Grapefruit IPA August 26 2020, 0 Comments

Since I'm down to my last few bottles of homebrewed gluten-free IPA, it's time to brew another one. With this one, I'm chasing a lot of grapefruit character. And I know it's not a real common ingredient, I decided I want to try using actual grapefruit in it, not only grapefruit peel or hops with grapefruit character.

I'm also using Cryo hops, which is the concentrated lupulin from hops. It allows you to get a massive amount of hop flavor and aroma without adding too much vegetal character or losing too much volume.

Another new variable with this brew is that I recently got a new mill that is specifically for milling GF grain. It has smaller dimples on the rollers, so the rollers can be set more closely together, allowing for a better crush on millet. We'll see how it goes :)

The Recipe

  • 13lb White Pale Millet Malt from Colorado Malting Co
  • 1lb Vienna Millet Malt
  • 1lb Crystal 60L Millet Malt
  • 1.5lb Rice Hulls
  • 1lb Maltodextrin (15 min)
  • 3lb Grapefruit Puree (fermenter)
  • 1oz Magnum pellet hops (60 min)
  • 2oz Amarillo Cryo Hops (whirlpool, dry hop)
  • 2oz Cascade Cryo Hops (whirlpool, dry hop)
  • 2oz Centennial Cryo Hops (whirlpool, dry hop)
  • Lallemand Kveik dry yeast
  • 1 Cup Corn Sugar (bottling)
  • 1/2 tsp Wyeast Beer Nutrient (10 min)
  • 1 tsp Irish Moss (10 min)
  • 1/2 Campden Tablet (pre-mash)
  • 25g Ondea Pro brewing enzymes (mash)
  • 19g Ceremix Flex brewing enzymes (mash)

The Mash

The mash went really well with this beer. Was a tad bit low on my mash temperature (160 vs 163) so I added a little more water in the mash, which means I sparged with a little less. 

The grind with the new mill was really fine, even finer than I was getting before. This did lead to a tiny bit of channeling during the sparge, so I'll increase rice hulls from 10% to 15% of the mash next time.

Due to the fine crush, more grain chunks worked their way into the boil kettle from the mash tun. Not too many, just a little more than last time. I did get a really good mash efficiency, around 75%, which I'm super happy with.

The Boil

I think I'm going to reduce the level of boil. I've been boiling off more than I'd care to (went into the fermenter with 4.75 gallons, instead of 5.25 to 5.5, which I'm shooting for.

Otherwise, added the 3oz of Cryo hops at flame out, beer smells great at this point!

Post Boil

The dry Kveik yeast is no joke! Within a few hours of pitching the yeast, the fermentation was just roaring. I'd say it definitely got up into the 90 degree F range. After about a week, fermentation slowed quite a bit, but still drifted on through to 14 days, when I bottled the beer. 

Again, the beer came out drier than I was anticipating. I was looking for a final gravity of around 1.020, and this beer finished at 1.010, even with the Maltodextrin. I'd rather have a drier, crisp beer than a thicker, sweet beer, but still working on that aspect. 

Also, at dry hop, when I was going to add the grapefruit puree, the beer already tasted SUPER citrusy, so I decided to skip the grapefruit puree this batch...

Final Verdict

which was a great call.  This beer came out great. There's enough of a malt character to balance out, but the citrus character from the Centennial, Cascade, Amarillo, and Kveik yeast really shows and shows well. Great nose, and it's just like drinking a glass of OJ mixed with some other fruit. 

This beer doesn't have a great head on it when you pour it out, but it has a nice carbonation level. 

Most definitely my best effort so far.

Lessons Learned

  • Reduce boil
  • Kveik yeast rocks, especially in the middle of the summer
  • Start experimenting getting a little more body in the beer (fewer enzymes, higher mash temp, shorter mash, more maltodextrin, etc)