Author Topic: West Coast Winter Ale (Winter IPA?)  (Read 1160 times)

Offline skyler

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West Coast Winter Ale (Winter IPA?)
« on: December 12, 2012, 12:11:45 PM »
I have noticed a trend here in California/Oregon (I go back to Portland several times a year) that winter seasonals are no longer barleywines and spiced dark ales, but hoppy red-brown beers with a good bit of caramel sweetness and dark-fruit malt flavor. In a sense, I think that Sierra Nevada Celebration and Deschutes Jubelale are the originators, but some of these "winter ales" are maltier than jubelale and hoppier than celebration. One beer that fits this bill, but is not sold as a winter seasonal is Ninkasi's Believer Double Red Ale, but even their Sleigh'r Double Alt (winter seasonal) essentially meets the same criteria.

I have brewed double red ales before, where I essentially brewed an IPA with 10% medium-dark crystal malt and a pinch of carafa. But in keeping with my desire to make this a "Winter Ale," I am brewing my next one with a more idiosyncratic malt profile. What I am wondering about is the hop rate I should use (I am settled on the hop varieties), as well as whether or not I should dry hop. As for whether or not I dry hop - I know that I can make this determination after fermentation is complete, based upon whether I feel like it needs MOAR HOPS or has the right balance already. But I am wondering how I ought to hop this in the kettle. My usual method for an IPA is either FWH-60-10-0-Dry or 60-30-10-0-Dry (occasionally 60-15-5-0 Dry). But I also do my IPA's super dry and typically in the 1.062-1.065 OG-range and give them 70-75 IBUs. In keeping with this winter ale as a more balanced beer, I have wondered if the 10 min addition is the right place to pull back to let the rich malt flavor shine, or if I should reduce the 30 min addition to make room for a 2-oz dump of Amarillo or Summit at 10 min?

Any ideas?

This is what I have so far:

13 lbs US 2-row
1 lb Carafoam
1 lb Special B
8 oz Golden Naked Oats (Light Crystal Oat Malt)

20 g CTZ at 60 min (21.5 IBUs)
40 g Summit at 30 min (41.3 IBUs)
90 g Amarillo at flameout/whirlpool (0 IBUs)

30 g Amarillo Dry
10 g CTZ Dry
10 g Summit Dry

Offline erockrph

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Re: West Coast Winter Ale (Winter IPA?)
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2012, 01:03:47 PM »
I haven't done a Celebration type ale yet, but it looks like a solid recipe to me. Have you brewed with the batch of Summit you're going to use for this brew? With my experience with Summit I'd be scared to use it any earlier than 10 minutes from the end of the boil in fear of making onion soup instead of beer. I hear it varies from batch to batch, and so if you have a known good batch you'd probably be fine. Otherwise I'd swap the Summit and Amarillo.
Eric B.

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Offline skyler

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Re: West Coast Winter Ale (Winter IPA?)
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2012, 01:36:52 PM »
I have brewed with this batch of summit and several other batches and have never perceived any onion. I also know Summit is the primary bittering hop for some of my favorite beers, including Ninkasi's Believer and Total Domination.

I actually think the "onion" that some people pick up comes from aggressive late-kettle use of summit. I personally have tried beers I was told were very oniony/garlicky from Summit (Oskar Blues Gubna is the only commercially-available one), and I did not detect anything unpleasant. It may be that I just can't taste/smell the "onion" compound or that I read it as "dank" or "hoppy." Either way, I am unconcerned with the use of summit in any way in any beer where American-style hops are appropriate and it is among my favorite bittering hops for most domestic style ales.

Offline michaeltrego

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Re: West Coast Winter Ale (Winter IPA?)
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2012, 02:38:32 PM »
I had a few of the same thoughts as I brewed my Winter IPA last month 1.070 / 77 IBU:

75% Canadian 2-row
10% Munich Dark (8L)
6% Crystal 40
6% Carapils
2% Victory
1% Roasted to bring color up to 14 SRM

12 IBU Chinook - FWH
36 IBU Chinook - 60 min
13 IBU Cascade - 30 min
13 IBU Cascade & Columbus - 15 min
3 IBU Cascade (60%), Columbus (25%), Chinook (15%) - Whirlpool
Dryhop Cascade (40%), Amarillo/Columbus/Chinook (20% each) - two charges for 4 days each

Offline snowtiger87

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Re: West Coast Winter Ale (Winter IPA?)
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2012, 04:09:49 PM »
I have heard that the "onion" and "garlic" flavors from some hops are due to how long the cones stay on the vine (bine). When they are harvested late these flavors tend to show up in certain hops - i.e. Summit.

Is this a 5 gallon batch? 1 lb of special B seems like a lot to me.
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Offline majorvices

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West Coast Winter Ale (Winter IPA?)
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2012, 07:39:07 PM »
Personally, I can't drink Gubna. Just tastes awful to me and I totally get the onion and garlic. Maybe it is person to person but "blech" - I hate summit. The other IPA or IIPA (I believe it is called Deviant) they have out that is new also uses summit and it is just as unapproachable to me as the Gubna. Just can't enjoy that hop. I ado agree that in both those beers the summit is probably aggressively late hopped.

I also think the special b is over the top in your recipe for my tastes. Again, it could be subjective. I'm not a big fan of special B either, though. ;)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 07:51:29 PM by majorvices »
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: West Coast Winter Ale (Winter IPA?)
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2012, 11:38:19 PM »
Personally, I can't drink Gubna. Just tastes awful to me and I totally get the onion and garlic. Maybe it is person to person but "blech" - I hate summit.
I agree, but I spoke with a hop grower who said that the major buyers of summit like it the way it is (higher alpha), that's why they pick it when they do.  Earlier harvest summit apparently doesn't have that flavor (but is lower alpha), in line with what snowtiger has heard.  FWIW
Tom Schmidlin