my budding IPA

What happens in the carboy, stays in the carboy

So in these 2 weeks since you’ve last heard from me, my beer has undergone a transformation of caterpillar proportions. The yeast did their job well and were absolutely ecstatic to be able to eat be merry and multiply. The primary fermentation was so ferocious with this particular strain of yeast, renown for their sturdiness and ferociousness. (American Ale II) In fact it was so ferocious that the temperature of the beer started to alarm me by rising to as much as 72 degrees at one point. Certain IPAs have a golden zone of 63-68 degrees. If too much hotter for an extended time the yeast will begin to produce off flavors. I let it do an extended primary and eventually racked it off to secondary in order to dry hop it with 2 oz. of mosaic hops 1oz. of cascade hops (both pellet form) and 1.5 oz. of citra hops in the loose leaf form. The beer has now reached it’s final gravity of 1.020. Meaning it is 6.1% ABV!! Wednesday I will take if off the hops in preparation for the bottling! I can’t wait!!

What I learned

Myself and my friend have continued to upgrade our equipment, as well as our knowledge, based on what we experience. We learned that our mash process was much more difficult then it needed to be for both my IPA and his Belgian Dubbel. My friend was so frustrated by this process he took it into his own hands and looked up cheap alternatives! I’ll be excited to document our new mash cooler in action. It has a steel filter and valve at the bottom to filter out all unwanted grain particles.

In my IPA’s primary fermentation I was so afraid of it reaching too high a temperature that I placed it outside for a couple hours, on a cold night. I ended up regretting this decision, because it killed the yeasts party and they became close to dormant afterward. It was at a crucial point in fermentation, and because the alcohol content was much higher it became difficult to start their roll again. Fortunately there was no contamination thus they had the time to lazily complete their primary fermentation. Because of this mistake they took at least another week and a half to reach the goal Final Gravity. In the future I will be more conscious of how long I cool them off if their temperature is reaching alarming temperatures.

The floating objects are the loose leaf hops and hop bags

9 thoughts on “A check in on my budding IPA

  1. It has been very informative reading your blog. I have wanted to tackle beer-brewing for a while, and it has seemed like a gigantic task to take on. Reading about how you went about it has made it seem less daunting although I’m still thinking it would be a good idea for me to take a class first. I’m looking forward to your next step and finding out how your IPA turned out. cs5711


  2. Awesome bring some into class to share when done! My brother in law brews for North Coast Brewery in Fort Bragg and shares his beer crafting experiences with me all the time so I love hearing more about this fascinating process.any recommendations for first time brewers pick up a kit or collect equipment? I would like to try but I don’t have any extra space at home.


  3. I love North Coast brewery! They have a great pale ale among many other great beers. I’d be happy to bring a bottle to someone who’d like to try it. Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton this brew around. But I just brewed 5 more gallons, so there’s more to come! In regards to starter brewing equipment. If you have a large pot or two at home, that should suffice for your kettle. A bathtub at home makes for a great place to cool the beer in an icebath. Beer can be fermented inside of a bottling bucked as well! It’s a much cheaper buy, and it’s more convenient. The only drawback is that it’s harder to see what is going on with your beer. You’ll also need a siphon, a thermometer, and I would recommend picking up a basic home brew kit. It will include all of the grain (or malt extract), hops, and yeast and muslin bags that you’ll need. Off the top of my head that is the bare bones brewing kit! Hopefully I didn’t miss anything and I apologize for the wall of text!


  4. Hi Fred,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog. I learned quite a bit about beer making. I can see why craft beer is becoming so popular these days. It’s fun to make and fun to drink! I like your writing style. I can see your personality jumps off the page! love it! Thanks! Courtney


  5. Hey Fred, I thought of you when I came across this article about “7 Beer Podcasts That’ll make you an expert.” It looks as if you’re already on your way given your blog posts! You’ve got a playful style: “The yeast did their job well and were absolutely ecstatic to be able to eat be merry and multiply.” Sounds as much like a party as a beer-making project! Here’s the link to the podcast-article: https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/nation/best-beer-podcasts-episodes.


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