Release the Brut IPA
By Brewmaster Sean
About a year ago, I saw some buzz around a new IPA. This isn’t normally big news, but when I read the description, “crazy dry IPA”, my interest was peaked. A lot of IPAs nowadays are hazy and ‘pillowy’ (soft on the palate), but this new style is quite the opposite. The dryness of the beer compliments the bitterness and hop character nicely which got me thinking of a new seasonal, a Brut IPA. The style takes its name from the wine term, Brut, which is a classification of dryness, typically used for champagne.
With Spring being our next seasonal recipe, I figured this beer would be a great addition to our LCBO lineup. But how the heck do I make it? It took some research but I found out additional enzymes need to be added. To be more specific, you need to break down the 1-4 and 1-6 sugar chains to make simple glucose. By using Amyloglucosidase, we are able to get all the larger chain sugars to break down and allow the yeast to eat more, which in turn dries the beer out more.
I may get a little beer geek on this one, so if you aren’t a brewer feel free to ask me some questions and I will be happy to answer them. While making the first batch, it felt a bit odd to be brewing a 5% beer with only a 10 plato wort, but part of brewing is the experiment. I went with a less aggressive way to break down the sugars, added the Amyloglucosidase enzyme during the mash instead of in the fermentor, and gave it a longer rest with the rake arms spinning to try and allow it to break down every chain it could. I was concerned with the first batch as we hit our 10 plato right on the nose but didn’t think it would it actually finish at 0.5p. It did though, and after drinking the first sample it was very dry and hoppy, but was missing something. At first I didn’t want to, but I felt this beer needed to be dry hopped. Dry hopping can lead to a sweet finish on the beer which would contradict what I was trying to do (dry hopping raises the pH of the beer which in turn lends to a sweeter finish). After adding 20kg of Citra, it ended up perfectly. Light juicy hop character with a fairly dry finish and tons of great aroma.
Now that I’ve gotten all the geekiness out, I am very happy to have tried this new style of beer. You’ll soon be able to see it on the store shelves and please let us know what you think. Is it dry enough? Does it differ from the other IPAs you normally drink? Any thoughts and questions would, as always, be welcome.
Have a question or comment? Ask it below.