Brewed: Alpha Acid Aspirations – Hack

By scot in Beer Recipes, Home Brewing on 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.

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