Yeast Experiment: Hold the Cone American Session IPA

The onset of Tennessee summer heat has inspired the crew at Rebel Brewer to brew!  Most things inspire us to brew something around here though.  We wanted to create an ale that is not only sessionable, but refreshingly hoppy at the same time. Something that could be best described as an American Session Ale.

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The experimental yeasts

The Setup

For this brew I chose a simple grain bill of pale, Vienna, and honey malt to set the stage for Centennial, Columbus, and Simcoe hops. All three were used in the boil, with Columbus and Simcoe for dry hopping. The only ingredient left to choose was the yeast, and this is where I decided to turn one experiment into two.  The Mangrove Jack series brought us a third variety of West coast/California ale dry yeast.  Having little experience with dry yeast I thought it would be fun to compare US-05, BRY-97, and the Mangrove Jack M44 U.S. West Coast yeasts to each other, using WLP 001 as a control.

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Hitting mash temp
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Vorlaufin’

The Brew

An O.G. of 1.048 allowed for enough room to squeeze a 20 gallon brew into the Top Tier system.  Mashing at 148-150 degrees for 75 minutes produced a lighter body, which seemed appropriate for a summer-time session ale.  After the mash a 15 minute recirculation(vorlauf) of the wort was used to create a filter bed in the mash tun. This step aided in wort clarity and easy collection from the mash tun to the boil kettle.  During the mash water in the HLT was heated to 208 degrees for a mash out infusion and 15 minute rest at 168f.  Following this was a 40 minute sparge/lauter, filling the 30 gallon boiler maker to 26.5 gallons of wort.

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The brew stand in all its glory
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Filling the boil kettle through the hop spider
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Skimming protein from the boil kettle

The Boil

After collection was complete we quickly got the kettle up to boil.  A standard 60 minute boil with no bittering addition was used in order to keep IBUs around 40.  Heavy late addition hopping would emphasize flavor and aroma characteristics while keeping bitterness low. Centennial was used in both the 30 and 15 minute hop additions. Our 5 minute addition consisted of Columbus and Simcoe at equal proportions.  To end the boil all three hop varieties were used in order to give a final blast of aroma.

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First hop addition
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Second Hop Addition

Allowing the final hop addition to steep for a few minutes we then removed them from the kettle and began to whirlpool. During whirlpool our chilling equipment was set up for knockout to the 6 gallon carboys.  A copper coil immersion chiller was used to pre-chill  groundwater flowing into our “chillhog 4000” plate chiller.

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Chilling Set up
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Recirculating through chiller to lower full volumes temp

Recirculating wort through the plate chiller back into the kettle lowers wort temperature.  Using this step helps increase the rate of flow during knockout to the carboys, allowing a siphon sprayer to vigorously aerate the wort prior to pitching yeast.  The four carboys were filled once the thermocouple read a steady 64 degree wort flow out of the  plate chiller.

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Below you can see cold break material rapidly dropping to the bottom of each carboy.
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Filling multiple carboys to keep the experimental controls
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Blanket of aeration
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Pitching dry yeast without rehydration
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More Pitching
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Even More pitching

Pitching

All carboys were properly cleaned, sanitized, and labeled prior to pitching the yeasts.  We set the dual function temperature controller to 66 degrees F in the fermentation cooler to start.  Once the yeast was pitched, fermentation would be tracked every 6-12 hours.

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Pitching liquid with no starter
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Initial temperature of fermentation

Drinking

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Beers to the victors!
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After cleaning the brew house some celebratory nitro Brown Porter was in order.

The Fermentation

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Four hours after pitching. The US-05 is taking the lead on visual activity

 

 

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Sixteen hours in
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Sixteen hours in US 05

Sixteen hours in

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Sixteen hours in WLP001
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Sixteen hours in Mangrove US West Coast
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Sixteen hours in Bry97.

 

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24 hours in

Twenty four hours after pitch there were clear differences in how each yeast was performing.  The US-05 was the first to kick off a full krausen.  WLP001 and Mangrove Jack M44 were close behind, while BRY-97 was still in the lag phase.

 

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Thirty six hours in

Thirty Six hours into fermentation.  At this point BRY-97 has developed a krausen and all four yeast strains are very active.

Two days into fermentation…

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48 hours in
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48 hours in US05
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48 hours in US West Coast
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48 hours in WLP001
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48 hours in Bry 97

 

Sixty hours after pitch…

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Three days into fermentation temperature was raised by a degree. US-05 and WLP001 seem to slow down a bit while M44 and BRY-97 are still going strong.

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Ramping the temperature up
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72 hours
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72 hours
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72 hours
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72 hours

 

Four days into fermentation and M44 seemed to catch up with US-05. Temperature was also raised a degree, to 68 F.

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96 hours in
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96 hours in

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96 hours in
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96 hours in

Five days in to fermentation. Flocculation of the US-05 is most apparent at this time, followed by M44 and WLP001. BRY-97 was still fairly active.

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120 hours in

Time to dry hop!  Each car boy got 1/2 oz Columbus and Simcoe. Dry hops were allowed to mingle with the young beer for 5 days before crashing the cooler from 68 to 32 F.

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Dry hopping
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Dry hopping look at all that green!

