Mountain IPA #5: Recipe and Review

With fresh cans of Tree House Julius in hand (thanks Tom!) the Mountain IPA #5 recipe was inspired by their flagship IPA.

Last year, I spent a lot of time researching the mineral analysis and beverage analytics of Julius but never brewed a beer using those specifications until Mountain IPA #5.

Hops & Boil

Still working through my 2019 hop inventory, I used the same Yakima Valley Hop varieties for Mountain IPA #5 just in different amounts.

Columbus was used at 0.2 oz/gal in the mash and 0.2 oz/gal at 60-minutes. Together these additions contributed ~50 IBUs. I really like Columbus for its affordable high alpha and total oil content.

I implemented a 60-minute boil with whirlfloc and yeast nutrient additions at 15-minutes.

Amarillo and Idaho 7 were used at 0.6 oz/gal each for a 15-minute hopstand at 185°F. Amarillo has high levels of linalool (via geraniol) and 4-methyl-4-mercaptopentan-2-one (4MMP) which result in lots of biotransformation flavors of citrus and tropical. And Idaho 7 was recently identified as having the highest “survivables” levels of all hops tested by Yakima Chief!

Mountain IPA #5 was dry hopped in two stages with Citra and Galaxy. Both hops have lots of total oil and 4MMP, with Citra also bringing 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol (3MH) to the table. The first dry hop addition was on day 3 at 0.5 oz/gal each. The second dry hop addition was on day 7 at 0.5 oz/gal each. The total dry hop load was 2.0 oz/gal.

The hopstand and dry hop rates were increased from previous batches to match Scott Janish’s usage rate at Sapwood Cellars Brewery.

Malt & Mash

Like its predecessors, Mountain IPA #5 was brewed exclusively with Mecca Grade Estate Malt. To achieve my target SRM of 6 (like Mountain IPA #3 and #4), I had to explore a new grist combination due to the higher malt color contributions for a 6.5+% IPA. This time, I used 62.5% Pelton, 25% Lamonta and 12.5% Shaniko. The percentage of wheat has been the one constant in my Mountain IPA batches since it throws a perfect haze.

I mashed for 90 minutes at 154°F (like Mountain IPA #3) and actually overshot my original gravity by 4 points for a mash efficiency of 63%.

Yeast & Fermentation

I have not yet explored many variables with yeast, so I stuck with my usual Imperial Yeast A38 – Juice. I used half of a pack without a starter or oxygenation (which has been my routine for my last dozen batches or so). I fermented at 70°F for 10 days and raised to 75°F for 2 before cold crashing at 32°F.

Water

I stuck with my approximate Julius starting water profile again since it’s been treating me so well.

Recipe

The Mountain IPA #5 recipe can be found here: https://share.brewfather.app/9uzxiVtBxCpxvN

Review

Mountain IPA #5 was brewed on August 2, 2020, canned on August 30, 2020 and reviewed on December 5, 2020.

Appearance – This beer checks all the boxes for New England IPA appearance. It’s hazy (but not turbid), glowing orange (but not brown) and has a thick sticky head.

Smell – Tropical fruit aromas of papaya and mango collide with sweet citrus aromas of orange marmalade, peach rings and dried pineapple to nail the modern New England IPA aroma.

Taste – Loads of peach ring candy, lemon-lime Gatorade and mandarin oranges are followed by pithy citrus peel and mild pine cone in the finish.

Mouthfeel – The superb viscosity reminds me of an Odwalla fruit smoothie. The bitterness level is perfect and combined with the 2.4 volumes of carbon dioxide, it makes for an excellent drinking experience.

Overall – The appearance, smell and mouthfeel could not be better but Mountain IPA #5 was ever-so-sweet for my palate.

Changes For Next Time – For Mountain IPA #6, I plan to utilize Pelton and Shaniko (and drop Lamonta all together) in hopes of reducing the perceived sweetness in my full strength NEIPA recipes.

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