Monday, July 1, 2013

Next Up: Mosaic IPA

I've finally decided it's time to try my Mosaic IPA.  This is a beer I've been wanting to try for a while. 

It's inspired by a batch of test IPA's I brewed a while back: five one-gallon batches using a simple grain bill and US Magnum bittering hops (bitters clean and I don't have to worry about the differing levels of alpha acids in the flavor/aroma hops), each featuring a different flavor/aroma hop.  The hops I used were: Cascade, Citra, Falconer's Flight, Mosaic, and Simcoe. 

(The guy at MyLHBS put me on to the Mosaic and Falconer's Flight, btw.  I very much recommend the shop.  My only gripe is that if you need more than five pounds of grain crushed they require a full 24 hours advance notice--and they actually enforce that.  So basically, if you are doing any kind of all-grain batch you need to call them a day before you want to pick them up.  Jay's Brewing is much more laid-back about it--they just want you to call/email if you want something ridiculous like 50 lbs. so they can start grinding it before you get there.)

The idea behind this beer is similar to my hop-test beers: it's designed to be a showcase for a specific hop (in this case, Mosaic).  I've found Mosaic has a beautiful bright, fruity flavor.  Most places seem to describe it as tropical fruit, but it tastes more like pink grapefruit to me--a bright citrus tang, but sweet rather than sour.

I'm not using any bittering hops in this.  Instead, I chose to hopburst, which is a technique where all of the bitterness comes from late additions of flavor/aroma hops.  It takes a lot more hops to do this, but it gives you a crazy amount of flavor and aroma of the hop(s) you're using.

I decided to go with an extract recipe, because I've only made one all-grain (my Centennial Blonde), and I haven't tested it yet.  Given the crazy amount of hops (9 oz!), this would be a really expensive beer to screw up.

BrewSmith says it will look something like this:

which is exactly what I want.  The recipe is as follows:
  • 8.5 oz Crystal malt (20L), steeped for 30 min. at 155.0 F
  • 3 lbs. 3.1 oz Light Dry Extract, added for full boil (60 min)
  • 4 lbs. 4.1 oz Light Dry Extract, added for the last 15 min (late extract additions keep the extract from darkening and caramelizing too much)
  • 0.5 oz Mosaic hops, added for last 15 minutes
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet added for last 15 minutes
  • 1.0 oz Mosaic hops, added for last 10 minutes
  • 1.0 oz Mosaic hops, added for last 5 minutes
  • 2.5 oz Mosaic hops, added at flame-out
Once it's cooled I'll pitch  about a 2L starter of California Ale yeast (White Labs WLP001), and dry-hop with another 4 oz. of Mosaic hops at the end of fermentation for four days, so it has a nice burst of Mosaic aroma when you pour it.  I will probably add gelatin at the same time for fining.

The numbers for the beer are:
  • Original Gravity: 1.066 (style guidelines: 1.056-1.075)
  • Final Gravity: 1.015
  • Bitterness: 45.0 IBU (style: 40.0-70.0 IBU) (I wanted to stay on the less-bitter end; my goal isn't to make you pucker, like so many IPA's, but to give you that great fruity flavor I like about Mosaic)
  • Color: 9.1 SRM (style: 6.0-15.0 SRM)
  • ABV: 6.7% (style: 5.50-7.50%)
Once it's ready I'll post my tasting notes, but here are my goals/expectations:

Aroma: The dominant aroma should be an intense citrus/tropical fruit notes from the hops, likely with some piney/resinous notes beneath.  Possible grassy aroma from the dry-hopping.  Some sweet malt or caramel notes possible but unlikely.

Appearance:   Light copper color.  Probably somewhat hazy due to dry-hopping.  Large off-white head that persists with good lacing.

Flavor: Hop flavor should be extremely high, with the dominant flavor being citrus and tropical fruit, with additional piney and resinous notes as well.  Medium-high hop bitterness.  Sweet malt backbone should support bitterness nicely.  Low malty sweetness with potential caramel notes.  No diacetyl.  Finish likely bitter, lingering into aftertaste.  Finish medium-dry.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel with no hop astringency.  Malt sweetness likely to be counteracted by moderately-high carbonation, making mouthfeel somewhat dry.

Overall: This should be a showcase for the incredible aroma and flavor of the Mosaic hop.  Drinkers should get a burst of hoppy aroma right from the get-go, and that flavor and aroma should dominate the beer from start to finish.

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