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All Grain Ranger IPA Clone

My first All Grain batch of beer!  After spending the last couple of years brewing with beer kits, I finally invested in the equipment to be able to brew All Grain (as opposed to using extract).

The move to All Grain is a pretty exciting one for several reasons.  First of all, there’s WAY more I can screw up!  Second, and even more importantly is the freedom to create whatever I want, however I want.  I can grab a recipe from anyplace, tweak it however I want, and buy all of the necessary grains and hops down at my LHBS.  To be fair, you can do this as an extract brewer, too, but I never bothered… it’s nice having the fine folks at Brewer’s Best measure everything out for me.

This batch was based on a recipe found in BYO magazine.

Ingredients : All Grain Ranger IPA Clone

Fermentables

  • 8.25 lb English Pale Malt
  • 2 lb White Table Sugar (Sucrose)
  • 3 oz Crystal Malt 120°L

Hop Additions

  • 1 oz Chinook (11.4%) – added during boil, boiled 60 min
  • .5 oz Simcoe (12.2%) – added during boil, boiled 30 min
  • .8 oz Cascade (5.0%) – added during boil, boiled 15 min
  • .5 oz Cascade (5.0%) – added during boil, boiled 0.0 min
  • 1.25 oz Cascade (5.0%) – added to secondary fermenter

Yeast

  • 1 ea Wyeast 1272 American Ale II

Additional Info

Brewed: 11/28/2010, Secondary: 12/05/2010, Kegged: 12/18/2010

The Mash

My first All Grain mash!  I’ve been pretty stoked to try out my new All Grain equipment.  This is the part of the process that seemed so intimidating, but it’s not hard at all.  Time consuming, but not difficult.

First step was to put the grains in my mash tun.  This batch has a later sugar addition, so there aren’t that many grains.  In total, less than 9 pounds of grains.  I used a calculator found on Brew365 to calculate my strike water amount and temperature.

I used 2.58 gal of water at 163°, which brought the mash temp to 148°-150°.  The initial temp seems to take a while to settle in, but I was in the ballpark, so I went with it.  I let the mash sit for about 55 min., then I recirculated about a gallon of the wort.  A lot of what I’ve read suggests gently pouring the first gallon or so of wort back on top of the grain bed.  This should give you a little better clarity, as the first runnings won’t have been filtered as well as the later wort.

Next I filled my Hot Liquor Tank up with 170° water and started the sparge.  I use a 3 tier system for this.  The HLT gently sprinkles hot water on top of the grain bed in the mash tun, while the mash ton slowly drains in to the brew pot.  This is generally referred to as a fly or continuous sparge.  You can see the parts of the mash tun and HLT on my equipment page.

More on sparging on the BrewWiki.

I try to drain the wort slowly, so that it takes about an hour to fill the brew pot.

The Boil

The mash is complete, now it’s time for the boil!  Another round of firsts, here.  This is the first batch of beer I’ve gotten to to boil with my turkey fryer setup.  It’s Winter, so it took some time to get up to a boil, but eventually I had a great, rolling boil.  I let the pot boil for about 20 minutes before I started adding any hops.  Someplace I had read that you should boil the post-mash wort a little bit to get rid of some of the tannins or proteins, so I gave it a some extra time.

Begin the hop additions!  6o minutes, added some Chinook hops for bittering.  At the 30 minute mark, .5 oz. of Simcoe were added.  At 15 min I added .8 oz of Cascade, then another .5 oz. at flame out.  Also at flame out, I added 2 pounds of table sugar.  I didn’t really like this addition, but it’s what the recipe called for, so I went with it.

With 10 minutes left in the boil, I dropped my Wort Chiller in to my brew pot to let the boiling water kill any germs that might be present.  After turning off the flame, I moved the brew pot over to my hose spigot and hooked up the chiller.  This worked pretty well, and cooled the wort in about 20 minutes.  It helps when the air and water are MT Winter cold.  I chilled the wort to about 82°

Next up I strained the contents of the brew pot in to my fermenter.  This turned out to be a very foamy process.  The strainer seemed to aerate this all-grain batch a little more than usual, but not sure why.  The sugar, maybe?

I had created a  yeast starter for this batch, so at this point I poured the entire contents of my yeast starter in to the wort.  Pitching temp was 78°.  As it is Winter, I moved the fermenter to a warm closet for fermentation.  (Bad plan… more on this later)

Cracked the fermenter open after 11 days.  Weird.  Still tons of foam, and the most krausen I’ve ever seen.  I went ahead and scooped off some of the foam before racking to the secondary.  I also tossed a bag with 1.25 oz. of Cascade hops in to the secondary.  The beer was in the secondary 13 days before I kegged the entire batch.

Drinking the BYO Ranger IPA Clone

This batch of beer was a fun introduction in to the wide world of off-flavors in beer!  This IPA is certainly okay to drink, but there’s definitely something not quite right with it.  For one, I’d say it’s got a bit of an alcohol flavor (fusel).  It also seems to contain too many Estery / Fruity flavors.  Both of these off flavors are caused by fermenting at temperatures that are too warm. I was worried about keeping my Primary warm enough, but in reality I overheated it.  This batch was a big learning experience, and I’m VERY good about watching and recording my fermenting temperatures in the batches since.  Lesson learned.

Looking past the obvious issues, how is the beer?  It’s just okay.  I feel like the hop additions are pretty close to what you would want for a Ranger clone.  The flavor and body of the beer I made aren’t even close, but the hop flavors are pretty similar.  I don’t know that I would attempt to repeat this recipe, but it is possible I’ll imitate this hop additions on a better combination of grains in the future.

 

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