Thursday, June 6, 2013

Horizons IPA, aged on Cedar

As the year slowly rolls into summer, I'm on track for the biggest brewing year I've ever had.  I've been focusing on pinpointing brewing/recipe faults internally and the best way to do that is rebrewing the same recipe over and over again repetitively.  This has created some fantastic house beers, including Raven, 3 Brewers Pale, Cucuy, Gail, 21, Sorachi Ace, Janet's Brown and Old Glory IPA.  Putting all this time and dedication to creating house staples is rewarding on the brewing side, but having the same batches of beer on draft can be tolling on my taste buds.  My spirit of exploration was set aside in the pursue of brewing knowledge.  Over the next couple of months I am going to set aside the repetitive learning side of brewing and try some new recipes that I've been wanting to brew.

The idea of brewing Cedar aged IPA is something I've been toying with for a while now.  Every time I walk into a cigar shop, whiffing the Spanish Cedar mixed with the Tobacco's earthy aroma's have planted the seed for a IPA aged on Cedar.  Its the quintessential adult candy store aroma.  Adding hops into the mix is challenging prospect.  I wanted to go with Mosiac hops, but testing a new hop in this type of beer might be a bit overwhelming.  After talking to Danny at DeeperRoots Brewing he lead me in the direction of using Simcoe for this batch.

For me, Simcoe is a complex hop to use in normal situations.  I get a feeling that Simcoe should only be used in Barleywines and Triple IPA's.  Each time I've focused on Simcoe in a lower gravity beer, I feel like the beer becomes to malty/sweet for my tastes.  With the addition of Cedar into the beer, I'm (Hoping) that this perception will diminish.  I am also adding a small amount of Citra into the beer (as per Brynildson's views) with a little Armarillo.

For the malt profile, I wanted to stay with mostly 2-Row (USA) but with the addition of Vienna malt at 20% of the grain bill.  Then adding some Flaked Oats and a small amount of Carafa III for color.  Thinking the bready flavors of the Vienna would be a good paring with a woody character of the Cedar.  I am afraid that if I keep the base malts like a traditional IPA the cedar will cut through the balance of the beer, needing some more complex malts to keep it in check.

I am also going to bring back some side batch brewing.  Taking a small amount (One gallon) of wort for a Dreg beer or a smaller scale yeast experiment.  I am going to use my BKYeast C2, Brett strain.  Over the last month, I've been growing up the sample in flasks.  I have enough for a small batch of IPA.  This beer will NOT be dry hopped like the main batch.  The other processes will be the same.  I am scaling this recipe (Malts and Kettle Hops only) not the dry hops to 7 gallons.

Either way, my experimental side of brewing is back.  I'll post an update or a Tasting Session next month after NHC. 

Horizon (Cedar Aged)
American IPA
Type: All Grain Date: 6/9/2013
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal Brewer: Chris Lewis
Boil Size: 6.86 gal Asst Brewer: Aydan Lewis
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Lewys Tower
End of Boil Volume 6.24 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 6.00 gal Est Mash Efficiency 72.0 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): TBA
Taste Notes: No "Tasting Notes" have been created for this recipe yet.
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
11 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 75.3 %
3 lbs Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 2 20.5 %
8.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 3 3.4 %
1.6 oz Carafa III (525.0 SRM) Grain 4 0.7 %
0.70 oz Summit [17.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 35.7 IBUs
0.30 oz Magnum [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 12.6 IBUs
1.20 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 7 -
1.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] - Aroma Steep 10.0 min Hop 8 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Aroma Steep 5.0 min Hop 9 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] - Aroma Steep 5.0 min Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Aroma Steep 5.0 min Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg California Ale 001 (White Labs #WLP001) [35.49 ml] Yeast 12 -
1.00 oz Cedar Cuts (Aged in carboy for 1 week,cold) Flavor 13 -
1.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] - Dry Hop 6.0 Days Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Dry Hop 6.0 Days Hop 15 0.0 IBUs
0.60 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Dry Hop 6.0 Days Hop 16 0.0 IBUs
0.60 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 17 0.0 IBUs
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.063 SG Measured Original Gravity:1.064 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.015 SG Measured Final Gravity: TBA SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.4 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: TBA %
Bitterness: 48.3 IBUs Calories: TBA kcal/12oz
Est Color: 9.2 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Full Body Total Grain Weight: 14 lbs 9.6 oz
Sparge Water: 2.22 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 18.25 qt of water at 162.5 F 151.0 F 45 min
Mash Out Add 7.30 qt of water at 209.0 F 166.0 F 10 min
Sparge Step: Fly sparge with 2.22 gal water at 168.0 F
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 10.59 PSI Carbonation Used: Keg with 10.59 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 41.0 F Age for: 30.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Storage Temperature: 41.0 F
Fermentation Notes
Primary Fermentation:   Starting at 63 degrees, Pitching and letting the beer freerise after 3 days to 68.  Holding for 4 days.  Then overnight to 72.
Secondary Fermentation:  Cold Crashing in a keg to 41 degrees , adding Cedar.  Age as necessary.  


  1. Very interesting idea, I'm curious how this comes out. Where did you get the Cedar?

    1. Derek, The cedar is from a grilling plank used for fish. I've also heard about using Spanish Cedar used in cigar boxes. That is what I really wanted to get my hands on but I had a hell of a time locating the stuff.


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