Homebrewing: Batch 4 – “Hazy Juicy IPA”

After some time – you’d think that a pandemic would be an excellent time to do some more brewing but that didn’t seem to happen – we have decided to make another attempt at brewing our own beer. Batch 3 has not been documented (it was a brown ale that had that slightly too much Irish moss in it, making it an excellent drink for singing sea shanties or while sitting at a beach), but I made sure to keep track of our summer 2021 brew: a “Hazy Juicy IPA.” Our recipe is mostly based on this Hazy Juicy IPA recipe on brewersfriend.com, with some minor modifications due to availability.

Because, we do live in Seattle, the capital of beer [citation needed], with an average of 12 available IPAs in any given brewery [citation needed].

You can find a more step-by-step walkthrough in our first brewing experiment, so I will not repeat all the steps, but rather document some key changes we made since the last time!

Brewing for Beginners – Part 1 for the making of the wort
Brewing for Beginners – Part 2 for an update on the fermentation
Brewing for Beginners – Part 3 for the bottling process
Brewing for Beginners – Part 4 for the best part of all: tasting!

Day 0: aquiring the materials

Here’s some insight into our brewing process: the first step is biking over to the homebrew supply store to acquire some ingredients, and most excitingly, watch a whole lot of grains get milled up.

Amélie would love this step too

Day 1: Making grain soup

For once, we did not make the mistake of trying to do the beer-shopping and beer-brewing on the same day. Otherwise, the steps were pretty straightforward, except that we had learned that keeping things at temperature is not that important and that we could hang out and be pretty chill about things.

Picture of a big, 10 gallon pot on a gas burner. Text: Brewing. Day 1, step 1. Heating a whole lot of water.
Picture of a mesh bag in the pot, with a spoon showing some grains. Text: Step 2: grains!
Picture of the mesh bag being drained on top of the post between two oven shelves. Text: Step 3: Drains the grains.
This little nifty trick, A. found on the internet (such a vast resource for nifty tricks!) Who knew that draining hot liquid between two oven shelves would be easier than with your bare hands!

Extra note: we also learned that the leftover grain mush, especially the part that had a lot of oats, is quite delicious for breakfast!

Picture of some beer in a graduated cylinder with a specific gravity measurement device. Text: So scientific
Specific gravity at this point (preboil) was 1.049. The closest we’ve ever been!
Picture of the gas burner leg on an unstable surface. Text: Omg the pot almost fell!!!
Just adding in some drama
Picture of a small mesh bag with hops. The pot is in the background. Text: Bag of hops
Picture of the liquid with a cooling coil. Text: All the hops (trying an IPA this time)
The bag in the previous picture actually wasn’t very helpful and all the hops came out anyway.
Picture of the cold water coming into the copper coil for cooling. The cold water has condensation on the tube, the water coming out looks all bubbly. Text: Warm out. Cold in.
Picture of the beer being transferred into the carboy.
Transfer time!
Picture of dry yeast floating on the liquid surface.

And now for the best part:

During this round, we tried to keep the carboy at a lower temperature, especially because Seattle was going through an unprecedented heatwave, not ideal conditions for brewing yeast. We had the carboy sitting in a bath of water where we occasionally threw in some ice. Other than that, things just went a lot smoother than the last 3 times, mostly because we made sure to take the time, let everything cool down enough, and were better prepared…

Day 3: Two weeks later…

Picture of the carboy with a hazy looking beer on the bottom. There is a lot of sediment. Text: Today is bottle day! Sure looks hazy
Picture of some bottled beer. Text: Just a few weeks, and then we can see how this hazy tastes.

We forgot to take the specific gravity measurement, but the beer sure smelt hoppy, and tasted pretty good two (considering it’s not carbonated yet), so fingers crossed we have a good batch! Check in for a first-taste-update in two weeks or so!

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