This is a 12 gallon recipe I was inspired to brew after dabbling around with some SMaSH recipes calling for Citra and Simcoe hops. As a warning to the reader, this brew was a nightmare of poor planning, execution, leverage of wisdom, and my time…
The Simcoe SMaSH recipe won a local brewery competition and I was invited to brew on their modified SABCO Brew Magic system. It was way fun, but being that the system was the same as mine (but modified to brew full barrel batches) I felt that I didn’t learn a lot on the brewing side, but spent a large amount of time talking with the brewers with other aspects of running a brewery. I did have fun playing around with hopstands, which the brewer and owner were unfamiliar with, so teaching and learning was at least exchanged. This ale is surprisingly well-balanced and is a favorite of my family and my coworkers. The aroma is amazing with hints of citrus and pine. I slightly over-carbonated this beer by accident during bottling, but it was a mistake that made this beer so popular. The carbonation level for APA beers is around 2.6 volumes. When I bottled it, I somehow put enough sugar in there to make the carbonation level right around 2.9 volumes. This really brings out the aroma when pouring from a bottle into a glass, and creates a great head that is persistent due to the high carb level.
The Citra SMaSH recipe was entered into a few local competitions. It took 2nd in the county competition for IPAs, which is saying a lot, since it has a single grain bill and due to that, it didn’t score as many points for in the tasting. This Ale is super clean tasting with a huge aroma… After the success of the Simcoe SMaSH recipe, I purposefully over-carbonated this beer as well. Again, the level of carbonation really opens up the aroma, and there is no doubt that the beer was brewed with Citra hops. Opinions I value most put this beer as one of the best I have made.
Following the successful reception of the two SMaSH beers, I thought it would be fun to brew a beer with both hops in it. I didn’t do a lot of research, but instead made something up. I thought adding a touch of crystal malt would help round out the malt profile as I was targeting above 70 IBU for Bitterness. I also thought it would be fun to play around with a bit of Carapils for head retention. I didn’t have a problem with head retention in my beers, but if I am playing around with pulling levers, I might as well make a few changes because I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to designing beers.
Because the Citra and Simcoe hops have a large citrus component in their aroma profile, I had the idea to put fruit in the beer as well. Off to the store to purchase a bunch of mangos and a pineapple. Again, I did little research on when to add fruit to fermenting beer and decided to just throw it all into a blender (after cutting away the skin and cores) and put it right into the primary with the rest of the ingredients. Only later did curiosity overcome me and I went searching online about pineapple in beers.
As I was being so gung-ho about this new beer recipe, a suggestion was made from a friend of mine about considering mineral additions to my brewing water. I was so “serious” about beer, I agreed! I needed to look into that! Professional brewers add minerals to their brewing liquor. After doing some research, I donated money and received a personalized copy of Brun Water v3, which was emailed to my personal email address.
Being very new to all grain brewing, I was very excited with the kick ass recipe I put together. The homebrew shop helped me gather all the grains, and even helped get the grain mill started as I had dumped in about 11 pounds of grain into the hopper without turning on the mill first. They did this by ramming a plastic spoon through the hopper until it impacted between the rollers. This (they told me) forced some grain between the rollers to start the other roller turning . I didn’t think anything of it, and I ended up milling 25 lbs. of grain through the store mill machine. Not knowing what to look for, I put all the “milled” grain into a plastic bag and went on to get yeast and hops.