Mountain IPA #2: Recipe And Tasting

Mountain IPA #2 could not have been more different from Mountain IPA #1.

To pay homage to a now-defunct high school website called The Dangerously Beavers (TDB), co-founder Carl Setterlund and I collaborated on a recipe for a boozy, resinous and juicy Vermont-inspired IPA.

Mountain IPA #2 was the second recipe I submitted to the National Homebrew Competition (NHC) which was later cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I was sad to hear the cancellation news since this was the first time in five years that I submitted entries and the first time (ever!) that my dad submitted entries.

Hops

Similar to Mountain IPA #1, I used Columbus in the mash and at 60-minutes. Columbus has one of the highest levels of monoterpene alcohols which are significant contributors to hop flavor and aroma. Columbus also has high levels of alpha acids which can complex metal ions during the mash and reduce oxidation reactions during the early boil to help improve beer stability.

Drawing inspiration from the trees that build beaver dams, we wanted the feature hop variety to be decidedly resinous and piney. It did not take long for us to settle on Simcoe. Simcoe has significant levels of 4-methyl-4-mercaptopentan-2-one (4MMP), 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol (3MH) and geraniol, giving it potent flavors of boxtree, ribes, black currants, passion fruit, and citrus (precursor). Amarillo and Apollo were selected to complement Simcoe by contributing the most glycosidically-bound geraniol (floral) potential (Amarillo) and significant levels of 4MMP (both), not to mentioned pleasant notes of stone fruit and marijuana. Simcoe cryo hops, Amarillo cryo hops and Apollo pellet hops were added to the whirpool and dry hop.

The whirpool hop rate was 1.2oz/gal (split equally among Simcoe, Amarillo and Apollo) in two doses at 185°F – 0.6oz/gal for 15 minutes and 0.6oz/gal for 7 minutes.

Similarly, I added two separate doses of dry hops (also split equally among the varieties). The total dry hop rate was 1.2 oz/gal.

Malt

Like Mountain IPA #1, I used Mecca Grade Estate Malt exclusively in my grist since they use Full Pint barley variety for all of their malts.Mountain IPA #2 used 78.4% Lamonta (American pale malt) and 14.4% Shaniko (white winter wheat malt). The remaining 7.2% was reserved for table sugar to reduce the perceived sweetness of the beer by improving fermentability.

Yeast

I really enjoyed how Mountain IPA #1 turned out so I stuck with Imperial Yeast A38 Juice for this batch as well. Eventually I plan to experiment with other yeast strains in New England IPAs but that’s for another day.

Water

I started with distilled water and added brewing salts to target the approximate Julius starting water profile from my April 2019 blog post.

Mountain IPA #2 Recipe

The full Mountain IPA #2 recipe can be found here: https://share.brewfather.app/r4DFmXU4QaO8J0

Mountain IPA #2 Tasting Notes

Appearance – Velvety white head with fine bubbles and sticky lacing. The beer itself is hazy AF. Its opacity pushes the 6.3 SRM into more-brown-than-orange hue territory which is not exactly appealing.

Smell – Prominent aromas of honeydew melon and cantaloupe overwhelm the nose. As the beer warms I can pick up notes of juicy fruit bubblegum and tangerine. There is also a touch of pine sap and pine needle.

Taste – Sweetness carries throughout the entire sip. There is a pleasant hint of orange pith in the finish which immediately reminds me of orange creamsicle ice cream bars.

Mouthfeel – Very soft and easy drinking beer despite its 8.0% ABV. More sweet than bitter.

Overall – A good first effort at a Vermont-inspired IPA. There are elements I am very satisfied with and others that I plan to change. Not as hop-forward as I was anticipating despite using Cryo Hops!

Changes for Next Time – While there are many, the biggest change I plan to make for the next iteration of this recipe is scaling back the ABV to ~6.5%. Not only will this help with drinkability, but it will also reduce the perceived sweetness. To lighten the color I will swap Pelton (pilsner-style malt) in for Lamonta (pale malt) and up the table sugar to at least 10%. For more intense bitterness I will aim for at least 40 IBUs from hot-side additions (excluding whirpool hops). I also want to experiment with a 3:2:1 ratio of Simcoe, Apollo, and Amarillo to up the dankness factor.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.