New England IPA conditioning/turnaround

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Toxophilly

New England IPA conditioning/turnaround

Post by Toxophilly » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:05 pm

G'day all,

Yesterday I knocked up my first attempt at the 'New England' IPA style. There will be ample dry hopping both during active fermentation and right before bottling, but what I'm struggling to find much guidance on is the appropriate 'conditioning' time - that is, the time between primary finishing, and bottling.

I gather time is of the essence to preserve max hop aroma and kegging isn't an option for me at the moment, so 2 weeks to carb bottles is a minimum. Should I therefore be bottling as soon as I see no change in FG over several days, i.e. right after primary is finished? That could mean 3 weeks between brewing and drinking, if my primary fermentation goes well. :shock:

I've previously always allowed beers around a month to condition before bottling. Would I be inviting off flavours with such a short turnaround? :-k

Mark

Onthebrew

Re: New England IPA conditioning/turnaround

Post by Onthebrew » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:23 pm

its a dilemma isn't it. The ale itself gets better with time, but hops fade with time. there must be a perfect spot when the conditioning of both cross and it is at the optimum but when is it?

maybe dry hop as late as possible? although i understand its better to do it when yeast is still active.

sorry more questions than answers. id be interested in other comments.

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Sadfield
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Re: New England IPA conditioning/turnaround

Post by Sadfield » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:20 pm

This will sound flippant, but your taste buds will give you the answer, if it tastes good after a week, bottle it.

super_simian
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Re: New England IPA conditioning/turnaround

Post by super_simian » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:17 pm

I don't want to be "that bloke" on this one; but I have drunk some stunning NEIPAs and some clunkers. And every one I drank that was a 10/10 was brewery fresh, less than a week old. What I'm saying is that this is a style which doesn't benefit from natural carbonation or packaging.

Given you've said you can't keg, I would say the earlier the better, and the same for drinking it. You'll only be inviting off flavour if the fermentation wasn't well managed.

That said, I am of the firm belief that NEIPA is not a style which bottle-conditioning homebrewers should put their money or time towards; it's incredibly fragile beer which needs a rapid turnaround to get right.

This doesn't mean the beer you've made won't be a good beer, but that elusive "juicy" character and silky mouthfeel of textbook NEIPA degrade by the day, so natural carbonation is not really an option.

WalesAles
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Re: New England IPA conditioning/turnaround

Post by WalesAles » Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:23 am

Toxo,
When you are bottling, use 8 - 10 250ml or 330ml bottles for tasting purposes. Taste one every day or two until you find your `Best Taste`.
Then you can drink to your health and say `WOW! This Beer is BLM`! :D

WA

yourbrew

Re: New England IPA conditioning/turnaround

Post by yourbrew » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:11 am

[quote="super_simian"]I don't want to be "that bloke" on this one; but I have drunk some stunning NEIPAs and some clunkers. And every one I drank that was a 10/10 was brewery fresh, less than a week old. What I'm saying is that this is a style which doesn't benefit from natural carbonation or packaging.

Given you've said you can't keg, I would say the earlier the better, and the same for drinking it. You'll only be inviting off flavour if the fermentation wasn't well managed.

That said, I am of the firm belief that NEIPA is not a style which bottle-conditioning homebrewers should put their money or time towards; it's incredibly fragile beer which needs a rapid turnaround to get right.

This doesn't mean the beer you've made won't be a good beer, but that elusive "juicy" character and silky mouthfeel of textbook NEIPA degrade by the day, so natural carbonation is not really an option.[/quote]

I agree.
NEIPAs, to be done correctly, you really need at least a keg to keep oxygen out and carbonate properly. There's a reason most NEIPAs can be bough only canned or on tap. Special releases in the US (like Modern Times in California) of NEIPAs are usually sold before they are even canned. Usually just a day after they are canned, you can pick them up and drink it as soon as possible.

Even MT NEIPAs that are only a month old taste different from one you drink on the day they are released.

You are definitely taking a risk of off flavours, but as simian said, it doesn't mean it won't be a good beer.

Relax, don't worry and remember this is all a learning experience and you'll sure enjoy your beer.

Jambo
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Re: New England IPA conditioning/turnaround

Post by Jambo » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:46 pm

Really interested in this style having enjoyed Brewdog's collaboration with Cloudwater and their own Hazy Jane - please let us know how it works out for you!

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Bunglebrewsbeer
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Re: New England IPA conditioning/turnaround

Post by Bunglebrewsbeer » Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:42 pm

I made one recently. FV 2 weeks. Bottled 2 weeks then put in fridge for 2 weeks. Drinking from then on. Tried one sooner the alcohol taste was too prevalent. Drinking now though a tastes yum!! Stinks of hops when opening. Mate said it was like drinking ' um-bongo ' if you know what that is. So my experience for this is treat as I do any beer I've made and it's worked well for this style too.


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Toxophilly

Re: New England IPA conditioning/turnaround

Post by Toxophilly » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:09 am

Well the Nottingham yeast has done a great job and got it down to 1.014, but that's a change from yesterday's 1.017 so I'm hesitant to bottle just yet in case it keeps going.

The smell is fantastic and for something in the 7-8% abv region there's no obvious alcohol (OG reading was a bit uncertain, two hydrometers gave different results but somewhere between 67-77).

I think I'll do my second dry hop tomorrow hoping that by Thursday 14th fermentation will have levelled out and into bottle it'll go. Then somewhere warm for carbing and I'll start testing from 1 week =P~

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orlando
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Re: New England IPA conditioning/turnaround

Post by orlando » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:00 am

Toxophilly wrote:Well the Nottingham yeast has done a great job and got it down to 1.014, but that's a change from yesterday's 1.017 so I'm hesitant to bottle just yet in case it keeps going.

The smell is fantastic and for something in the 7-8% abv region there's no obvious alcohol (OG reading was a bit uncertain, two hydrometers gave different results but somewhere between 67-77).

I think I'll do my second dry hop tomorrow hoping that by Thursday 14th fermentation will have levelled out and into bottle it'll go. Then somewhere warm for carbing and I'll start testing from 1 week =P~
Notty is a bit of a beast but to know if you are at FG you really need to know the SG. If it was 1.077 then 1.014 is 81% apparent attenuation, 1.067 78%. Either way can't be much to go and frankly you wouldn't want it for this style.
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