Breaux Code was briefly introduced in my last post on Hybrid Styles where I dove a bit into the realm of combining the more approachable aspects of two styles into one. Although the updated BJCP style guidelines include a specialty IPA style coined the White IPA, there has yet to be a development towards the further Americanization of an already Americanized style: going bigger!
I may be the only one to think along these lines, but I want to consider the “Double IPA” and the “Imperial IPA” two separate entities. Before the aforementioned “juicy” hop bomb revolution of the hazy Northeast Style IPAs, Imperial IPAs signified big, malty and hop forward cousins to the IPA. Thusly so, when I hear a brewery release a DIPA over an Imperial IPA, I think extremely hop forward in flavor and aroma with a huge, pillowy mouthfeel, an imperial IPA to me drinks more like a session American style barleywine (what a stretch!) with one of the classic examples being Dogfish Head’s 90 minute IPA. Without diving deep into what most would consider formalities, my plan here could be construed two different ways: 1) to combine the likeness of both a Belgian Witbier and an Double IPA, or 2) Just make a bigger white IPA!
I will however take into account the best aspects of both styles here instead of just increasing the malt bill and hop charges. I want to take the spiced and citrus notes of a wit and confound them with similar flavors through hop additions. Belgian wits are usually spiced with coriander seed and orange peal, along with a pretty darn expressive, and surely reminiscent belgian wit yeast strain. The coriander and orange peel give off some very intense fresh citrus notes while the yeast imparts bubblegum, stone fruit and other interesting phenols as Belgian strains usually do, while leaving some body contributed by unmalted wheat. I plan on keeping these key players consistent within the design, with the coriander and orange peel staying in the background to accentuate the hop profile, and the yeast taking a front seat along with the American hops that I have chosen. Oh, and I will be adding a pound of wildflower honey at high krausen for good measure!
For the hops, I will use three varietals in fairly consistent quantities:
Amarillo – A moderate to high alpha acid varietal (7-11%) mostly used as a flavor and aroma addition which works wonders in IPAs. It has an extremely high myrcene differential (40-50%) which imparts huge tangerine and grapefruit flavor and aroma.
Simcoe – A high alpha acid varietal (11-15%) that is a huge hit in the craft beer and homebrewing market for IPAs. Renown for it’s piney and citrus characters, it offers low co-humulone differentials which allows for smoother bittering potential and huge flavor and aroma contributions.
El Dorado – Another high alpha acid varietal (13-17%) with a big tropical and stone fruit appeal. Aromas and flavors are attributed to pear and watermelon. Fairly new hop that a lot of breweries are playing with, and which I have never used.
Amarillo and Simcoe play very well together in traditional IPAs such as DFH 60, 90 and 120 minute series in which they balance one another with citrus and pine. Amarillo, in my anecdotal experience, can be somewhat overwhelming if used in huge quantities considering its big citrus contribution. I plan to tone it down so that it works well with the orange peel and coriander added to the boil. The piney notes of Simcoe I feel will give the impression of true American IPA characteristics while the El Dorado will add a new flavor to the style without being overt. I plan on using a touch of Columbus hops for bittering purposes only.
As far as technique goes, I will treat this batch as a DIPA, adding the vast majority of kettle additions of hops in the whirlpool and the dry hop additions during the latter portion of high krausen. The yeast will be fermented on the lower to mid area of optimal temp range and ramped up after the dry hop in order to fully attenuate.
Recipe: 6 gallons post boil – 72% Efficiency (OG – 1.077; FG 1.018; IBU 96 [calc])
Malt Bill – 19.25 lbs total grist weight
9 lbs Belgian Pilsner lalt (48%)
6 lbs Flaked Wheat (32%)
1.25 lbs Cara-pils malt (6.7%)
1 lb Flaked Oats (5.2%)
1 lb WF Honey (5.2%) – added at high krause (day 3-4) of fermentation
0.5 oz Columbus (15.5%) @ 60 mins
1 oz Columbus (15.5%) @ 10 mins
Whirlpool x 30 mins – 2 oz Simcoe (13%), 2 oz El Dorado (15%), 1 oz Amarillo (9.2%)
Dry Hops x 3-7 days – 2 oz Simcoe, 2 oz El Dorado, 1 oz Amarillo
Yeast – WLP400 Belgian Wit – 2L starter – 68F x 3 days, 71F x 3 days, 74F x 4 days
Keg and condition for 7 days, carb for 3 days then serve
I plan to brew this at the end of the week and will most likely build my water profile as I did with Hubris – High chloride:sulfate levels in a 2:1 ratio.