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Zymurgy associate editor Amahl Turczyn developed this brut IPA style description for the Commercial Calibration section of the Mar/Apr 2019 issue of Zymurgy. It has not been endorsed by the BJCP or the Brewers Association for competition purposes, but homebrewers who enter AHA/BJCP-sanctioned competitions are welcome to include the AHA’s description in the comments section when submitting brut IPAs for competition in Category 21B Specialty IPA.
A very pale, very dry, highly effervescent variant of American IPA, usually highly hopped with aromatic hops, but with far less actual bitterness.
Aroma: Moderate to intense hop aroma featuring one or more characteristics of American or New World hops, including citrus, floral, pine resinous, spicy, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, melon, etc. Any American or New World hop character is acceptable; new hop varieties continue to be released and should not constrain this style. Most are heavily hopped after flameout, either during whirlpool, dry-hopped, or both. Some “Champagne” styles may incorporate fruit aromatics from additions of actual fruit in addition to or instead of hop-derived fruit; grapes or grape must may be used in these versions to bridge the gap between sparkling wines and beer. A low to medium-low clean malty-grainy aroma may be found in the background. Sweet, grainy aromatics of corn or rice may be present but are not required, as a moderate to high percentage of adjuncts in the grain bill are often used as a means of increasing attenuation. Some brewers have reported aromas of coconut from high amounts of rice in the grain bill.
Very pale to light golden in color; those with added fruit may reflect fruit color, but it’s usually pale. White to off-white foam may be voluminous due to high carbonation and can have good to moderate retention, depending upon alcohol. Clarity can range from brilliant to moderately hazy from late-hop and dry-hop oils.
Initial flavor should primarily reflect hop oils or added fruit. Grape, citrus, tropical, and stone fruit flavors are common, while bitterness should be restrained. Low bittering hops will be exaggerated by the very dry finishing gravity as well as carbonic acid, but there should not be an aggressive bitterness as one would taste in a West Coast–style American IPA. Malt flavor is all but absent; caramel or juicy sweetness should not be present, though alcohol may provide a sensation of sweetness. Hop flavors should exhibit dry, sometimes wine-like fruitiness. Low tartness may be present from the presence of real fruit but is not required. Finish is dry to very dry (1°P or less) with low hop bitterness.
Body should be light to very light and, along with high carbonation (up to 3.5 vol.), should lend a Champagne-like quality. Alcohol may be high, with a sensation of sparkling wine-like volatility, but should not be hot or harsh. Residual malt sweetness or dextrin fullness should be absent.
Amylase enzymes, specifically glucoamylase or amyloglucosidase, are used in the mash and/or fermenter along with highly fermentable wort and often adjuncts like rice and corn to achieve close to 100% attenuation. Clean, high-attenuating yeast strains are preferred, though the style will likely evolve as more brewers experiment with more characterful strains. Bittering hops should be used with restraint since, even though it is an IPA, the low finishing gravities will accentuate hop bitterness; generally at or below about 20 IBUs.
This is very new subgenre of IPA that has ties to the relatively rare European style bière de Champagne, but is generally attributed to brewer Kim Sturdavant at San Francisco’s Social Kitchen and Brewery. He is said to have used amylase enzymes to make his triple IPA more drinkable and wondered what effect they would have on a standard-strength IPA. Some see it as a bone-dry West Coast backlash to the New England IPA and milkshake IPA trends that favor sweet, full-bodied, “juicy” flavors in a heavily late-hopped beer.
Very pale base malt, sometimes married with rice or corn adjuncts, high carbonation and oil-heavy flavor and aroma hops added post-flameout. Mandarina Bavaria, Hüll Melon, and Nelson Sauvin are popular. Sugar additions to aid attenuation are acceptable but must be kept low to avoid hot or harsh alcohols. Amylase enzymes such as Fermfast Glucoamylase, White Labs Ultra-Ferm, or Amylo 300 are used to produce a bone-dry finish, which is further amplified by high carbonation. Crystal or dextrin malts, lactose, or any ingredients that will thicken or sweeten the beer, or prevent complete attenuation, are not to style.
