So today’s blog is about ALPHA HIVE, a double IPA from Coop Ale Works out of Oklahoma City, OK. It was acquired from a gentleman named Jason, and there are three things I want to mention about the trade I made with him that netted me this beer:
1) I found out about Jason being a willing trade participant because he traded with a certain beer dude in the recent past
2) I sent him a couple of local barrel aged beers, and that’s because
3) the “main event” of his part of the trade was the three Founders’ Canadian Breakfast Stouts he sent me
Alpha Hive is very reminiscent of a much more well known beer, one called Hopslam, as this is a double IPA with honey. It’s listed as 100+ IBU and 9.1%ABV.
The beer is a brownish gold with mild head and lacing. It’s got a haze that’s caused by the considerable particulate presence. Smell is dank and hoppy with a definite honey background. Taste? Delicious. Hoppiness is there in the bitter forefront, but the sweet honey asserts itself and it leads to a taste combination that works together, not against each other. Feel is dominated by the strong alcohol, kind of juicy, well balanced, easy to drink for a beer that’s strong in a couple different ways.
Overall, I’d say this one gives Hopslam pretty good competition as a quality double IPA with honey.
Why So Serious? American double India pale ale (DIPA) was brewed the morning that 12 inches of snow was finishing up. It made for a great outdoor photo, similar to the morning that I brewed with the Afro Six-Nine.
The evening of brew day, into the next morning, accounted for another six inches of snow. Nothing makes for a better day of brewing than the stealthy measures the snow uses to fall.
The name of the home brew is actually my feelings about the American craft beer industry; I recently wrote about American craft beer prices. The industry has warped into this ridiculously serious market as the number of breweries increase and competition for shelf space as well as customer dollars has increased pressure for the ever increasing cost of equipment.
I get it, but what ever happened to some of those fun American DIPA beers from the west coast that dominated up until a few years ago. I can’t find them. If I do, they typically aren’t fresh, therefore, if they don’t have date, I don’t touch them. This beer pays homage to those fun days of American craft beer gone forever.
Another movie quote name. Expect to see a few more. This one is from The Dark Knight, one of my favorite movies of all time.
Formulating the recipe for Why So Serious? American double IPA
Making an American DIPA was something that I really enjoyed: bitter, hoppy, and table sugar to dry. Forget about the malts…mostly. The malt was there to provide a malt backbone that was neutral, trying to balance, somewhat, without stepping anywhere near the path of the hops flavor, aroma, and bitterness. Oh, that beer needed some alcohol and needed to be have pristine clarity.
West coast hops: Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and Columbus quickly come to mind. I didn’t have Chinook (really like that pine). I had to do my best with the other 3 Cs.
Vienna malt was added for a touch of malt character and complexity. Sublteness is the intent. It is also a malt I have been waiting/wanting to use from sometime.
The aroma on this beer while fermenting was enormous, it filled up the basement, greeting the senses half-way down the steps. Hopefully all of the goodness didn’t ferment out. Enjoy!
Recipe for Why So Serious? American double IPA
Brew Date: Friday, February 09, 2018
Day: 25*F, cloudy, snowing (12″)
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-04 (2), hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.081
Finishing Gravity: N/A
Color: 5.0 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 66.93%
Alcohol by Volume: N/A
Calories per ounce: N/A
Primary Fermentation: 10 days @68*F
What did the five fingers say to the face? Schlapp!
It is amazing how funny something can become when you spend a ton of time driving to and from basketball practices and games. My eldest and I found it hysterical a few years ago while driving on Schlapp Road while threatening each other that our five fingers would slap them. It is easy to see how others wouldn’t find this amusing but, in the moment and, even today, this is still funny to my daughter and I. We still drive past the road, bringing up the saying, still bringing a smile to my face, thinking back to those days gone by and all the good times, no matter how corny.
My daughter recently told me that I should name a home brew Schlapp! How could I refuse.
Formulating the recipe for Schlapp!
I ran through some 30 bottles of home brew at a recent party, depleting any IPAs that I had laying around. I needed hops. Determining a good blend of hops seemed to be the toughest decision for this recipe.
The 10 or so pounds of hops in the basement freezer provided a cornucopia of possibilities. I decided that I wanted to use what I had left of Hallterau Blank and Mandarina Bavaria with the touch of Belma. I have brewed with Hallertau Blanc and Mandarina Bavaria, with Mandarina providing a profile that I really like. I used the Belma to understand what the hop can add, making it the largest portion of the hopping schedule. Enjoy!
Recipe for Schlapp!
Brew Date: Friday, May 26, 2017
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-04, not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.065
Finishing Gravity: 1.008
Color: 6.0 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Alcohol by Volume: 7.48%
Primary Fermentation: 8 days @68*F
1.00 ounces 2016 Belma @20 minutes
2.00 ounces 2016 Belma @15 minutes
1.00 ounces 2015 Belma @10 minutes
1.00 ounces 2016 Belma @5 minutes
2.00 ounces 2016 Belma @whirlpool for 25 minutes
1.00 ounces 2016 Mandarina Bavaria @whirlpool for 25 minutes
1.00 ounces 2016 Hallertau Blanc @whirlpool for 25 minutes
3.00 ounces 2016 Mandarina Bavaria @4 day dry hop
3.00 ounces 2016 Hallertau Blanc @4 day dry hop
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @15 minutes
0.5 pounds table sugar @15 minutes
3.0 quarts of rice hulls
~5.25 gallons of reverse osmosis water used
2017-06-04: Bottled with 3.50 ounces of priming sugar and 2.0 cups of water. 25, 22 ounce bottles. Bottle crown label: Sch.
Useless Fact: Walt Disney created multiple fake companies (like M.T. Lott Real Estate) to buy Florida land in the 1960s. This let him acquire what is now Disney World while avoiding suspicion and keeping prices low. The stores on Main Street shop windows are the names of those original companies.
I like hops in the same manor that Ron Burgundy likes his scotch. I have them growing in my yard, I have more than two pounds in the freezer, and I over hop most of the beers that I brew. Based on that, there should be no revelation in the fact that American imperial ipas are one of my favorite styles.
American craft beer number 340 was scored while attending the 2011 Beer Hoptacular!. Two Time, by Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery, is a American double IPA. The grapefruit hops were laid on thick and greatly appreciated. Unfortunately I went back for more but this beer was already history. I will be calling the brewery to see if I have to call on the big gun, my Mom, to go pick me up a growler.
The wife and I had a great time at the Hoptacular that drew 4,000 people over two sessions – probably too many as it was difficult to move at times. In spite of that we were able to try a good 15 – 20 beers. More to come on Beer Hoptacular!.
Useless Fact: A man named David Rice Atchison was president of the United Sates for one day and didn’t know it. According to a nineteenth-century law, if neither the president nor the vice-president was in office, the president pro tem of the Senate became chief executive. On March 4, 1849, President James Knox Polk’s term had lapsed, and the newly elected Zachary Taylor could not yet be sworn in (it was a Sunday). So for one day Atchison was president. It was not until several months later that Atchison learned of this, as the law was then an obscure one. It has since been changed.