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January Employee Recipe

by Baltimore Tour Guide Michael

Below is a double dry-hopped Citra Pale Ale (18B) I recently submitted to a BJCP sanctioned competition – won 3rd best in show with a 38 overall score and is fairly straightforward to make with a broad style appeal so I figured it would be a nice choice for this review – especially considering it was inspired by a frequent Sapwood Cellars release (Rings of Light). A great year-round drinker with many of the qualities of a proper NEIPA, but with a smooth assertive bitterness and high drinkability. I’ve scaled it for 5.5 gallons, but provide percentages and IBU estimates to aid in scaling it up or down. OG: 1.058 ; FG: 1.014 ; 5.8% ABV ; 30-40 IBU ; SRM 5

10 pounds – Golden Promise (80-85%)
2 pounds – Wheat Malt (15-20%)

The malt bill can be adjusted, but at these ratios, I believe the wheat will provide great qualities for head retention while contributing a ‘hazy but not opaque’ appearance – the finished beer will have a haze, but can still be seen through with a cold-crash and/or minor fining. You can use Flaked Wheat instead to produce more haze if that’s your thing.

Standard 60 minute Single-Infusion Mash @ 150F
Mashout to 170F if possible
0.5oz – First Wort Whole Flower Hops – Citra yielding 25-30 IBU
4.5oz – 20 Minute Whirlpool Whole Flower Hops – Citra yielding 5-10 IBU
1.5oz – Dry Hop Whole Flower (2 days) – Citra
1.5oz – Dry Hop Whole Flower (2 days) – Citra

The hop schedule was designed to produce an assertive but smooth bitterness and achieves this via a “First-Wort” hop. This hopping occurs prior to the boil, generally during the Sparge for homebrewers. By getting the hops in contact with the wort at sparging temps (~170F) we can prevent the volatile compounds from immediately being boiled off – this gives them more time to become soluble and (hopefully) end up in the finished beer. All the remaining hot-side hops are added in the whirlpool, yielding a small additional amount of IBUs. The beer is double dry-hopped, starting around 36-48 hours after fermentation has begun. I use a canister to allow the dry hops to be removed after their 2-day duration, as too much contact time may make the resulting beer come across a bit grassy or vegetal

1 Liter Yeast Starter – Imperial A38 ‘Juice’ – ~275 Billion Cells

‘Juice’ is a very versatile NEIPA/Hazy strain – a quick fermenter with a wide functioning temperature range. Note: This strain is oxygen hungry, be sure to sufficiently oxygenate your wort prior to pitching. I tend to start it around 65-66F and bump the temperature up slightly toward the end of fermentation; around 3 days. Allow a total conditioning time of around 10-12 days for dry-hop and cleanup.

You can have this beer kegged and carbonated within 2 weeks generally, and the results speak for themselves. Strong notes of grapefruit in both the aroma and flavor, with a balance of hop bitterness and grainy sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and finishes fairly dry, without any lingering flavors. Thirst-quenching and highly drinkable – the perfect marriage of new-world hop flavor with the tried and true balance of the American Pale Ale style.

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