Today, (halloween day 🎃) we are making a new cold IPA, Deep Space Nein! 🛰️🍺.
What is a cold IPA, you may be wondering. It's basically a west coast IPA (think dry, bitter, hop forward, balanced, delicious) with lager yeast. This “new” style is actually not all that new. Turns out many (especially west coast based) IPA brewers have been using lager yeast in their IPAs for a while now. There's also that early predecessor, the IPL (India Pale Lager).
In any case, this is our third time brewing this style and we are absolutely loving the results. We have one on draft in the taproom (and available for distro) right now if you're interested in trying it. "The Othernaut", a 6.5% Cold IPA with Citra and Mosaic.
We have dialed in our bitterness using both German magnum hops (a German hop varietal known and loved for its smooth bittering potential) and Flex (a "flowable" hop extraction, which is a thick syrupy concentrate of alpha acids - the bittering component of hops). We are enjoying this combination of smooth bittering we're getting from the Magnum paired with the resinous, tangy bitterness from the flex and the solid structure this provides the beer.
On top of the bittering additions, we're hitting this brew with some hot side Simcoe at 10 minutes left in the boil and then again as a "whirlpool" addition.
This beer, being a "cold" IPA will be pitched with out house lager yeast strain and fermented cold. This cold fermentation helps to retain more of the aromatics from those hot side hop additions. And lager yeast ferments nice and dry, creating a clean, crisp malt base that lets the hops shine.
This guy will ferment for a couple weeks (lager fermentations are very slow) and once all of the sugars have been converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide, we will "dry hop" it with 22 pounds of Citra hop and 22 pounds of Mosaic hops.
At RBCo, we do a couple of "CO2 bumps" with our dry hopping - with which we rouse the hops in the fermenter with blasts of carbon dioxide from the bottom to increase the contact with the beer and the extraction of the aromatic oils that we are introducing with the dry hop.
A few more weeks of "lagering" (cold conditioning) and this baby will be ready to package. Look for it on draft come early December.