A double brew day disaster

I recently made 2 awesome beers. Like, the best beers I’ve ever brewed.

One was a NEIPA with shit tons of hops (350g), the other was a more traditional IPA using Riwaka. The NEIPA was brewed for BrewCraft’s Saturday session – and it was polished off within a few hours (#selfhighfive!)
The Riwaka IPA was on tap at home and also took the joint top spot at our recent WortHogs meeting (#doublehighfive!)

I like doing double brew days. The day is long, but it’s only one set of cleaning and sanitising. I usually do my big cleaning and water heating the night before. Anyway – so after those two beers vanished within record time, I wanted to do a “quick” recreation of them. Except… that instead of following my own damn recipe(s) like a normal person, I went and changed everything.

The Riwaka IPA has a smaller grain bill, only one dry hop addition (instead of 2) and fermented for longer. But the actual brew went smoothly – very well indeed. So well, that I decided, on the fly, to do a quick NEIPA. I had the EXACT grain bill that I used in the first one, but I didn’t have all the same hops. Nevermind, I used what I had. But, I had to be somewhere in about 3 hours…
I decided, again on the fly, to try some new things like a 30min mash (which is supposed to increase the haze and mouthfeel) and to try the “no-sparge” method.

None of these “bright ideas” were good ideas, but that’s not actually the funniest part. For that damn NEIPA I “no-sparged” for 2 hours! That wort just didn’t want to drain. I eventually started making channels for it to run through with my paddle… and I missed my numbers. Surprisingly, not by that much. I was a full 3 hours late for my family lunch though 😦

The two beers, now on tap at my house are …. crap. I’ve been staring angrily at the keezer hoping they will magically transform into amazing beers. No such luck.

I really thought the Riwaka IPA was going to come out fine, but it didn’t. I suspect my water on day had something to do with it. Despite the smooth brew day, I have got off flavours which I think are chlorophenols. #sadpanda
Side note: I really need to start using Camden tablets…

The NEIPA came out surprisingly well considering the disastrous time I had brewing it. The only thing really “wrong” with it is that I used Equinox hops. My initial recipe called for Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra and Amarillo. This time I simplified the hops significantly, and it was a bad call. It’s come out really bitter for the style. I might have to let this one sit and sweeten out a bit.

So here’s the lessons:

  • If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
    • No really. If you made an awesome beer, try make it again. If you can consistently make it and you consistently like it, leave it alone.
  • Don’t rush your brew.
    • It only leads to unnecessary mistakes and “shortcuts” that you will pay for in the end.
  • Don’t try too many new things at once.
    • I’ve heard this advice a million times and somehow still ignored it. I really only meant to change the hop and I ended up changing more than half of the recipe & steps.
  • Don’t use Equinox in NEIPAs.
    • It smells like green pepper and adds more bitterness than you think. It might be a good hop for other styles (saison maybe?), but not for a NEIPA.




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