Fortunately I don’t have Connecticut state blue laws working against me.
This past Monday Angelos and I fired up the burners and brewed another couple batches. I went into the brew store with nothing particular in mind, again. I really need to start planning ahead. But it worked to my advantage since THEY WERE NEARLY OUT OF HOPS!!!
Yes, the hop shortage is not only hitting us in the wallet, but on the shelves as well. There was nothing “normal” there, only a handful of random hops. After browsing the pitiful selection, I went back to adjust my armful of ingredients. I decided on another strong IPA.
- 9 lbs Muntons Light dry malt extract (DME)
- 1 lb light candy sugar (rock candy)
- 1 oz Millennium hops (15% alpha, yikes!)
- 1 oz Galena hops (10.1% alpha)
- 1 oz Cluster hops (7.2% alpha)
- 1 packet of run of the mill dry American ale yeast
Adding the malt proved to be tricky, and sticky. After adding the last bag of DME, I had about 2″ of clearance to the rim of the brew pot. I watched, I stirred, I watched, I waited… It wasn’t boiling over, so I went for my hops. No sooner did I turn away, I hear Angelos yell “DOOD!!!” and sure enough, boil over. I lost about a pint of wort to the garage floor.
After cleaning the sides of the pot, I brought it back up to a boil and added the Millennium hops to start the 60 minute boil. At 30 minutes remaining I added the Galena hops, and at 5 minutes to go I added the Cluster hops.
I didn’t go for a taste before adding the yeast, but since we found the hydrometer (a game we seem to play way too often – where’d it go now?) I did take a gravity reading. The beer’s starting at a robust 1.080. If I can get it below 1.020 by bottling time, this will be a nice strong IPA.
Cleanup went quickly, even with the puddle of wort in the garage. This one will be fermenting for at least 2 weeks. I’ll update with tasting notes when it’s ready to be bottled.