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Punk'd Up

To kick off my return to brewing American Pale Ales I've decided to start with a milder tribute to Brewdog's Punk IPA. I was inspired to do this when I saw that my favourite supplier of hops, Crossmyloof Brew Ltd had launched a blend of hops that emulates the original 2010 Punk IPA recipe - you know, back when it was good. To buy all these hops separately would be quite expensive and result in a lot of left-overs.

Yeast preparation

I'm using an overbuilt starter of Wyeast 1469 for this brew and it'll be the last time that I use this yeast for a while. It's not exactly on-style for a Punk IPA but it'll do the job without detracting too much from the hops that are the star of the show.

A one litre starter will be quite sufficient for this beer and since I'm not overbuilding I won't be adding a further 500ml and the starter will fit nicely into my smallest 2 litre flask.

Brew day

Here's the recipe that I came up with.

Recipe Specifications
Date: 20 November 2022
Batch Size (fermenter): 24.00 L   
Estimated OG: 1.044 SG
Estimated Color: 7.7 EBC
Estimated IBU: 45.3 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.6 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Water profile: Ca:90 Mg:12 Na:9 SO4:110 Cl:108

Amt         Name                                             Type          %/IBU    
29.66 L     Tesco Ashbeck                                    Water         -        
3.70 g      Calcium Chloride (Mash)                          Water Agent   -        
2.70 g      Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash)                  Water Agent   -        
2.50 g      Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash)                        Water Agent   -        
1.00 ml     Lactic Acid (Mash)                               Water Agent   -        
4.420 kg    Weyermann Eraclea Pilsner Malt (4.5 EBC)         Grain         94.6 %   
0.250 kg    Munich I (Weyermann) (14.0 EBC)                  Grain         5.4 %    
0.80 g      Calcium Chloride (Sparge)                        Water Agent   -        
0.60 g      Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Sparge)                Water Agent   -        
0.50 g      Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Sparge)                      Water Agent   -        
0.20 ml     Lactic Acid (Sparge)                             Water Agent   -        
15.00 g     Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [14.30 %] - Boil 60 Hop           24.5 IBUs
22.00 g     CML Punk'd Up! [10.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min         Hop           9.1 IBUs 
1.00 Items  Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 7.0 mins)                 Fining        -        
32.00 g     CML Punk'd Up! [10.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min          Hop           7.3 IBUs 
46.00 g     CML Punk'd Up! [10.00 %] - Boil 2.0 min          Hop           4.4 IBUs 
1.0 pkg     West Yorkshire Ale (Wyeast Labs #1469)           Yeast         -        

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body
Total Grain Weight: 4.670 kg
Name     Description                     Step Temperat  Step Time     
Mash In  Add 24.66 L of water at 70.7 C  65.0 C         60 min        

Sparge: Dunk sparge with 5L

This is my first use of the Weyermann Eraclea Pilsner Malt. It's very pale and with nothing else in there to darken the grist I needed a small amount of lactic acid to get the mash pH down to the predicted level of 5.3.

Those are the hops that I'm using today. As you can see the Punk'd up is a blend of Chinook, Ahtanum, Simcoe, Nelson Sauvin, Cascade and Amarillo. The Columbus is for bittering.

Brew day went off without any hitches and I was pleased to collect the predicted 24 litres into the fermenter.

OG was 1.043, just one point shy of the target. As expected the colour is extra pale and lager-like. I set the brew fridge to 19C for the fermentation, pitched the yeast immediately and was pleased to see bubbling by the end of the day.

Kegging day

I kegged this one after 3 weeks in the fermenter.

The FG was 1.005 including a 2 point upwards adjustment for the accuracy of my hydrometer which gives a final ABV of 5.0%. The colour is an extra-pale as expected from this Eraclea Pilsner Malt. The finished beer was transferred into a pre-purged corny keg and the remainder collected into 3 bottles. The keg was set at 15 psi and has been left to carbonate.

Tasting notes

This is great beer! It's been a while since I've done an American Pale and it's nice to be back with this tribute to Punk IPA. The pre-mixed hop combination from the guys at Crossmyloof really is a good match for the original and I find the Eraclea pilsner malt allows the hops to shine.

The Eraclea malt itself is, I think rather similar to the Weyermann Bohemian malt that I've used before. I'll have to wait until I've done a few lagers with it before passing final judgement but at the moment I would probably just buy whichever one is cheaper at the time because both have that wonderful honey character.