Hopped in a similar fashion to New England IPA, but without sweetness. Pale, sometimes slightly hazy like a West Coast IPA, but without high bitterness. Highly carbonated like a Belgian Golden Strong ale, but even drier, and without Belgian spice and phenol character.
Bear Republic Brut Squad IPA, Blackstack Bottomless Brut, WeldWerks Chardonnay Brut, Matchless Fancy Stuff Brut IPA, Barrel Brothers Champaderade Brut IPA, Three Weavers Postcolonial Friendship, Dangerous Man Brut Bellini, Four Quarters Paddle On
Substitute Maris Otter malt with 9.25 lb. (4.2 kg) Maris Otter malt extract syrup and Munich malt with 1.5 lb. (0.68 kg) Munich malt extract syrup. Steep remaining grains at 155°F (68°C) for 30 minutes. Drain, rinse grains, and dissolve malt extract syrups into the resulting wort. Top off with reverse osmosis water to desired boil volume, boil, and add molasses as above.
Use a decantation mash for a dry beer. Conduct a beta-glucan rest at 104°F (40°C). Raise to 150°F (66°C) for 45 minutes. Save clear, enzyme-rich wort after the grist settles. Heat cereal to 200°F (93°C) for 15 minutes to gelatinize—don’t scorch it. Recombine to 150°F (66°C) and add beta amylase and rice hulls. Hold one hour, lauter, and sparge. Collect 6 gallons (22.7 L) of wort, and boil to yield 4 gallons (15.1 L), about 3 hours.
Add a few grams of yeast nutrient and ferment at 64°F (18°C). The cool fermentation suppresses boozy flavors, but some esters are desirable. This beer may finish drier than expected.
After primary fermentation, transfer beer to a secondary carboy with the oak cubes and condition for 28 days before bottling or kegging.
Reverse step mash 30 min. at 185°F (85°C) with 20 mL Termamyl (a heat-tolerant alpha enzyme) for gelatinization. Then rest for 60–90 min. at 155°F (68.3°C) with 20 mL SebAmyl L for saccharification. Recirculate until wort is clear and passes a starch test. Sparge, boil 60 min., cool to 65°F (18.3°C), transfer, and ferment at 65°F (18.3°C) until gravity stabilizes.
Pour the malts into a mash tun and add water to the mash in five steps. In each step, pour in 5 gal. (20 L) of water, with increasing temperature:
Add hand-warm water and let rest for 1.5 hours.
Add warm but not hand-burning water and let rest for 1.5 hours.
Add hot but not boiling water, and then let rest for 1.5 hours.
Add water that is nearly boiling and let rest for 1.5 hours.
Add boiling water and let rest for an hour.
Scoop the mash into a kettle and rinse the mash tun with 2.5 gal. (10 L) of water, pouring this water, too, into the kettle. Heat the mash, stirring continuously to avoid scorching. When the mash begins to rise to the surface, stop heating and let the mash stand covered for an hour. Note: Mash temperature at flameout was 176°F (80°C).
Scoop the mash into a kuurna and begin lautering, but pour the cloudy first wort back onto the mash. Rinse the kettle with 0.5 gal. (2 L) of water, and pour this water into the kuurna. When the wort runs clear, take 2 gal. (8 L) of wort for a yeast starter: cool this wort to 82°F (28°C), and crumble the yeast into it.
Sparge the mash with 2.5 gal. (10 L) of hot water and collect around 21 gal. (84 L) of wort. In practice, the wort volume can be roughly a gallon less or more than this: Olavi decides on the cutoff point by tasting the wort.
Chill the wort in a cold-water bath to 72°F (22°C). When all the wort has been collected, add the yeast starter. Pour a small amount of hot water over the hop cones. Let simmer for a few minutes, and add the hop cones to the wort, discarding the liquid. (Excluding the hoppy liquid may seem counterintuitive, but in the sahti folk tradition, brewers aim to reduce harsh bitterness while keeping the preservative qualities of the hops.)
