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This week's beer is a Brut IPA. This is a new and somewhat experimental India Pale Ale style that has been made popular by Brewmaster, Kim Sturdavant of Social Kitchen and Brewery in San Francisco. The idea was to create a super dry IPA with light body, lots of hop flavor, but low bitterness. To achieve this result, Sturdavant used an enzyme called amyloglucosidase, which breaks down carbohydrates into little bits. This allows yeast to eat sugars are typically unfermentable without the enzyme.
Unfortunately, we couldn't find the particular enzyme used by Sturdavant, at our local homebrew shop so we used an alternate enzyme called alpha galactosidase, found in the commonly available product, Beano. Homebrewers have long used this enzyme to break down starch into a form that yeast can gobble up and turn into alcohol. How did this project work out for us? Read on, or watch the video to find out.
How to Brew a Brut IPA
Keep in mind that there are several ways a Brut IPA can be used. One could use the amyloglucosidase enzyme that was originally used to make this style. Another option, although we didn't have much luck with it (watch the video to see why) is alpha galactosidase. Additionally, a more powerful yeast (an actual champagne yeast, for example) could be used. Check out this video to learn more about how we brewed this beer or read on for nitty gritty the details.
- 7.88 gallons (29.83 liters) filtered water
- 9lbs. (4kg 82.33g) German Pilsner
- 1lb. 4oz. (567g) Flaked Corn
- 1lb. 40z. (567g) Flaked Rice
- 6 oz. (170.1g) Huell Melon Hops
- Alpha galactosidase enzyme
- Yeast nutrient
1. Heat water to 145F (62.8C), stir in grains and rest for 60 minutes (while maintaining heat).
Recirculating during mash
2. Bump kettle temperature up to 170F (76.7C) after the mash and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
3. Prop grains above liquid, allowing excess wort to drain into kettle.
Pulling and hooking grain basket
4. Increase kettle temp to a boil (maintain for 60 minutes)
5. Set grains aside once draining is complete.
6. After boil, lower kettle temp to 170F (76.7C) and complete a 20 minute hopstand / whirlpool using 3 ounces (85g) of Huell Melon hops.
Adding hops to the hop basket
7. Cool to 65F (18.3C) and pitch 2 packets of WLP-001 California Ale yeast
Transferring chilled wort to a fermenter
We tried a new trick during this brew day, we took the inner pack of yeast out in order to pitch it easier
Pitching yeast - we pitched 2 packs
8. Add alpha galactosidase enzyme and yeast nutrient - we added 10 capsules of a supplement called Bean Assist which contains this enzyme
9. Ferment for 7-10 days.
10. Dry hop for 2 days with 3 ounces (85g) of Huell Melon hops.
11. Keg or bottle, and enjoy!
- Starting gravity: 1.058
- Ending gravity: 1.010
- ABV: 6.3%
As you can see by the stats, we did not achieve the gravity reduction we were looking for. We were hoping this beer would ferment down to 1.005 or lower. Apparently the "Bean Assist" enzymes didn't offer the assist we were looking for. We've seen other brewers use this enzyme with success, so we're not sure why it didn't work for us. We measured pH after the mash and it didn't drop to the level that we were shooting for, which could have impacted starch conversion / fermentation. Or, the enzymes were just bunk. We don't know.
Despite the lack of gravity reduction, the beer definitely has a very dry mouthfeel. It's nice and creamy as it hits your mouth but makes your tongue feel "gritty" after the swallow. So, it has some of the desired qualities that a Brut would have. But it's definitely slightly sweet. As far as Brut IPAs go, this one is questionable. As far as regular IPAs go, this beer is phenomenal. Emmet and I absolutely love it and will definitely brew it again. Check back for part 2, where we'll duplicate this recipe using a different enzyme.
"In terms of a Brut IPA, fail. In terms of a delicious IPA, success"