Posts Tagged ‘duck hook ipa’

Brewed: Duck Hook IPA – Kohatu

Friday, November 1st, 2013
Whirlpool hops with Kohatu hops.

Whirlpool hops with Kohatu hops.

I brewed my first batch of Duck Hook IPA last year. The line of beers is an ode to an individual hop each time I make the brew. I use 4.0 ounces of one hop: usually 2.0 ounces make the boil and the other 2.0 ounces are used for dry hopping. The day also included Chuck lugging his brewing equipment over to brew up a double batch, each with a different hop.

I have to admit that I made the beer so many times last year that I sort of lost interest: same base profile every time got a little stale, along with the fact that a few of the hops I used didn’t excite me all that much.

Fast forward to now: it has been more than a year since I brewed up a batch of Duck Hook IPA, I recently purchased some Kohatu hops, Pat tells me they are fantastic, time to play!

I used the base recipe that I have all along, I just changed out the regular wheat malt for non-malted wheat. It was a left-over from another brew day. The brew day was fantastic. I brewed on a Friday, as I took a vacation day (was originally to be used to go to Darkness), this means that I was at home alone. No kids, no wife, just my thoughts about brewing and a home brew or two to enjoy during the process. These factors allowed me to hit all my numbers while start to finish, inducing clean up, took a mere five hours. Enjoy!

General Information:
Brew Date: Friday, November 01, 2013
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Safale S-05
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.064
IBU: 60.9
Color: 8.4 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 6.6%
Fermentation: 14 days @68*F, 4 day dry hop @66*F

Grain Bill:
11.0# Two-Row
1.00# Munich
0.50# Caramel 10L
0.50# Caramel 80L
0.50# Flaked Wheat

Saccharification @154.0*F

Hop Bill:
0.75 ounces Warrior @60 minutes
1.00 ounces Kohatu first wort (treated as 20 minute addition)
1.00 ounces Kohatu whirl pool (treated as 30 minute addition)

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


  • 2013-11-03: Fermenting like mad (see short video above).

Useless Fact: Dr. Dre has made more money making headphones than he ever did making music.

Bottled: Duck Hook IPA

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012
duck hook ipa with rakau and hbc 342

Duck Hook IPA in the buckets: HBC 342 (right) and Rakau (left)

Bottling day: some hate, some tolerate, but I don’t think anyone loves it. I tolerate it, leaning towards the side of not minding it, but I definitely don’t love the process. When I have two five gallon batches to bottle, like with Duck Hook on Sunday, my toleration level is pushed to the limit of annoyance. Besides the bottling, I also racked Double Bogey, a Russian Imperial Stout, to a used whiskey barrel I picked up recently.

I always run my bottles through the dish washer, using the heated dry to sanitize them. Knock on wood, but I have never had a problem with contamination using this method. I am a habitual cleaner of bottles after use, storing them in boxes after they have dried out. This method works for me but I always have to wait an hour for the cycle of the dish water in order to bottle. A trade off I am willing to endure for the lack of labor on my end, outside of loading the bottles in the washer, in terms of the sanitizing the bottles.

I used Rakau, a New Zealand hop, and HBC 342, a still unnamed hop, in these two batches. Rakau was the first bottled. I have to say the pine and citrus aroma of this beer, especially the hop sock, was amazing. It filled the kitchen, err, ah, home brewery, with such an intense aroma that it would easily give Citra a run. Throughout the bottling process anytime I was within five to eight feet of spent hops, I could waft the Rakau.

HBC 342 was up next. Unfortunately it couldn’t hold its own after the Rakau. I was actually disappointed in the aroma after the first bottling. I am sure this beer will be fine but I cannot taste the two at the same time.

I did have about 16 ounces of Duck Hook IPA with HBC 342 that had fermented on Brett that I tried to bottle. Due to half an ounce of hop material, from the dry hop, it was impossible to clear the beer. Dead duck is a better to describe this small experiment.

As usual, I look forward to the tastings that should be coming in a next couple of weeks. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: In Wilton, Maine, there is a cannery that imports and cans only dandelion greens.

Brewed: Duck Hook IPA

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

home brewing duck hook ipa

It is hard for me to believe it has been almost four months since Chuck and I brewed our first round of Duck Hook IPA beers. Chuck will be a father for the first time in about a month; my windows of brewing opportunity are going to dwindle for these “dual” batches. Two different hops were selected: Rakau and HBC 342. I have never used either of these hops, so, outside of reading online information, have no clue what to expect (citrus aromas are filing the fermentation closet).

Before I continue on, a quick note about the Citra and Nelson Sauvin from the first go around: citra is gone and Nelson has about sex bottles left. It is definitely past prime but the base beer holds up.

The recipe was exactly the same as last. I expected another great day of brewing as the first day went off without a hitch. Unfortunately that wasn’t in the cards. There were several issues:

  • The first batch, done in my kettle, had a boil over during the hot break. If it wasn’t for my daughter, whom was paying more attention as I cleaned out the mash tun, we would have lost more than four ounces of liquid and hop trube (first wort hopping). I haven’t had a boil over since I started first wort hopping; shame on me.
  • Chuck’s burner isn’t as strong as mine, so we ended with different ending volumes which gave a different gravity. How the hell we ended perfectly last time is beyond me. Possibly a lower flame on mine is my only thoughts. The color was off as well.
  • The last difference was between brew days: the gravity, from the mash in both cases, was 1.046 while last time it was 1.050.

goes here

There is one thing I will take from this second double batch brew, besides the beer: having my family around during this long brew day is not advantageous to my appreciation of the day. Getting breakfast, snacks, and lunch requests didn’t allow me to concentrate fully on the day. This could be a factor in a few small near mess ups I had throughout the day. Enjoy!

