Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Philosopher (Pliny The Elder Clone) -- Brew Day

I've been planning out my brew schedule for the next few months around various events that we have coming up this summer.  Being fortunate enough to live in Philadelphia and having access to fresh Pliny via the gods amongst men at Monk's Cafe, I don't often brew a Pliny clone.  But, seeing as we are having some family gatherings and it was popular last summer, I figured I'd go ahead and whip up another batch.  It's been around a year since I last brewed one and I've decided to make some adjustments this time around.

My last attempt ended up somewhat heavy on the mouthfeel compared to the actual Pliny and had much more of a fruity hop nose rather than the pine resin that I get from the real thing.  So, this time around I'm mashing lower and changing around the hop schedule a bit after reading up on some adjustments others (like Bertus Brewery) have done in the past.

Pliny, along with a bunch of other popular DIPAs, allegedly uses a double-dry hop whereby most homebrewers will rack into a secondary vessel to drop in the second dose of hops.  I haven't done this out of sheer laziness and I haven't noticed any difference.  Per usual, I'm adding both doses of dry-hops at the in two doses into the same fermenter.  It makes for a massive dry-hop, but I'm lowering the contact time to only 7 days for the first potion.  Several new pieces of research have unveiled that most of the flavor contribution takes place within the first day or so of dry-hopping, so I'm not going to leave the beer on this much of a dry-hop for an extended period of time.

This is the first time trying out my brand new BIAB bag, sewed by Jeff at BagBrewer.  I've used one of his bags before when I mashed in a smaller cooler, but I wanted something reusable to fit my large 10gal cooler.  I was really pleased with his craftsmanship before and this bag was no different.

My process these days involves a BIAB mash in the cooler followed by a dunk sparge in the kettle.  After that, I pull the bag and let it drain with a light squeeze.  Then I pour the cooler wort into the kettle and get my boil on.

I ended up dramatically undershooting my pre-boil gravity and volume for reasons unknown to me (most likely fuzzy math) so I had to add DME and a bit of water to the boil kettle.  After that, everything proceeded as normal.

The Philosopher (Pliny The Elder Clone)

Size: 5.25gal -- 90 minute boil
Est OG: 1.071
Est FG: 1.008
Est ABV: 8.3%
IBU: ~110ish (inclusive of steeping hops)
SRM: 5.2

13lb 2-Row Pale Malt
1.0lb Carapils
5oz Caramel 20L
1lb Corn Sugar (added at end of boil)

2oz Magnum @ 90min (72 IBU)
1oz Simcoe @ 30min (24 IBU)
1oz Centennial @ Flameout (7 IBU)
1oz Simcoe @ Flameout (10 IBU)
1.5oz CTZ 7 Day Dry-Hop
0.8oz Simcoe 7 Day Dry-Hop
0.8oz Centennial 7 Day Dry-Hop
0.5oz CTZ 4 Day Dry-Hop
0.5oz Simcoe 4 Day Dry-Hop
0.3oz Centennial 4 Day Dry-Hop
0.3oz Amarillo 4 Day Dry-Hop

1500ml starter of Super San Diego Yeast (WLP090)

Mash for 90min @ 150F
In the end, it was just so much work for Oscar
3/12/14 -- Brewed by myself (Oscar bailed pretty early on).  Undershot pre-boil gravity and volume and had to adjust prior to boil.  Boil proceeded as normal.  Gathered 5.25gal of 1.069 gravity wort.  Slightly lower than recipe, but not too bad considering the efficiency issues.  Healthy fermentation within 6 hours at 68f.

3/23/14 -- Dry-hopped with the first dose of hops.

3/26/14 -- Dry-hopped with the second dose of hops.

3/29/14 -- Bottled with 4.0oz of corn sugar for 2.4vol of C02.  Gravity finished perfectly at 1.008.  Smelled fantastic going into bottles.

5/18/2014 -- Tasting notes.  Overdone on the bittering charge, otherwise a solid DIPA.


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