Posts Tagged ‘alpha acid aspirations’

Brewed: Alpha Acid Aspirations – Hack

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

first runnings alpha acid aspirations hack

Alpha Acid Aspirations is a line of Imperial IPAs that I have been brewing. The goal is to make one for each letter of the alphabet but I am becoming a little disenfranchised with naming beers after events from my days as a caddy and golfing in general. A3 Blast is still the best beer I have made in this lineup, it featured Citra and Simcoe hops. Each one since has been more of an experiment with hop varieties and malt profiles with varying results. Making an “imperial” style as a playing ground can get expensive in all resources.

A3 Hack is no different. I had Nelson Sauvin and Pacific Gem lying around for over year, it was time to use that eight ounces of hops for good (hopefully). The main twist here is Melanoiden malt.

I have to admit the inspiration for this aspiration came from the fact that Three Floyds uses this malt in a few of the beers. I really like their beers, as do many, in spite of the shitty attitude you get from them when you go to their pub. I really didn’t know how much to use or understand the profile of the malt. I did know that Melanoiden can be a “powerful” malt. Care is needed. Therefore, I figured around 5% of the grain bill should be about right. The one pound ended up at 5.9% – that should be within reason.

Since I only needed to add 4.0 gallons of water to the mash while sparging, I decided to add the water all at once instead of two batches. I feel that hurt my efficiency. Other than that, brewing a big IPA always gets me excited: handling and smelling the hops is very satisfying. Enjoy!

General Information:
Brew Date: Sunday, September 22, 2013
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: East Coast Yeast 29 – North Coast Ale
Yeast Starter: 2 liter
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.072
IBU: 60.9
Color: 8.4 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 6.6%
Fermentation: 28 days @68*F, 5 day dry hop @66*F

Grain Bill:
15.0# Two-Row
1.00# Melanoiden
1.00# Redd Wheat

Saccharification @150.9*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounces Nelson Sauvin first wort (treated as 20 minute addition)
1.00 ounces Pacific Gem first wort (treated as 20 minute addition)
1.00 ounces Nelson Sauvin whirl pool (treated as 30 minute addition)
1.00 ounces Pacific Gem whirl pool (treated as 30 minute addition)
2.00 ounces Nelson Sauvin dry hop
1.50 ounces Pacific Gem dry hop

1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes


  • 2013-09-23: very active fermentation, temperature at 74.4*F.
  • 2013-10-15: dry hop with 2.00 ounces Nelson Sauvin, 1.50 ounces Pacific Gem
  • 2013-10-20: bottled – 3.70 ounces priming sugar, 2.0 cups of water. 25, 22.0oz and 1, 16.0oz. Final gravity: 1.022 (seems high – could this be the Meladoiden and/or the yeast?)

Useless Fact: The average garden variety caterpillar has 248 muscles in its head.

Brewed: Alpha Acid Aspirations – Eagle

Saturday, July 27th, 2013
Citra first wort hopping.

Citra leaf first wort hopping.

It has been a while since I made one of my Alpha Acid Aspirations beers. Seven months to be exact. I have only made Blast and Chunk. The thought up front was a double Inida pale ale for each letter of the alphabet. I have recipes for ‘A’ and ‘D’ but haven’t brewed them (‘F’ is done as well). Looking back at those recipes, I like them both. What is the matter with me?

Eagle becomes the third beer in the series. The grist is very simple but I wanted to give the beer a bit more good ole fashion straight forward grain essence. Therefore I used a pound of Munich to achieve. A bit scared of adding too much as a DIPA should be dry, favoring the gloriousness of the hops used. I don’t want the Munich/grain to take over, just add a touch of complexity. The sugar should dry it out while the wheat should help head retention.

Simcoe and Amarillo hops have been on my radar to use together for a while. I am horrible at determining if hops will work together up front. Based on the aroma that was given off during fermentation, I think these two will make me very happy.

I have been experiencing some issues with my thermometers, causing me to hit a low mash temperature (this one was very low). I have to calibrate them to know if they are off. I do know that the weather has been below normal and this cause the mash tun and grain to be colder than anticipated. Enjoy!

General Information:
Brew Date: Saturday, July 27, 2013
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S05 (2)
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.074
IBU: 110.4
Color: 4.9 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 8.6%
Primary Fermentation: 14 days @68*F, 7 days dry hop @60*F

Grain Bill:
14.0# 2 Row
1.00# Red Wheat
0.50# Munich
0.25# Rice Hull
1.00# Table Sugar

Saccharification @148.2*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounces Amarillo first wort hop
1.00 ounces Simcoe first wort hop
0.80 ounces Warrior @60 minutes
0.25 ounces Chinook @60 minutes
0.50 ounces Amarillo @10 minutes
0.50 ounces Simcoe @10 minutes
0.50 ounces Amarillo @5 minutes
0.50 ounces Simcoe @5 minutes
0.50 ounces Amarillo @1 minute
0.50 ounces Simcoe @1 minute
2.50 ounces Amarillo 7 day dry hop
2.00 ounces Simcoe 7 day drop hop

1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes


  • 2013-08-10: dry hopped with 2.50 ounces Simcoe, 2.00 ounces Amarillo
  • 2013-08-17: bottled with 4.0 ounces of priming sugar, 2 cups of water. Yielded 1, 750ml, 24, 22 ounce. Gravity at 1.005
  • 2013-08-30: tasted, hops are old

Useless Fact: The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

Tasted: Alpha Acid Aspirations – Blast

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

alpha acid aspirations blast

In early December, 2012, I brewed up a batch of Blast, the start of a series of Imperial IPAs known as Alpha Acid Aspirations.