Cover the fermenter with a cloth and ferment for 2 to 3 days at room temperature, around 60 to 77°F (20 to 25°C). When fermentation starts to calm down, scoop the sahti into plastic canisters, filtering out the hop cones. Place the canisters in a cold location, below 41°F (5°C), and let the sahti cold-condition for 2 weeks. Enjoy fresh!
Mash the malts at 140°F (60°C) for 45 minutes using 1.1 qt. water per pound of grain (2.3 L/kg). If using juniper, mix the branches or berries into the mash. Raise the temperature to 158°F (70°C), and hold 45 minutes, and then raise to 176°F (80°C) for the final 15 minutes. Recirculate until the wort runs clear. Sparge with 176 to 194°F (80 to 90°C) water to collect 5 gal. (20 L). If using an immersion chiller, sanitize it in the hot wort. Chill the wort to fermentation temperature. If using baker’s yeast, dissolve the fresh yeast in a small amount of cold water, or rehydrate dry yeast in 104°F (40°C) water. Pour wort into the fermenter, add yeast, let ferment, and keep at fermentation temperature until the yeast is finishing its work. Depending on the yeast and temperature, this usually takes 1 to 3 days. When the sahti still tastes sweetish but is no longer cloying, lower the fermentation temperature. If unsure about the timing of this transfer, you can check whether the gravity is in the range 1.034 to 1.038 (8.5 to 9.5°P). Cold condition the sahti for 7 to 10 days, and then rack to storage containers. The ale is ready immediately after racking. Store cool at all times.
Adjust your mill for the average kernel size of your home-malted wheat. My wheat kernels were quite a bit smaller than those of commercial malt, and my first brew with home-malted wheat got too coarse a crush—I got a great sparge but a lousy yield. With subsequent batches, not only did my level of modification improve, but double milling the wheat malt on the finest mill setting gave me much better results without any need for rice hulls.
Mash grains for 20 minutes at 125°F (52°C). Raise to 140°F (60°C) and hold 30 minutes. Raise to 152°F (67°C) and hold 40 minutes. It’s probably a good idea to do a starch test to ensure conversion. When it passes, mash out at 168°F (76°C). Fly sparge with 168°F (76°C) water. Boil 60 minutes, adding homegrown hops one hour before flameout. Be sure to take an initial gravity reading.
You may not need to add sugar, but if your initial is running low, add cane sugar to the boil as needed to compensate. I got a pre-boil gravity of 1.040 (10°P) and added 12 oz. (340 g) of cane sugar to bring the gravity up to 1.044 (11°P), which gave an original gravity of 1.050 (12°P) after boil losses. Keep in mind that my finishing gravity of 1.007 (1.75°P) is based on using the sugar addition; without sugar, expect an FG closer to 1.010 (2.5°P).
Jar up priming gyle or speise 5 minutes before the end of the boil (if using). Chill wort to 64°F (18°C) and pitch a strong starter. Ferment for three days at 64°F (18°C) or until high kräusen, then allow the beer to free rise to 68°F (20°) and hold this temperature until fermentation is complete. Prime with gyle and bottle in sturdy glass bottles. Keep these at 70°F (21°C) for a week or until they begin to clear. Store at cellar temperatures for two weeks.
Mash at 147° F (64° C) for 75 minutes. Mash out at 168° F (76° C) for 10 minutes. Sparge, boil 90 minutes and add hops, sugar and spices at stated intervals. Chill to 64° F (18° C), oxygenate and pitch a strong starter of yeast. Ferment at 72° F (22° C) for the first 4 days, then at 66° F (19° C) until fermentation begins to slow, then chill to 50° F (10° C) and cellar for 4 weeks. Rack clear beer onto priming sugar (blending thoroughly), bottle and condition beer for 8 days at 75° F (24° C). Cellar beer for 4-6 weeks.