Fermentation in Motion IPA
Andy Miller, Great Notion Brewing
This recipe is a nod to a hazy, juicy IPA that Great Notion Brewing’s Andy Miller brewed at the 2017 Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine® Brewers Retreat in Astoria, Oregon.
Batch Size: 5 gallons (19 liters) at packaging Brewhouse Efficiency: 72%
OG (est): 1.067 FG: 1.012 IBUS: N/A ABV (est): 7% MALT/GRAIN BILL
10 lb (4.5 kg) Pilsner 1.25 lb (567 g) wheat 1.25 lb (567 g) flaked oats 1 lb (454 g) Carapils 6 oz (170 g) Crystal 15
0.25 oz (7 g) Mosaic at FWH Yeast nutrient and kettle finings at 15 minutes 1 oz (28 g) Motueka at flame-out 3 oz (85 g) Mosaic at flame-out 4 oz (113 g) Citra at dry hop (see below) 4 oz (113 g) Amarillo at dry hop 2 oz (57 g) Galaxy at dry hop
Imperial Organic Yeast A04 Barbarian or something similar, such Vermont Ale (aka Conan).
Mash in with 4.25 gallons (16 l) of water (166°F/74°C) and mash at 152°F (67°C). Sparge with 5 gallons (19 l) of 168°F (76°C) water. Boil for 90 minutes. Do at least a 30-minute hop stand with the flame-out hops before chilling. You will pick up most of your IBUS during this step, but don’t be tempted to put them in during the boil or to shorten the stand.
Pitch the proper amount of yeast, and ferment for roughly a week at 67°F (19°C). Allow the temperature to rise to 70°F (21°C) after vigorous fermentation is done (usually on day 3 or 4).
Dry hop for 7 days. Make sure to blanket your fermentor with CO2 while you dry hop to minimize oxygen pickup. Consider adding the dry hops in two different additions, 3 days apart. Gently swirling the fermentor every couple of days is also helpful.
In the grain bill, any Crystal 15 or light crystal malt will work. I encourage people to try different ones and find out what they like.
“They have very similar grain bills,” Miller says. “Juice Box has a few more bags of base malt and sugar in the recipe to make it a double. Making single IPAS and doubles, we struggle with different things. With a single, especially 6 percent ABV, we are fighting to keep our final gravity from getting too low. We do that by mashing high, at 153–155°F (67–68°C) depending on the beer. We also use dextrine malts for that purpose and tend to leave simple sugars out of the recipe. When we make a double, we are fighting to do the opposite. We mash low, do not use dextrine malts, and use simple sugars to help dry it out.”
With any hazy IPA, Miller explains, you want your chloride to sulfate ratio to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1:1 to 2:1 in favor of chloride. This creates a fuller, softer mouthfeel and lets the fruit-forward and juicy flavors of the hops really shine, he says.
“I think the most important thing for [brewers] is to taste the beer in every part of the process,” says Miller. “Smell your hops before you dry hop. If they don’t smell awesome, use something else. Taste your wort and get accustomed to the bitterness level that you like. Some hops can have an unpleasant bitterness, and you will taste it in the wort. Taste the grain before you mash in. It will help develop your palate.”
You might have gathered from Great Notion’s beer names that the brewery draws inspiration from the culinary world. “We are foodies,” says Reiter. “So besides New England–style IPAS, we also specialize in ‘culinary-inspired’ sours and stouts. Many of our beers are named after food dishes, such as a Double Stack (imperial stout) of pancakes or Blueberry Muffin (sour ale) or Key Lime Pie (gose).”
Great Notion has put itself on the map for its unorthodox approach to IPA brewing and abstract, food-friendly beer flavors, and also through the many brewery collaborations they’re participating in across the country. Fort George Brewery in Astoria invited Great Notion and Reuben’s Brews (Seattle) to brew the 3-Way IPA with them. This beer, a symbol of the upcoming summer, is a Fort George annual tradition. Each year they ask two other breweries known for their IPAS to participate. The 3-Way IPA 2017 is an unfiltered, fruit-forward IPA brewed with Azacca, X331, Mosaic, and Citra hops. The beer will be available on draft at select Northwest locations and in cans this summer.
“Adam Robbings is making some amazing beer at Reuben’s. And the Fort George guys are awesome. Not only do they make good beer, but they are really good people,” says Miller.
In less than two years, Great Notion has proven itself more than capable of brewing world-class beer, despite its unprecedented approach to IPA for its location and homebrew-only background. They’re proud of their New England–style IPA, and they hope that their business will always be an extension of their garage.