Blast is my first attempt at adding rolled oats to the grist in order to achieve mouth feel within a DIPA while trying to keep the beer dry. It is also the first time I have used Pilsner malt in a DIPA.

I believe I achieved the mouth feel I was going for (read more below) but I didn’t feel the beer was as dry as I would like in a DIPA. Possibly the oats but I usually use one pound of sugar, this time I only used a half pound. I did mash at 150 degrees which should be about right. I feel I have two courses of action next time: less oats or lower mash temperature. Don’t want to try both at the same time as I don’t know which one would be the difference changer and to what degree.

The Pilsner malt didn’t do anything fantastic to the overall flavor or aroma of the beer. I wasn’t looking for much and achieved it precisely. I don’t think I will use the more expensive malt in the future. Save my pennies for the next batch.

Per typical I have taste tested this beer a good three or four times prior to the write up.

Look: The beer has a cloudy haze that limits visibility to 50%, while darkening the beer to deep orange/gold color. The foam is an inch high of tightly packed tiny bubbles. Retention is right on for a DIPA with thick, coating lacing, even in spite of the oats.

Aroma: Hop forward. Bright orange citrus and tropical scents fill the nostrils while a touch of pine follows through. Malts are subdued, as expected, giving off ideas of grain and bread/dough. I think this might be a product of both the Pilsner and oats.

Taste: A burst of tropical and orange hops flavors label the palate. Lightly toasted bread holds up the malt end. The finish brings more hop, leaving a trailing orange and pine bitterness that doesn’t over power but does dull the buds.

Drinkability: Medium body or better with, at best, medium carbonation. Drying but juicing fruit can be had as well. Needs to be drier.

Overall: This beer is all about the hops; keeping with my west coast DIPA style. I will make this beer again, as the overall profile of the beer is pleasing, just a couple of flaws. A bit of tweaking should make this a staple in the home brewing repertoire. Viva the hop.

Part two in the Alpha Acid Aspiration series was dry hopped today as well. Should be ready in about two weeks. More delicious DIPA to come. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: A person cannot taste food unless it is mixed with saliva. For example, if a strong-tasting substance like salt is placed on a dry tongue, the taste buds will not be able to taste it. As soon as a drop of saliva is added and the salt is dissolved, however, a definite taste sensation results. This is true for all foods.

Brewed: Alpha Acid Aspirations – Blast

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012
citra and simcoe hops weighed out for brew day

2oz Citra, 2oz Warrior, and 3 bags of 1oz Citra and .25oz Simcoe

Sometime in May of this year, I was playing around with recipes. American Imperial IPA recipes to be exact. During this time, I decided that I needed to come up with a “series” name for the beers I was concocting. Since almost all of my beers are named from my years of caddying (usually golf terms), I had to get a golf spin to the name while evoking thoughts of hops. Alpha Acid Aspirations (my own version of AAA) was born with each beer being named from the caddying days. The word “aspire” is in there to promote my goal with these home brews: lofty heights for hoppy beers. I plan to make at least 26 home brewed beers in this series: one for each letter of the alphabet. A few letters will be tough. At this point, I have no plans of brewing the same beer twice, but, hopefully, I will manage a few annual home brew members.

citra and simcoe hop bag end of brew day

IPAs constitute one of my favorite styles of beer to home brew. The amount of hops that are available, the amount of new hop varieties, and the pursuit of new varieties, allow for this style to evolve from just a hop standpoint alone. This beer, Blast (the first beer in the series is Aerosol, but I wanted to start with this beer), is centered around Citra with Simcoe hop highlights.

A third of my base malt is Pilsner. I know these beers are about the hop but I was trying to see how the Pils graininess would mix with a basket of hops. I also added wheat and oats for head retention and body. A half pound of table sugar was added besides the low mash temperature to really dry this beer out.

General Information
Brew Date: Sunday, December 02, 2012
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Safale U-05 (2)
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.00
Original Gravity: 1.073
IBU: 148.3
Color: 5.7 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Brewhouse Efficiency: 74%
Alcohol by Volume: 8.9% (believe it should be closer to 8.0%)
Primary Fermentation: 21 days @68*F
Secondary Fermentation: 7 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
10.00# 2-Row
5.50# Pilsner (German)
1.00# Wheat
0.50# Crystal 20L
0.50# Sugar
0.40# Flaked Oats

Saccharification Rest @ 150*F for 60 minutes.

Hop Bill:
2.00 oz Citra (12.0%) first wort hop
2.00 oz Warrior (15.0%) @ 90 min
1.00 oz Citra (12.0%) @ 10 min
0.25 oz Simcoe (13.0%) @ 10 min
1.00 oz Citra (12.0%) @ 5 min
0.25 oz Simcoe (13.0%) @ 5 min
1.00 oz Citra (12.0%) @ 1 min
0.25 oz Simcoe (13.0%) @ 1 min
3.00 oz Citra (12.0%) dry hop for 7 days
0.50 oz Simcoe (13.0%) dry hop for 7 days

1.0 tsp Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.

2013-0120 – Blasted by a Tasting

I figure this beer to be in primary for three weeks. Racked and dry hopped for a week. Bottled, hopefully conditioned two weeks thereafter. A total time of six weeks. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee. If you fart consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb.

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