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Flagstaff IPA

Today is brew day for my English IPA that should be ready in time for the Christmas period. I'm calling it Flagstaff IPA.

Brew day

Recipe Specifications
Recipe: Flagstaff IPA
Batch Size (fermenter): 24.00 L  
Estimated OG: 1.045 SG
Estimated Color: 11.6 EBC
Estimated IBU: 32.4 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.6 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Finished water profile: Ca:53, Mg:9, Na:10, SO4:73, Cl:59

Amt         Name                                       Type          %/IBU  
29.62 L     Tesco Ashbeck                              Water         -      
2.20 ml     Lactic Acid (Mash)                         Water Agent   -      
1.70 g      Calcium Chloride (Mash)                    Water Agent   -      
1.70 g      Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash)            Water Agent   -      
1.50 g      Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash)                  Water Agent   -      
3.75 kg     IREKS Pale Ale Malt (6.0 EBC)              Grain         82.0 % 
0.46 kg     IREKS Munich Malt (20.0 EBC)               Grain         10.0 % 
0.23 kg     Barley, Flaked (Thomas Fawcett) (3.9 EBC)  Grain         5.0 %  
0.14 kg     Melanoidin (Weyermann) (70.0 EBC)          Grain         3.0 %  
0.40 g      Calcium Chloride (Sparge)                  Water Agent   -      
0.40 g      Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Sparge)          Water Agent   -      
0.30 g      Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Sparge)                Water Agent   -      
0.20 ml     Lactic Acid (Sparge)                       Water Agent   -      
10.00 g     Endeavour [8.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop           9.8 IBUs
11.00 g     Endeavour [8.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min         Hop           5.3 IBUs
11.00 g     Fuggle [4.30 %] - Boil 15.0 min            Hop           2.5 IBUs
16.00 g     Endeavour [8.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min         Hop           5.7 IBUs
16.00 g     Fuggle [4.30 %] - Boil 10.0 min            Hop           2.6 IBUs
1.00 Items  Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 7.0 mins)           Fining        -      
23.00 g     Endeavour [8.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min          Hop           4.5 IBUs
23.00 g     Fuggle [4.30 %] - Boil 5.0 min             Hop           2.1 IBUs
1.0 pkg     DIPA Ale (Omega #OYL-052)                  Yeast         -      

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 4.57 kg
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time    
Mash In           Add 24.62 L of water at 69.3 C          66.0 C        60 min      

Sparge: Dunk sparge with 5 L of water at 75.0 C

While weighing out the grain I realised I was 2kg short on the base pale malt and I could either open a new, sealed plastic bag of Maris Otter or make up the difference with some from already opened bags of pilsner and extra pale malt. I opted to use the bags that were already open.

I had a taste of a few grains of the extra pale. It's been open for a year and it didn't taste very fresh. Not an off taste, just not very fresh. By contrast the pilsner tasted crisp, crunchy and cracker-like. I used that and the kilo or so of old extra-pale is now bird food.

I crushed the grain while waiting for the treated Ashbeck water to come to mash temperature. I mashed in at about 66C and left the thermopot with the lid on for an hour.

The iodine test showed that conversion was complete and I took pre-boil measurements after doing a 10 minute sparge with 5 litres of water in a spare bucket. Pre-boil gravity was on target at 1.042 and I was about 400ml short on the predicted volume which is fine by me.

The wort was brought to the boil while stirring and then the boil power was reduced to about 1.6kW for the duration. Just enough to maintain the gentlest of rolling boils.

The hops for today's recipe are all English. Endeavour is an intriguing hop. Fruity, with a bit of a gooseberry bitterness, I think it will go well partnered with the earthy Fuggle flavour.

Boil finished, chilled it down to 24C with the immersion chiller and transferred the whole lot to the sterilised fermenter. The 400ml shortfall after the mash carried over to the final volume and I got 23.6 litres into the fermenter versus the target of 24 litres.

The wort's a lovely pale colour with an OG of either 1.044 or 1.045 depending on whether you believe the hydrometer or the refractometer.

It's now in the brew-fridge while it comes down to around 20C when I'll pitch the decanted flask of OYL-052 yeast. Yeast seem to rock through the worts that I create so I've no reason to suspect I won't achieve the usual 82 to 86% attenuation, giving a final ABV of around 4.9% give or take.

Started at 6:30am. All washed up and done by 12:30 for lunch.


I kegged my Flagstaff IPA today after 2 weeks in the fermenter. A very healthy 86% attenuation gave an FG of 1.006 and a final ABV of 5.0%. This was the last use of the OYL-052 yeast that I've been overbuilding for the last four brews and next it's time for a couple of lagers using Wyeast 2308 then I'll be back on the Vermont strain for some ales.

Kwik-Clear finings were added to the keg, headspace purged with 5x15psi and I'll now leave it on gas for a couple of weeks before trying it. The sample jar tasted really, really good. I'm looking forward to tucking into this one over the Christmas break.

Tasting notes

It's New Year's Eve and I'm sampling a pint or two of my Flagstaff IPA.

It's turned out really good, well balanced and dangerously drinkable for a 5.0% ale. The sweet malt flavours are prominent and are nicely balanced by the earthy Fuggle and floral/herbal Endeavour hops. The latter of which delivers a sort of lingering soft gooseberry bitterness. I've had some very good feedback from friends for this ale and I may well brew it again in the new year.