Saturday, April 18, 2009


Brewed batch number 500 yesterday!

Yup! Brew 500 is in the tank, fermenting (I hope) as I write this. I wanted to do something different with this one just because it is the arbitrarily significant number 500. So, bowing to sporadic public pressure, I concocted a very hoppy, American-style IPA! You read it here first! I know I've said in the past I'd never brew one of these, but I'm a push-over if harassed and badgered hundreds of times over a period of five years!
I really went overboard on this one. While I was crafting the recipe and researching the IPA style, I noticed that most "hoppy" IPAs had a bitterness "content" of around 40-60 IBU's (IBU stands for International Bittering Unit. This is a way to quantify how bitter a beer recipe will be. The higher the number, the higher the potential for a bitter, hoppy beer.). I then found some more "extreme" IPA beers that drove the IBUs into the high 60's and low 70's. Well, not wanting to be outdone and knowing how truly mad some of our local hop-heads are, I shot for the moon! This IPA (working title is Hoppy MoFo!) checks in with 80.6 IBUs! Triple-hopped! Extended boil! Alcohol around 6.9-7% by weight! I yelled and screamed at the wort as it boiled just to make sure I infused this sucker with plenty of attitude! This beer is scheduled to be racked (transfered into kegs) late next week or the next. I'll be tasting it as the fermentation progresses and will decide later if I need to dry hop it. Dry hopping is literally dropping more hops in through a hole at the top of the fermenter. This gives the finished beer more hop aroma. I did this on another very small batch of specialty beer I did in the past I called Stray Dog Ale. Whoo Hoo!
Oh yea, I'm still looking for a good name for this hoppy beer because Hoppy MoFo just might not cut it. So send me your name ideas to

In case you haven't heard, House Bill 400 (higher beer alcohol) passed and will go into effect October 1st. Huge thanks go out to Legislator Deborah Kottel (D) and Legislator John Brueggeman (R). If you run into either of these great Montanans, please shake their hand and thank them for carrying this bill through the houses so that it could be signed by our governor!

Until next time,
Your Humble Brewer

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