Beer / Craft Beer

March 18th, 2020

IPA—Pocalypse

As the end of the world as we know it appears to be nearing fast, what else is one to do other than making beer? Blessed by this vision of sheer lucidity, Brouwerij Geel set out to explore the boundaries of Indian Pale Ales. This Post-Apocalyptic IPA uses shredded beets to achieve a haunting shade of red. Don't tell us we didn't warn you!

Brew label

Ingredients*

* This recipe results in a batch of  ( 3.8 / 10 / 20 )  liters.

Malt/Grain Bill

  • 800 g Maris Otter malt
  • 90 g Munich Malt
  • 45 g Fawcett Crystal '45L'
  • 45 g Fawcett Crystal '120L'
  • 20 g Carafa Special 'I'

Hops & Aromatics

  • 20 g Simcoe Hops (10% AA)
  • 30 g Centennial Hops (9% AA)
  • 100 ml Red Beet Juice

Yeast

  • Wyeast 1007 (German Ale) Yeast

Here's how it's done.

Preface

Brewing is a craft that revolves around on Planning and Sanitation — make sure you have all ingredients and equipment ready and sanitised: this will save you a lot of headaches later on.

However, Brewing is also about Experimentation and Enjoying Yourself. As a wise man once said: Relax. Don't worry. And have a homebrew.

The Mash — [1/5]

During The Mash we convert all sugars in the grain to fermentable sugars by steeping it in hot water for a long period of time. Additionally, The Mash extracts colour and flavour from the grain.

  • Fill your brewing kettle with 1.9 liters of water, and heat it to 71°C.
  • Mill the grains, and add them to your mash bag in the kettle. The temperature should drop to ~66°C.
  • Heat the mash for 60 minutes at 63-68°C. Remember to stir every 10 minutes, and take regular readings with your thermometer.
  • After 60 minutes, start the mash-out by heating it to 77°C while stirring constantly.
  • Prepare for The Sparge by heating another 3.8 liters of water to 77°C.

The Sparge — [2/5]

During The Sparge we separate the Wort from The Grains by straining it, and pouring hot water over it to draw all of the fantastic sugars and flavours that we extracted in the previous step.

  • Lift up your Mash Bag and add a strainer underneath.
  • Slowly and evenly pour the 3.8 liters of water you heated over the Mash Bag to extract the Wort.
  • At the end of this step you should be left with around 4.75 liters of Wort.

The Boil — [3/5]

During The Boil we bring our Wort to a low, rolling boil. In this phase, we also add our hops, aromatics and other special ingredients. In terms of profile, adding hops during boil will result in Bitterness (long boil), Flavour (medium boil) and Aroma (boiled briefly).

  • Heat the wort until it starts boiling — keep going until you see a Hot Break: you will start to see foam appear at the top.
  • Slightly reduce the heat, and stir occasionally. Start your timer, and add your Hops and/or Aromatics at these times:
  • Add half (½) of your hops at the Start of the Boil.
  • Add a quarter (¼) of your hops, 45 minutes into the Boil.
  • Add a quarter (¼) of your hops, at Flameout.
  • (Optional): If you are left with less than 3.8 liters of Wort, now is the time to add tap water to make up for that.

The Fermentation — [4/5]

During The Fermentation we use our best friend Saccharomyces Cerevisiae — also known as Brewer's Yeast — to turn the Wort we just created into Beer! For this to happen, two things are crucial: Sanitation and Temperature Control.

  • Make sure anything that (indirectly) touches the Wort from now on is sanitised!
  • Cool the Wort (in an ice bath, or using a Wort Cooler) until it reaches 21°C.
  • Use a Racking Cane to siphon your cooled-down Wort into your sanitised Fermentation Vessel.
  • Pitch your Yeast (or Yeast Starter if you are fancy 🎩).
  • Aerate (introduce oxygen) the Wort and Yeast by thoroughly shaking the Fermentation Vessel while closing the top.
  • Set up a Blow-Off Tube by attaching rubber hose into a sanitised screw-top stopper, and place the other end in a small bowl of sanitiser solution.
Artboard 1

Intermezzo: Keep in a dark place at room temperature for two to three days, until the CO2 bubbling quiets down. That's the brew day done for now! Time to relax and have a pint 🍻.

  • Take off the screw-top stopper, and sanitise- and reassemble it using an airlock filled with sanitiser.
  • Sanitise a muslin bag, and add your Centennial hops inside. Lower these in the fermentation vessel.
  • Add the final ingredient: 100 ml of Red Beet Juice. This will ensure our brew has that ominous red hue that we're after.
  • Finally, add screw-top stopper back on the fermentation vessel, and keep it in a dark place at room temperature for two further weeks.

Bottling — [5/5]

Our final step in this journey. In the Bottling phase we … bottle our brew. For this step, make sure you have sanitised bottles, and a way to close them off (using bottle caps, or swing-top bottles).

  • Take off the screw-top stopper from the fermentation vessel, and siphon your (now alcoholic) beer into a sanitised bottling bucket.
  • We want our brew to be properly carbonated. This can be done by adding some extra sugar (Priming). Warning: do not overprime your beer, you'll end up with dangerous bottle bombs!
  • As a rule of thumb, add ~7.90 g of sugar per liter of homebrew. For this recipe, this means we add a total of 30 grams of sugar to the bottling bucket.
  • Allow the sugar to dissolve in the bottling bucket, and siphon your brew from the bucket into your bottles.
  • Make sure the bottles are securely shut, and store them in a dark place for one to two weeks. Place them in the fridge the night before you want to enjoy them. Cheers! 🍻

Stats for Nerds

Finally, here are some statistics that brewing nerds would appreciate. Keep in mind these have been measured using homebrewing equipment, and may not be lab-accurate. If you managed to get your hands on a bottle of this brew, we would recommend you experience it using this tasting sheet!

Initial Specific Gravity (OG) 1.060
Final Specific Gravity (FG) 1.012
Alcohol By Volume (ABV) 6.4%
Bitterness (IBU) 42
Colour (SRM) 9
Clarity Slight Haze

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