To avoid downward suction created by dropping the cooler to 32 F, I replace three piece airlocks with waterless silicone airlocks.  This keeps any fluid in a standard airlock out of the beer. Cold conditioning  lasted for another 5 days, allowing suspended material to fall to the bottom of the carboys.

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Crash!
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Silicone airlocks for crashing

 

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After this period of cold conditioning all that was left to do was rack the beer off the yeast, into sanitized and CO2 purged 5 gallon ball lock kegs. Below you can see a liquid-to-liquid line set up which allows sanitizer to jump from one liquid dip tube to the next.  CO2 pushes the solution from one keg to the next, meanwhile purging any oxygen out by opening the pressure relief valve on the keg lid.

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Fin! Waiting to be racked
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Prepping the kegs to receive the bounty

 

 

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Here you can see the auto siphon in action.
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Racking into keg

 

Once all four kegs were filled any oxygen that may have been present was purged out with CO2.  Now the carbonation process was ready to begin.  I chose to force carbonate the kegs by placing them on their side and rocking them back and forth.  Hooked up to 25 psi on the gas-in post, each keg was rocked for six minutes.  This seemed to give each keg proper carbonation for the style.

A hydrometer reading was taken from each carboy while racking into the keg.  All four yeast strains attenuated well, with terminal gravities between 1.012-1.013.  Below each reading can be seen.  US-05 finished at 1.013, while Mangrove Jack M44, BRY-97, and WLP001 all fermented down to 1.012.

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Hydrometer

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The beer was then given an additional few days to keg condition before an informal tasting and evaluation of each yeast.  Simple score sheets were filled out during a blind tasting.  Very subtle differences were found between the four yeasts.  BRY-97 had the most dry taste, taking just a bit too much body out of the finished beer.  A couple tasters also detected slight diacetyl in the BRY-97 sample.  WLP001 tasted very clean but had the least amount of clarity of all four samples.  US-05 had the most clarity of all with a nice light body, but less hop character than the Mangrove M44.  The new M44 U.S. West Coast yeast came out the most balanced between body, hop, and yeast character.  Although, when tasted blind M44 did not get the highest score with every taster. As a whole, the Rebel Brewer crew enjoyed the Mangrove Jack M44 above the other three yeasts.

 

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Blind taste test, one of the many perks of working at Rebel
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Secret score sheet

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In fact, we enjoyed it so much that we decided to make a kit out of this recipe, using M44 U.S. West Coast as the dry yeast option.  This easy drinking session ale is the perfect brew for any hop head looking for something refreshing during the summer months.  We hope you have fun brewing and drinking this new creation! Check it out here.

 

Here are the final stats which we will also be using in the kits

Extract 5 Gallon Batch

1.048 OG

40 IBUs

5.0 SRM

4.6% ABV

 

All Grain 5 Gallon Batch

1.049 OG

40 IBUS

5.5 SRM

5.2% ABV

 

Hold the Cone Session IPA

 

8 thoughts on “Yeast Experiment: Hold the Cone American Session IPA

  1. Terry says:

    Great job documenting your brew session and detailing your test process. I am going to incorporate a couple of your techniques into my brewing process which I’m sure will improve my beer.
    This recipe looks really good, I’ll be ordering the AG kit today.
    Thanks for taking the time to post this on your blog.

    Terry
    Seattle, Washington

  2. dereksmiley says:

    Great job on documenting what you did! We home brewers appreciate such good info! You had me at Centennial, Columbus and Simcoe!

    An order is heading your way!
    Derek

  3. Pingback: Anyone try BRY-97 yet - Page 31 - Home Brew Forums

  4. kyle says:

    Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of praise for Mangrove Jack. I have to say I’ve never been so bold as to follow his directions by pitching directly (I ferment in open containers so extended lag phase is something that I can’t abide) but it doesn’t seem like you had any problems. I have made my best fruity style APAs ever with this yeast, although I would encourage you to go for something else if you want a piney or dank beer. I have also mixed a batch of the Czech PIls and the Workhorse for a really excellent steam beer fermented at 60. Does anyone have any insider info on this yeast? I have heard a rumor that this was WYeast Nortwest Ale (they should rename it Kanyale) but it’s been years since I brewed with that strain and I certainly don’t have the kind of fond recollection that would lead me to believe they are the same or cousins.

    One of my problems with homebrewing APAs is that I have a very sensitive palate for caramel malts and so I use them sparingly in IPA/PA and its hard to find the American yeast that doesn’t end up leaving the beer too dry and bitter. The only other yeast that comes close to M44 in my opinion is American Ale V from White Labs. For the time being I’ll save a couple bucks and work my way thru the Mangrove Jack stable based on two great experiences so far.

  5. Buck Nutter says:

    Not particular impressed with the M44. Long long long lag time. Contacted the manufacturer. They cautioned on the pitch rate and oxygenation. Apparently the M44 strain needs ample, and I do mean ample, oxygenation.

  6. The Lonesome Brewer says:

    Thanks for your efforts with the test. I was looking for the best dry yeast to use for my California PA. I have been using WLP001 at 20 C. I was going to try BRY97 next, but will try M44 instead for my 17/18 season. Oh, and thanks Buck Nutter, I will get the yeast started before pitching.

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