Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rye IPA - Jack The R.I.P.A

This past week I tried my first Rye-IPA (Sierra Nevada's Ruthless Rye) and loved it.  So that became my inspiration for my next brew-day.  After finishing one glass I knew I had to brew this beer and preferably clone this brew.  The problem is that this is a relatively new beer put out by Sierra Nevada as one of their seasonal brews replacing their "Glissade Bock".  This beer is good enough that I'm sure there will be a clone recipe on it but no one has had time to write a clone recipe for it yet.  When I looked at the beer on their site it gives a rather vague ingredient list for Ruthless Rye:
          Malts - Pale, Rye, Caramel & Chocolate
          Hops - Bravo (Bittering)
                    Chinook & "Experimental Hops" (Aroma)
                    Chinook, Citra & "Experimental Hops" (Dry)
First off I have no idea what "Experimental" means and Citra & Bravo are hops that are hard to get a hold of this season.  I'm also weary of using chocolate malt in a pale ale because it's really easy to over do it.  So with that I've set out to make my own Rye IPA.

9.0 lb 2-Row Brewers Malt
3.0 lb Rye Malt
0.5 lb Barley Flaked
0.75 lb Caramel Malt 60L
1.0 lb Vienna Malt
1.0 oz Chinook (13.0%) - added first wort, boiled 90 m
0.5 oz Chinook (13.0%) -  boiled 25 m
1.0 oz Tettnanger (4.5%) - boiled 15 m
0.5 oz Centennial (10.0%) - boiled 10 m
0.5 oz Chinook (13.0%) - boiled 5 m
1.0 oz Tettnanger (4.5%) - steeped after boil
0.5 oz Centennial (10.0%) - steeped after boil
1 oz Chinook (13.0%) - added dry to secondary fermenter
1 oz Centennial (10.0%) - added dry to secondary fermenter

From looking at other recipes I decided to put just slightly over 20% rye malt in order to get a good presence of the spicy character of the rye in the finished beer.  The half pound of flaked barley should give the beer good head retention.  Both Chinook and Tettnanger are hops that add a bit of spicy character to a beer which should pair well with the spice character from the rye.  I wanted to inject a small amount of floral/citrus aroma by using a little bit of centennial hops.  I plan on mashing low and slow to make a very fermentable wort.
Mash-in was targeted at 150*F which went a little higher at first.  The first 15 mins the mash was at 153-154.  I managed to keep the mash relativity closer to 151 the rest of the time for a 90 min mash.  I went for a thin mash 1 qt/lb.
End of Mash
I almost had a stuck mash and sparge on these grains.  Draining the mash went very slow and ended up sticking before I got all the first runnings out.  If I brew this again I may think about adding rice hulls to help with the packed grain bed.
First-Wort Hop with chinook
I didn't realize how much of the first runnings I had left in the tun until I added all 7 gals of the batch sparge and so my mash-tun was up to the rim with water.  I quickly drained the second runnings in order to get a hotter water flushing the grains.  That helped the sparge not to stick but probably lost me a few efficiency points because I couldn't stir that much.
Boil over watch... Very full boil kettle
That said I did start with quite a bit of extra volume (8.9-9gals) to make up for the extended boil I had planned for this brew (90 min).  Surprisingly I get a very quick boil off rate with my setup even though I have a cheap burner.  Typically with a 90 min boil on high I can boil off around 4 gals.  I've been a little disappointed lately though because I end up close to boiling off too much volume and get a little more trub in my brew than I would like.  I think this ends up as an efficiency problem.  On my next brew I may adjust my grains to hit my numbers at 65% efficiency.  That might solve my problem.
The OG ended up at 1.060 (about 69% eff).  So I plan to be in the 6% area.  The dog biscuits that I tried making last brew where a big hit.  So during clean up I bagged off enough grains to do a couple more batches.  So 1-2 weeks primary ferment then into the secondary for dry hopping.