Brew Day: IPA #3 (Huell Melon, Galaxy, and Mosaic)

Beginning of the boil.

Beginning of the boil.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve brewed an IPA and I have plenty of hops I’ve yet to experiment with.  Today I brewed up an IPA using Huell Melon, Galaxy and Mosaic hops.  I used a grain bill I’m familiar with and has produced excellent results in the past.  You can view the full recipe here, but it’s primarily Organic 2 Row and a small amount of Crystal 40L and Carapils/Dextrine.  It’s no frills and is meant to showcase the hops.

The brew started off well.  I mashed in with 4.9 gallons of 162F which dropped to 152F after stirring in the crushed grain.  I mashed for an hour then vorlaufed and captured the first runnings.  I then did a batch sparge with a total of 5 gallons of 169F water that was split into 2 equal 2.5 gallon batches.  I was slightly high on the pre-boil gravity of 1.054 and collected 7 gallons of wort pre-boil.

My hop schedule consisted of:

  • Imperial A20 Citrus Yeast

    Imperial A20 Citrus Yeast

    60 minutes – 1 ounce Columbus (pellet)

  • 10 minutes – 1 ounce Huell Melon (pellet), 1 ounce Galaxy (pellet)
  • 5 minutes – 1 ounce Mosaic (pellet)
  • 0 minutes – 1 ounce Huell Melon (pellet), 1 ounce Galaxy (pellet), 1 ounce Mosaic (pellet)

For the 0 minute addition, I turned off the heat, added the hops, and then created a whirlpool by stirring the wort.  I then let the hops stand for 20 minutes before chilling.  I have used the whirlpool / hop stand method for most of my recent batches.

At a homebrew club meeting, a member brought in a 2 pale ales that were identical except one used a whirlpool / hop stand and the other did not.  The whirlpooled pale ale’s nose stood out in a much more exaggerated fashion, I was pretty blown away by the results.  Because of this I use this method with all my hoppy beers.

I ended up collecting 5 gallons of wort in my fermenter with an original gravity of 1.071 which was 3 points higher than my target of 1.068.  When I got home I added 1/2 a gallon of distilled water to get 5.5 gallons in the fermenter.  I then pitched the Imperial A20 Citrus yeast.  I’ve used this strain on my last IPA and was very pleased with the results.  It had a ton of citrus flavor that played well with the hops.  Pitching the yeast is a little strange because you don’t typically use a starter and it’s pitched directly from the fridge.  It’s recommended to store the can inverted to allow the yeast to pool near the top.  Then you simply crack the can, let it decant, then pour it in your wort.  One thing to note is that you may not see much activity.  I thought my last batch had a stuck fermentation because there was no visible activity.  After taking a gravity reading though, I had hit the mark exactly.

I’m going to ferment this for 7-10 days and then dry hop with 2 ounces Mosaic, 2 ounces Galaxy and 1 ounce Huell Melon.