Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cromwell's IPA

Named in honor of John P Cromwell a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. During WW2 Captain Cromwell, serving aboard the USS Sculpin, was under Japanese depth charge attack. Sustaining heavy damage Cromwell brought the ship to the surface to engage the enemy in surface combat. This gave the crew a chance to abandon the heavily damage submarine while he stayed on board. Possessing secret knowledge of US naval submarine tactics and movements he went down with the ship as she sunk to her grave preserving the vital intel the Japanese surely would have tortured out of him.
This is the second beer in a series I am making in honor of the men who served above and beyond the call of duty while under the waves.

Another first with this beer. It's officially my 1st all grain India Pale Ale (IPA) and once again I am very happy with the results. Up front and very hopped with a citrus flavor it mellows after the first drink to a smooth malt finish. Decently strong, this comes close to 7% ABV. I've made stronger but this has the alcohol burn - or hotness - hidden better than most. This is the first time I've used simcoe hops. I've always wanted to try them ever since I had Great Lakes Barley Wine. Simcoe has a clean pine-like aroma with hints of citrus. It's mainly used for bittering but has a less astringent attribute so it can be added later on instead of early in the boil. I only used 4oz of hops in this recipe and I think using the simcoe makes one believe I used more.

- Grain Bill - 
13 lbs 2 row
12 oz Munich
1 oz Crystal 20
4 oz Crystal 40

- Hops - 
1oz Horizon (60min)
1oz Centennial (10min)
1oz Simcoe (5min)
1oz Amarillo (0min)

- Yeast - 
Wyeast American Ale 1056

This was a tricky one. I needed the infusion temperature to be 150 and some bad calculations gave me 143 degrees which is very low for the 2 row I was using. I tried recirculating a gallon at 160, then 177, then finally I through caution out the window and sparged 1.5 gallons of 177 degree fresh water into the mash tun. This broght my temperature to the desired 150. I collected 6.5 gallons of wort from the infusion and began to boil.
During the infusion I usually get some time to relax, read, and maybe enjoy a stogie. Not this time. Running back and forth to the kitchen trying to heat the water/wort kept me busy for about the hour it's supposed to "soak". Just for the helluvit I let the mash go for another 30 minutes thiking I'd get a little more bang for my buck. I did. My attenuation turned out to be 81% - the highest I've ever had. Attenuation (use of the grains sugars for extracting wort).
Afterwards I boiled with no problems, added the hops when scheduled and my numbers turned out exactly the way I wanted them. OG = 1/065 and after 1 week at 68 degrees FG turned out to be 1.012.

It's sitting on tap right now and very very tasty! Sweet pine aroma from the simcoe hops, a citrusy stomping on the palette blends smoothly with a sweet yet dry malty finish.


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