BrewDog – IPA is Dead, Challenger

I really enjoyed BrewDog’s IPA is Dead series when I sampled the latest run at their bar in Camden, so I decided to buy them in bottled form just so I could see if they differed in any way to the kegged counterpart.

This is the first one I’ve gotten around to cracking open – the English hop, Challenger.

Aroma – Very soft citrus, but strong pine/resin notes.

Appearance – Golden orange in colour and slightly hazy. Nice white head formation.

Flavour – Strong resin, piney flavours, not much in the way of citrus. The most overwhelming characteristic of this beer is the bitterness – it’s very bitter, almost bordering on harsh, followed by a very dry finish.  As it warmed up (and I got into it) it almost reminded me of Stone’s Ruination IPA in the flavour and bitterness.

Mouthfeel – Dry and smooth with moderate carbonation, medium bodied.

Overall – Not an amazing example of an american IPA, but quite interesting. The bitterness is too strong though on this one…

Would I buy more? – Nah.  It was nice to experience, (as it was on keg), but I wouldn’t like this as a regular beer – BrewDog have done much better.

Luton Pride – Results

This is the beer from a few weeks back.  This has turned out very drinkable…

Taste – High bitterness with a good malty character. Fruity esters come through as well with good dry finish.  It’s not really come out anything like London Pride (the original target recipe) but it’s turned out great.

Aroma – A light fruity hop aroma, and mild malt notes.

Appearance – A light toffee brown colour and brilliantly clear.  It’s lightly carbonated and forms a nice head upon pouring.

Would I brew it again? – Yep!

Luton Pride

This time round I thought i’d have a go a cloning one of the beers that introduced me to real ale – Fullers London Pride, but as i’m from Luton, I thought i’d call it Luton Pride!

Recipe: Luton Pride
Style: Special/Best/Premium Bitter
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 25.78 l
Post Boil Volume: 22.71 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 19.00 l   
Bottling Volume: 17.49 l
Estimated OG: 1.040 SG
Estimated Color: 22.0 EBC
Estimated IBU: 30.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 86.2 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
2.74 kg               Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC)         Grain         1        84.3 %        
0.51 kg               Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (157.6 EBC)   Grain         2        15.7 %        
11.08 g               Target [11.00 %] - Boil 90.0 min         Hop           3        15.9 IBUs     
6.04 g                Challenger [7.50 %] - Boil 90.0 min      Hop           4        5.9 IBUs      
6.04 g                Northdown [8.50 %] - Boil 90.0 min       Hop           5        6.7 IBUs      
3.00 g                Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins)              Fining        6        -             
7.05 g                Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 10.0 Hop           7        1.6 IBUs      
1.0 pkg               British Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1335) [124. Yeast         8        -             
4.00 g                Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Dry Hop 7 Hop           9        0.0 IBUs      

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 3.25 kg
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 8.48 l of water at 73.8 C           65.6 C        75 min        

Sparge: Fly sparge with 21.50 l water at 75.6 C

Added 400g DME and 200g Corn Sugar into fermenter as post boil OG was a touch low (measured at 1.036, with sugar it came up to target - 1.040).

Brewed on 22nd April 2012

After the chaos of the last brewday, this one went pretty much as planned.  The only slight wrinkle was that the post-boil OG once again came in a touch low at 1.036, so I had to add 400g DME and 200g corn sugar to the fermenter to get the OG up to target (1.040) – I think i need to re-asses my brewhouse efficiency for the next brew…

Fermentation went quite quickly, as the yeast cake from the last brew was quite substantial – it was bubbling away within about 4 hours – once it had calmed down a bit I transferred it into the barrel after 4 days and added the dry hop additions.

However, before putting the wort into the barrel I managed to put a little bit of muslin around the outlet (inside the barrel) to try and stop the hops clogging up the pipes this time around!

After 10 days in the barrel, it was time to bottle.  The FG came in at 1.010, meaning an approximate ABV of 3.9% – not quite the 4.2% I was aiming for, but still a good sessional beer level. 🙂

Hop Slam Wednesday

I’m pretty sure i’ll be heading over to Brewdog Camden for this one!

IPA is Dead Launch Event – Wednesday 21st March in All BrewDog Bars! From 7pm

IPA is dead showcases 4 killer hops varieties from 4 corners of the planet. The result is 4 radically different single hop IPAs. Each IPA contains the same malt backbone and is brewed to be 75 IBU and is enthusiastically kettle hopped and massively dry hopped.

We will be launching them all on draft in a Hop Slam Wednesday in all BrewDog Bars from 7pm on Wednesday the 21st March.