Brew day: ANHC Nelson IPA

Brew day: ANHC Nelson IPA

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Brew Day

With ANHC Four fast approaching, it's time to start getting brews ready for the conference club night. This will be the first time the Merri Mashers have attended club night, so we wanted to have a strong concept behind the beers we are taking up to Canberra. The idea is that we're going to do a series four of single hop IPA's (each using a hop that begins with the letters A, N, H and C) and then a fifth beer that combines all four. All beers will share a common grain bill and shoot for the same IBU's.

THE PLAN

I was assigned the N beer and decided Nelson Sauvin would be a great option. I've used Nelson in a few beers now, but never on it's own. I really like the fruity, white wine flavour and aroma that it gives a beer, but I'm well aware that this can easily become overpowering. I want to make a beer that has enough bitterness and malt character to balance the fruity hops, while still letting them shine through as the dominant flavour.

THE RECIPE

ANHC Nelson IPA (American Style IPA)

Target OG: 1.066
IBU: 72

Grist:

Mash:

Boil: (60 min)

Fermentation:

Dry hop:

THE BREW DAY

One small hiccup on brew day; just before reaching strike temp, I added a 1/2 teaspoon each of calcium chloride and calcium sulphate and was about to add a tablespoon of 5.2 PH Stabilizer, only to realise that the cupboard was bare. I'm not the type to let a small thing like that stop me though, so I went ahead and mashed in.

The 5.2 PH stabilizer is supposed to help increase your mash efficiency, wort clarity and hop utilisation. I can't say for sure that it does all those things though because this brew hit the OG right on the head (1.066) and the wort I tasted at the end of the boil was certainly bitter enough. As far as clarity is concerned, I did a 15 minute whirlpool before collecting the wort and it looked as clear as it normally would. I've been using the 5.2 stabilizer for quite a while now (I bought a large container of it ages ago) but perhaps this brew has proven that it's not actually required?

It was a nice thick mash and over the course of an hour the temperature barely dropped at all (69°C down to 68.7°C). This gave me a chance to put my feet up, sample some previous brews and enjoy reading a good book. The past few IPA's I've brewed have had over 10 hop additions, so this simple hop schedule meant more relaxing and did I mention sampling beers? In the end I collected 25 litres of wort, which will allow me to fill a keg for ANHC as well as a few bottles for myself.

thick-mash.jpg A nice thick mash

mash-temp.jpg Only a 0.3°C drop in temperature over an hour!

nelson-sauvin.jpg One of the three hop additions

After a hassle free brew session it's always a bit of a shock to the system to have to get off your butt and clean up but a couple of my Belgian IPA's helped to take the edge off. Stay tuned for tasting notes in a few weeks time.

Have you used PH stabiliser before? Did it make much difference to your mash? Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear about it.

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