2012-09-22: Dry hopped both versions with two ounces of the respective hop.

2101209-30: Bottled both beers (unfortunately I have to wait two weeks) with four ounces of priming sugar in two cups of water.

Useless Fact: A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

Duck Hook IPA Tasting (Citra and Nelson Sauvin)

Saturday, July 28th, 2012
duck hook - citra and nelson sauvin

Duck Hook with Nelson Sauvin

I brewed Duck Hook with Chuck back in late May (time goes by too fast). We did two batches of beer: one with Citra as the main hop and the other with Nelson Sauvin as the sparkling guest star. Everything has gone well with these two version. It has been a great experience to understand how these two hops can affect a beer.

I adore the hop, which easily leads to me stating that American IPAs are a great group of beers. I would say that IPAs are my go to style of beer. I have been brewing IPAs since the early days of my foray into home brewing. I am driven to make an IPA that is well balanced; too much unbalanced bitterness kills the beer. I think the Duck Hook series of beers is proving quickly that I have kept to my mantra.

The review will be for both beers: Citra and Nelson Sauvin

Look: Quite possibly the clearest beer I have ever presented. Golden in color and topped on the pour by a fluffy, white foam that has typical staying power for the style as well as beautiful lacing.

Aroma: This depends on the hop. The base beer is a touch of grain, caramel, and toast. Getting me “closer” to the perfect IPA base that I am seeking. Citra is tropical, mango, citrus, and just glorious. Nelson Sauvin bring blackberry to a new level. Strawberry (maybe raspberry) add a nice complexity.

Taste: More of the same form the nose. The base beer has enough back bone to hold up the flavor and bitterness of the hops; definitely not the corner stone of the beer. Citra version brings on the typical aspects of the hop, especially since I have some experience here. Blackberry and to a minor roll, strawberry create a unique flavor I have not experienced from a hop before.

Drinkability: Medium to light-medium body with medium carbonation that allows for a slight bitter bite.

Overall: The Citra beer really turns heads no matter where I bring. Nelson Sauvin lags a bit behind. The base beer has some good malt characteristics while I think the body might be a bit too thin for my liking.

How do the two differ? I think the Citra is much more noticeable and is possibly my favorite hop at the moment. Citra is great to drink as soon as bottle priming gave me enough carbonation to drink. Nelson Sauvin seemed to bring it strong after about 4 weeks or more on the bottle, with aromas and flavors intensify after that point. Citra stands on it own: citrus, mango, tropical, and, at times, a kattiness. I like Nelson but think that it would be a better compliment hop for me in the future.

Now I have to wrangle Chuck to get another dual batch day in August. HBC 342 and Rakau are next. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: Barbie’s measurements if she were life size: 39-23-33.

Brewed: Duck Hook and Grass Cutter

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

I was a bachelor this weekend. The wife and kids were out of town (and sorely missed) for the entire weekend. What to do? I got it: home brew! What to brew was a simple question. Saturday brew an Americanized Belgian Wit for the wife and, Saturday, brew up two IPAs. Each with the same base but highlighting a different. In this case Citra and Nelson Sauvin.

The trick with the double batch of IPA on Sunday was having enough equipment and not having a brew day that was more than 8 hours long. Chuck was willing and able to lend a hand, bringing over a burner, kettle, chiller, and a couple of other pieces of equipment. The plan was to get one batch boiling while starting the mash for the second. It was determined that Chuck and I would have to be doing different tasks from each other throughout the brew day in order to pull this off cleanly. For example, while one is chilling the first batch of beer, the other could be doing the sparge(s) on the second batch.

With both of the IPAs I did a first wort hopping, which was a first for me. Chuck had been doing for while but I wanted to make sure of the level of bitterness from that practice before jumping in (ever the cautious brewer). The aroma on the Citra version while chilling the beer was utterly fantastic (we chilled it in an enclosed area). The Nelson Sauvin version wasn’t as aromatic but this was chilled in the garage with the door open and a slight breeze.

We didn’t hit the expected gravity from the brew sheet but the gravity of both beers, pre- and post-boil, were exactly the same. At least I know my process is the same.

Unusual for Chuck and I as the day did go as planned. Ridiculously simple and clean. We were done with both beers in seven hours (two five gallon batches), including clean up.

Returning back to Saturday: Grass Cutter Wheat Ale was the brew of the day. This is a beer I have many times in the past, less so recently. The wife has taken a liking to an American Pale Ale that I brewed, asking for it rather than the wheat. I guess she was in the mood. This beer uses 0.3 ounce of freshly ground coriander and the fresh zest of two oranges. Like I mentioned an Americanized wit beer: the ingredients and yeast are all American. Outside of the boil pushing my post boil volume to under five gallons the day was a success.

During the brewing process of Grass Cutter, I also racked Double Bogey to secondary. It has already been a month since I brewed it, so it was time to move into a clean carboy and the 60 degree chill of the basement for a few months. The gravity reading put me at 1.022 which should put this beer on the done side and potentially the dry side. Enjoy!

2012-07-28: Official IPA tasting – I know I am damn slow on these things.

Useless Fact: Penguins can jump as high as 6 feet in the air.