Homebrew: Imperial IPA with Conan Yeast

I brewed this beer back in July, but am just now getting around to writing it up.  It turned out pretty good, but I would love to have the beerthat inspired the recipe, Heady Topper.  Maybe someday I’ll get to the North East and get a chance to try one.

I decided to brew this recipe because I got my hands on some Conan yeast which is supposed to the be yeast used in Heady Topper.  Even though I did an Imperial IPA recently, I enjoy the style so was eager to try a slightly different recipe.  This recipe makes use of a hop stand, where you add hops at flameout before chilling the wort.  I had done a hop stand in my last beer, and that worked out really well, so I wanted to try it again.

Heady Topper (from BYO magazine)

Batch Size: 5 gallons
Original Gravity: 1.074
Final Gravity: 1.012
IBU: 100+
SRM: 6
ABV: 8%
Yeast: Chico (WLP001/Wyeast1056/S-05/Conan)
Starter: 1.5L

13 lbs. British pale ale malt
4 oz. Caravienne malt
1 lb. sucrose (table sugar)
1.5 oz. Simcoe (30 min.)
1 oz. Cascade (knockout)
1 oz. Apollo (knockout)
1 oz. Simcoe (knockout)
1 oz. Centennial (30 min. into hopstand)
1 oz. Simcoe (30 min. into hopstand)
1 oz. Columbus (30 min. into hopstand)
1 oz. Chinook (primary dry hop)
1 oz. Simcoe (primary dry hop)
1.25 oz. Centennial (secondary dry hop)
1.25 oz. Simcoe (secondary dry hop)

Brew Camp recipe builder.

Mash at 155F for 40 minutes. Sparge enough to collect roughly 7.5 gallons in your kettle to achieve 6.5 gallons at knockout. Boil for 75 minutes, adding 1.5 oz. Simcoe @ 30 min. After knockout add 1 oz. each Cascade, Apollo, and Simcoe. Whirlpool with pump or by stirring for a minute and letting it spin down and settle. After 30 minutes, reduce wort temperature to 170F and add 1 oz. each Centennial, Simcoe, and Columbus. Whirlpool again. After 15 more minutes begin final cooling process. The goal is to get 5.5 gallons into the fermenter to account for loss of wort during dry hopping.

Pitch healthy dose of yeast @ 65F. After FG has been achieved add a clarifying agent such as polycar. Allow 3 days for clarifying agent to work, then add first set of dry hops to primary fermenter. After 7 days rack beer off dry hops & yeast cake either into a keg or secondary vessel. Try to purge with CO2 if possible. Add second round of dry hops and wait 5 days. Bottle or begin carbonation process.

Grain Bill 13.25
Used trub loss of .75 and a batch size of 5.5 to get a bigger pre-boil amount in the mash calculator since recipe calls for 5.5 gallons.
Water calculators.
Strike water: 4.41 gallons at 167
Sparge water: 5.76 gallons
Mashout: 6.7 quarts (1.675 gallons) at boiling
Mash calculators.

Made my own candi sugar instead of just using granulated.  This was actually quite easy.

Homemade Belgian Candi Sugar
Homemade Belgian Candi Sugar

Brewed 7/12
Pitched at 70 instead 65 since it was such a hot day. Only hit 14.5 Brix, 1.059.  This is way under what I expected, not sure what happened.  I can only think that because

Primary dry hopped on 7/21
Secondary transfer and dry hop on 7/28
Bottled on 8/2.  I think I did this about a week or two too fast, not giving it enough time on the yeast to absorb all the diacetyl.

Tasted first bottle on 8/8. Obvious diacetyl, I think that this was probably due to the very short fermentation. I think I pushed things too quickly with the first dry hop and should have given it a few more days as a diacetyl rest.  However, subsequent bottles were much better, and I have been enjoying them quite a bit.  The appearance is a bit more cloudy than I’d expected.  The diacetyl was not a problem going forward, however.

FG of 1.011, 6.4% abv

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