Yesterday I bottled and kegged the South Pacific Blonde I brewed 2 weeks ago. The gravity had fallen to 1.010 (6.0 brix), giving it an ABV of 4.4%. This seems perfect for a summer session beer. The beer had a pleasant hop aroma and flavor, but there were also some yeast tones present, that will most likely disappear with some time in the bottle/keg. I also added 40g of Nelson Sauvin to the keg, hopefully giving it an extra boost to the aroma. My girlfriend designed a great label for the beer (which is now known as Lovecats), while I blatantly stole some lyrics from The Cure’s Lovecats for the label text.
After the bottling and kegging, I began brewing my take on an Imperial IPA. The malt bill is loosely based on the ‘Can You Brew It’ recipe for Firestone Walker’s Union Jack IPA, while the hop bill consists of five different varieties (Amarillo, Centennial, Columbus, Nugget, Simcoe) concentrated late in the boil, as I was hoping for massive hoppy flavor and aroma, with resiny, piney, citrusy and dank tones. I also used a variety of different salts to adjust my water. The water profile I was aiming for was quite high in sulphate (145 ppm), calcium (90 ppm) and chloride (60 ppm), to hopefully accentuate the hoppiness. As usual, I didn’t really hit the mash efficiency I was hoping for, so used a slightly extended boil (100 min) to reach the gravity I was hoping for. The flameout hops were added after 5 minutes of cooling with the immersion chiller, and I let them soak for 15 minutes, before I slowly continued chilling. I ended up with 21 liters of 1.077 (19.4 brix) gravity wort, which is now happily fermenting in my fermentation fridge set at 18.5 C (the San Diego Super Yeast caused airlock bubbles in under 12 hours). A total of 200g of dry hops are still waiting, and these will be added in two rounds (primary and keg). Hopefully this one turns out great.
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