Brewed: Squirrels with Knives, North East India Pale Ale

Squirrels with Knives brew day and recipe creation:

The home brew day for Squirrels with Knives, a North East India Pale Ale (NEIPA), was only possible via friendship. Due to a couple of surgeries over the first two months of 2020, I haven’t been able to brew and that time would have lasted another month or more if it wasn’t for my friend Mike volunteering for grunt work. When he offered to assist, I made it very clear to him that a brew day, from start to finish, was a six hour endeavor. Mike is gracious.

Surprisingly there is a bunch of Squirrels with Knives pictures available on the internet.

Brewing with rye was something that has been on my mind for a while as I quite enjoy the profile of rye in beer. A hop profile that pairs well with rye isn’t typical for the current expectations of NEIPA. An orange hop profile balances the spicey rye.

Centennial has been sitting in the freezer, begging to be enjoyed outside of the vacuumed sealed bag that had been its home for the past year. A touch of citra would add the tropical side that was needed but only for complexity, not to be the star. Pacifica has a nice citrus profile that would compliment the Centennial.

The malt bill would be quite simple but big on the rye. I wanted it to be the highlight of the malt bill. Honey malt was added to give a touch of sweetness without the caramel notes that C40 or similar would add.

Why Squirrels with Knives

Reruns of Everybody Loves Ray have been running on the weekends for the past few months. My wife and enjoy the chance to watch a couple of episodes as a lazy wake-up call on a Saturday/Sunday morning. Chris Elliot plays Peter MacDougall, Robert Barone’s brother in-law, starting around season 7. In the episode in which Robert is getting married, he states that his new brother-in-law is so crazy that he has “squirrels with knives running around in there (his head)”. Just found that to be damn funny.

Recipe for Squirrels with Knives

General Information:
Brew Date: Saturday, February 02, 2020
Day: Sunny, @43*F
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S04
Yeast Starter: None
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.055
Finishing Gravity: 1.003
IBU: 17.4
Color: 5.1 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 30
Conversion Efficiency: 66.99%
Alcohol by Volume: 6.83%
Apparent Attenuation: 94%
Calories per ounce: 176.5
Primary Fermentation: 2 days @66*F, 4 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
9.50 pounds 2-row
2.50 pounds Rye
1.00 pounds Oats
4.00 ounces Honey Malt

Mash:
Saccharification @150.4*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounce(s) 2017 Centennial @10 minutes
1.00 ounce(s) 2017 Centennial @5 minutes
1.00 ounce(s) 2017 Centennial @0 minutes
1.00 ounce(s) 2018 Pacifica @0 minutes
2.00 ounce(s) 2017 Centennial @20 minutes whirlpool
2.00 ounce(s) 2018 Pacifica @20 minutes whirlpool
1.00 ounce(s) 2017 Citra @20 minutes whirlpool
2.00 ounce(s) 2017 Centennial dry hop 6 days
1.00 ounce(s) 2018 Pacifica dry hop 6 days
2.00 ounce(s) 2017 Centennial dry hop 3 days
2.00 ounce(s) 2017 Citra dry hop 3 days

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @15 minutes
1.0 quart of rice hulls

Updates:

  • 2020-02-22 evening: @66.3*F, no fermentation.
  • 2020-02-23 morning: @64.9*F, active fermentation.
  • 2020-02-23 evening: @65.3*F, hard fermentation, added dry hops.
  • 2020-02-24 morning: @68.7*F, hard fermentation, added heat @68.0*F.
  • 2020-02-25 morning: @67.3*F, no fermentation.
  • 2020-02-25 evening: added dry hops.
  • 2020-03-02: kegged

Useless fact: Firehouses have circular stairways originating from the old days when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.

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