Friday, May 31, 2002

Big A IPA - The First Edition

5/31/02 ~ Corresponding with the release of our newest Big Beer, Smuttynose Big A IPA, I'd like to welcome everyone to our newest section of the web site. I've received several inquiries for descriptions of our seasonal releases and so thought directing people to our home page would be the easiest way to accommodate everyone.

When we decided to release an IPA, we were unsure of the direction we wanted to go with it and, in typical brewer fashion, began by drinking an ungodly ammount of beer. This dipsomaniacal behavior was not random, however, but directed toward every IPA we could get our mitts on. After sampling a broad cross section of American (and some English) IPA's we decided that Cascade, Chinook, and Columbus hops were perhaps over represented and we'd focus on showcasing some of the brilliant European hop varieties.

Starting with a malt bill of mostly Cargill Pilsner malt (with 5% 60°L crystal) we immediately began the hop additions by adding 5 pounds of Northern Brewer right into the mash. Futile? Frivolous? Perhaps, but Greg and I heard of this practice at the Craft Beer Conference in Cleveland and thought we'd give it a go. The remaining hop additions were: Northern Brewer in the boil, Challenger at 20 and 10 minutes before the end of the boil, and East Kent Goldings right before the whirlpool.

We began fermentation with an OG of 18.4° P and finished out around 5° P. It finished a tad high perhaps but at 7% ABV it's still worthy of it's Big Beer label. We concluded our hop additions by tossing close to 30 pounds of a mixture of all three varieties in to the fermentor for dry hopping.

The finished beer has a smooth, earthy hop flavor, with the residual body easily able to support the 70 IBU's. The nose has a hint of oranges which goes well with the similar color of the beer. Overall it's a good first effort to which we've already made some changes and, hopefully, improvements. As the release of the second batch nears, I'll update this page so be sure to check back.


2 Row Pilsner

60° L Crystal
OG 18.4° P
TG 5.1° P

Northern Brewer ­ Mash
Northern Brewer ­ Bittering
Challenger ­ Flavoring
East Kent Goldings ­ Aroma
Northern Brewer, Challenger, East Kent Goldings ­ Dry Hopping