Threat Actor NEIPA

I am a software guy by trade. I am not a hacker, but I am facinated with what people can do with computers, networks, or even friggin blenders. Listening to my favoriate non-beer podcast, Darknet Diaries, he had mentioned something as being a threat actor and immediately I think, that is a great name. Especially for an easy drinking NEIPA, because this NEIPA could be responsible for something later in the evening if you happen to have a few too many.

And let me admit it. Sometimes I really hate on NEIPAs and sometimes I really just want one. Yeah, I’m brewing one. Don’t @ me. Well you can, I don’t really mind, it’s just that I have noticed a trend with a lot of the high ABV NEIPAs. If the alcohol isn’t controlled properly it tastes like paint thinner, then combine that with the hop burn that I tend perceive, tat really turns me off. This grain bill I swiped from my buddy that has a tiny brew pub in Jackson, MS. His brewing is not on social media. He sells a lot of beer out of the beer store in which he brews in the back parking lot. Remember, I said tiny brew pub. Oh, but you can find him on Untappd. That’s social media. Take a look for Bicentennial Beer Company, you’ll only find his beers at LD’s in Jackson, MS.

I went nuts the past couple months and have purchased a few too many hops. I am going to play around with my grain bill and hop blends to really nail down what I hope to be an awesome NEIPA. This is my first iteration. I know the percentages of flaked grains in this bill is a touch high if you were to read Scott Janish’s IPA book. This is what I wanted to do this time. I have oat malt and golden naked oats to play around with the next iteration to take the flaked oats out.

I do want to note. All my 20 minute additions in the following recipe details is in the whirlpool. I wonder if Beer XML allows for whirlpool additions. I might have to move to something else for adding beer recipes to the blog. I just wanted to mention this. **EDIT** I have sorta made a fix for this. I’m sure my other blog posts where I added hops to a whirlpool might not reflect my process. **

I also did the cold dry hop on this beer. I did not dry hop during primary fermentation (remember, don’t @ me, but you really can). Here is my fingers being crossed that cold side oxidation didn’t occur and I will not have a brown beer when this is ready to imbibe.

Cheers, y’all.

Recipe

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5.5 gal 60 min 38.3 IBUs 5.3 SRM 1.065 1.016 6.5 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
American IPA 21 A 1.056 - 1.07 1.008 - 1.014 40 - 70 6 - 14 2.4 - 2.9 5.5 - 7.5 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Southern Select 7.5 lbs 53.57
Oats, Flaked 2.5 lbs 17.86
White Wheat Malt 2 lbs 14.29
Barley, Flaked 1.5 lbs 10.71
Oats, Golden Naked®™ (Simpsons) 8 oz 3.57

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Citra 3 oz 20 min Whirlpool Pellet 13.3
Mosaic (HBC 369) 1.5 oz 20 min Whirlpool Pellet 12.5
Galaxy 1 oz 20 min Whirlpool Pellet 13.4
Citra 1 oz 0 min Dry Hop Pellet 14.1
Galaxy 1 oz 0 min Dry Hop Pellet 14
Mosaic (HBC 369) 1 oz 0 min Dry Hop Pellet 12.3

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Calcium Chloride 7.78 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 5.42 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Epsom Salt (MgSO4) 3.79 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Baking Soda 2.05 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Salt 0.75 g 60 min Mash Water Agent

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
SafAle English Ale (S-04) DCL/Fermentis 73% 59°F - 75.2°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Saccharification 152.1°F 75 min
Mash Out 168°F 10 min

Tasting Notes

Aroma
Moderately-high hop aromas that are citrusy (mainly orange), and tropical like passion fruit, with a slight tinge of floral in the background. Malts are muted and hidden behind the hop aromas.

Flavor
Moderately-high hop flavors that mimic the fruity notes that are listed in aromas. Orange, tropical, passion fruit. Very slight cracker note in the background that are just wanting to punch through that hop character. Ever slight note of fruity esters (mainly pear). Finishes medium-dry.

Mouthfeel
Pillowy, not quite chewy texture that has a moderate creaminess.

Overall Impression
Not my favorite. I would like more of a hop punch in the aroma. The hops that I saved from the dry hop, I put into a freezer bag and I have frozen them. That is an experiment for later. I believe I am going to brew a saison soon and throw those in the whirlpool. The aromas were just too good to throw out in the wood.

What would I change in this beer? I’d back off the flaked grains a touch. I believe I am going to go 80% pale malt, 10% oat malt/golden naked oats, 10% flaked wheat with my next grain bill. The stupid amount of haze in this beer was from the grain bill its self. I do like S-04 on the yeast. It’s just English enough to have a touch of esters that doesn’t screw around with the hops. I’ll dry hop the next batch 24 hours after pitch next time, to see if that makes a difference. I’m running low on citra, so it may just be a mosaic/galaxy hop blend. I haven’t decided yet.


C’s of Amber (American Amber Ale)

My homebrew club decided to do an intra-club competition this year that we has been named Last Brewer Standing. It is a tournament style bracket and each matchup receives a different style to brew. Yeah, we planned this prior to COVID-19 uprooting our lives, but as far as we know, we’re still going to forge on with this little competition, just one month later than we anticipated. Good thing, because I totally forgot to brew this beer for our May meeting. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Luckily the style I drew was American Amber Ale, which we should drink fresh-ish.

It’s been a hot minute since I brewed an American Amber Ale. With all the hatred of caramel malt in hoppier beer styles these days, it just hasn’t really crossed my mind. But after brewing it and trying it. I have missed it. Takes me back to 2012. I don’t know why I picked 2012, but that was just 8 years ago when NEIPAs and fruited sours didn’t dominate the market. Yes, IPAs were popular, but you wouldn’t walk into breweries back then and see over 50% of their taps full of NEIPA with different hop blends, etc.

Here is my take on this version of my American Amber. I used to keep my bittering charge on the low side because of how long it used to take me to chill my wort therefore I would have higher IBUs in my finished beer. Since I’ve purchased a Jaded Hydra Chiller my chilling time has decreased quite a bit my perceived IBUs have decreased. I did not have a traditional bittering charge with this batch, I relied on my bittering to come from the 10 minute additions I added. Beersmith told me 20.7 IBUs, I would rather have this in the 30-35 range. But you know what? I still have a very drinkable beer in my kegerator.

In the recipe you’ll see Southern Select as my base malt. This malt is from Riverbend Malt House in Asheville, NC. I’ve been trying to use smaller maltsters to see what kind of flavors I can coax out of my beers.

Recipe

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5.5 gal 60 min 20.9 IBUs 11.9 SRM 1.051 1.011 5.3 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
American Amber Ale 6 B 1.045 - 1.056 1.01 - 1.015 20 - 40 11 - 18 2.3 - 2.8 4.5 - 5.7 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Southern Select 9 lbs 80.9
Borlander Munich Malt (Briess) 1 lbs 8.99
Victory Malt 12 oz 6.74
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L 4 oz 2.25
Chocolate (Briess) 2 oz 1.12

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Cascade 1 oz 10 min Boil Pellet 4.4
Centennial 1 oz 10 min Boil Pellet 6
Cascade 1 oz 20 min Aroma Pellet 4.4
Centennial 1 oz 20 min Aroma Pellet 6
Comet 1 oz 20 min Aroma Pellet 9.4

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Epsom Salt (MgSO4) 4.48 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 3.64 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Calcium Chloride 2.97 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Baking Soda 2.07 g 60 min Mash Water Agent

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Safale American (US-05) DCL/Fermentis 77% 59°F - 75°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Saccharification 152.1°F 75 min
Mash Out 168°F 10 min