I’ve brewed a lot of beers on my own, trying to master the craft of homebrewing. It’s the sense of control, and the more practice I do on my own, the more comfortable I feel brewing with others. I have my system and routine down, so when others join in, they see what I do and can fit in seamlessly. At the same time, I get to see how others do their methods, and I learn a thing or two that I may incorporate. The reason I bring this up is because Homebrew School tries to connect with many homebrewers, and if collaboration can happen, its a win win situation.
Batch #2 for An”brew” brought two good friends over, and we collaborated to make a delicious IPA. It was an all grain recipe from the American Homebrewers Association called the Perfect IPA, done by none other than the master himself, Charlie Papazian. My good friend wanted to do it, said it’s a great recipe, so my arm was really twisted on this one. We converted the recipe to a 10 gallon batch, and followed it the best we could. Here are some reflection points from the brew on March 31, 2015:
- We did a temperature infusion mash, which means fluctuating the temperature at various times in the mash. It’s a great method to maximize fermentable sugars from the mash.
- I tried out my buddy’s sparge arm, which I am in the market for a new one. It served its purpose, but it did not rotate consistently. The concept of the sparge arm I used is great, and with a little tinkering, it can be a vital piece of equipment for my all grain system to maximize efficiency.
- Yeast experimentation. At the homebrew shop, I saw a strain of yeast that I wanted to try that I thought would complement this IPA, the Pacific Ale Yeast. This recipe seems more of a West Coast IPA, so why not give it a shot. My buddy used the yeast strain that it called for. We promised to give each other a growler of our brew and see how it will be different based on the yeast strain. To me, this is the most exciting part.
We executed this beer with great precision. We hit every temperature, sparging went smoothly, and used a ton of hops. The original gravity identified on the recipe was 1.058, and we hit that number exactly. My friend said he’s never hit the original gravity before, so we were thrilled. In a couple of weeks, we’ll be drinking a delicious IPA all because of collaboration.