Every now and then I decide to brew a clone recipe of a beer not to see how well I can replicate it, but rather just to be able to try it. The Zombie Dust Recipe I brewed a couple years ago was a good example. I couldn’t actually get my hands on Zombie Dust, so there wasn’t a point in comparing how close I got to the real thing. But given the massive hype it was nice to be able to taste roughly what Zombie Dust was like. Well, after hearing rave reviews of Kern River’s Citra Double IPA over the past few years, I decided to brew up a batch so I could see what it was all about.
Considering we’re getting close to the holidays and IPAs disappear quickly around my friends, I didn’t have to think twice about making a full 10 gallon batch of this beer. I’m not going to get too much into the recipe for this batch, as I’m pretty much brewing the Can You Brew it recipe for this beer. I’d definitely recommend listening to the podcast if you get a chance. The brewer gives some really detailed recipe info about the beer. I did take a couple creative liberties with this batch. In an effort to use up some Citra from last year I ramped the beer up a bit. I added some dextrose to increase the ABV and help in sure the beer dries out. I also increased the late additions of Citra to help compliment the higher OG. Other than that, the beer was brewed identical to the CYBI recipe.
Brewing these days for me is a bit of a pain. I’m half way in the process of putting together a brew stand for the new house, but we’ve just had too many other things going on to make any meaningful progress. For now I’m still brewing in the garage, and I just haven’t really adjusted. I don’t have as easy access to a hose, there isn’t as much room, and there aren’t as many electrical outlets. Everything takes just a little longer, and I’m not really on my game. On the bright side, I’m getting all the parts together for a nice single tier brew stand, so I’ll be brewing in style soon. Despite all that, this brew day went fairly smooth.
Considering the large amount of Carapils and Crystal 10, I chose to mash this beer a little longer than normal, and I raised the mash temp to 155 to help finish conversion. I boiled this for 90 minutes, then whirlpool the wort for 15 minutes before starting to cool this down. Since this was brewed a few months ago, it was quite cool out, and the beer had already dropped to 180F by the end of the whirlpool. I then chilled the batch down to 60F, and then split the 5L starter into the two fermenters.
Dry Hopped: 11-13-15
11oz Honey Malt
Mash at 148* for 65min then 155* for 10min
2oz Apollo @ 90
2oz Citra @ 30
5oz Citra @ 15
5oz Citra @ 0WLP090 – Super San Diego Yeast
Dry Hop 1 (ea fermenter): 1.5oz Citra & .75oz Amarillo
Dry Hop 2 (ea fermenter): 1.5oz Citra & .75oz Amarillo (the second keg got 2.25oz Equinox instead)
I followed my typical fermentation schedule for this beer. I started it off at 17.2C, raised the beer to 18.4 after 24hrs, and then eventually up to 19.8C (68F) to finish up. about 4-5 days after brew day i added the first dose of dry hops directly to the primary. Three days later it was clear that fermentation was completed. I racked the beers into clean, sanitized kegs, leaving behind all the yeast and most of the first round of dry hops. I then added the second dose of dry hops in that keg, and sat on those for 4 more days. Finally both beers got racked to another set of cleaned and sanitized kegs.
So how did this beer turn out? Pretty awesome. It’s no surprise to me that Kern River has won as many awards as they have with this beer. The beer has to quintessential DIPA ‘color’ that just looks right. It’s crystal clear with a nice fluffy head. The aroma is strong tropical fruit and malt sweetness. The flavor is sweet resiny hops mixed with more sweetness from the malt. It might taste sweet, but it finishes pretty dry. There’s some citrus in there, but you can tell there’s a pile of Citra hops in this beer.
In comparison the Equinox hopped beer was only slightly different. I guess that goes to show that Equinox and Citra aren’t drastically different hops. I actually still have the Equinox version on tap, and I’m drinking it now as I’m writing this post. A fair bit more resiny hop flavor comes through, and I would describe the flavor as a little more complex. The beers really aren’t terribly different though. It was a fun tweak to make.
So what did I learn from this? You definitely can make a fantastic DIPA with more Crystal and Honey malt than I would normally recommend. I’m not really sure why it works so well in this beer but it does. Unfortunately, we’re down to the last gallon of the ten gallons, so I guess it’s time to start planning another IPA to brew. The wife has a big 30th birthday party coming up, so it’s time to get brewing.