Wednesday, May 23, 2012


We finally got around to brewing the hop bomb of mass destruction, the Chael’s Ale. This brew was put together in the spirit of Super Dave’s infatuation of overly hoppy beers. Moderation? We think not. Huge hop additions abound in this recipe. We threw down the gauntlet of tasty hops including Citra, Sorachi Ace, Chinook, and Centennial in hopes of creating some variation of a beautiful hop elixir that so many professional breweries are putting out these days. What was the method to the madness of pairing these hops together? You can do endless research about which hops pair well, cohumulone levels, late vs early additions, and about every other variable brewers obsess over to get an educated guess of what may work. FatCat chose a more rudimentary approach. Think of my favorite hoppy beers I’ve enjoyed in recent memory (check), find out what hops were in those (check), and throw them all in one goliath of a brew (check). The wait is on and we will find out whether this plan was ingenious or whether it's a hopped up nightmare. One thing is for sure, this is the most hops I’ve ever put in a recipe. The smells while brewing were amazing and I can’t wait to try it out. Taking sips from left over wort gives hint to the powerful bitterness this brew should be capable of.

We may have to come out with another FatCat public service announcement:
“Friends don’t let friends abuse hops”.

I did want to show some resemblance of restraint on the bitterness level and used the approximate bitterness ratio of the Green Flash West Coast IPA as a guide. The West Coast IPA is about the upper level of bitterness I want to see in any brew so that was our ceiling. One way to tell how much bitterness will be “perceived” is by looking at the BU:GU (Bitterness Units : Gravity Units). Simply looking at the IBUs doesn’t let you know how bitter a brew is actually going to taste. Imperial stouts for example have high IBUs but generally don’t taste exceedingly bitter because they have so much malt character to counteract it. The BU:GU ratio gives you a peak as to how hoppy the brew should actually taste while considering the effects of the malt character. Based on some quick research anything over 1.0 is going to be approaching the super bitter category. The BU:GU of the West Coast IPA is 95 IBUs and a roughly 1.37 ratio (95 IBUS/69 from a 1.069 OG) which gives hint to its extreme bitterness. Following in the overboard category we followed suit with 92 IBUs and a BU:GU ratio of 1.27 for the Chael’s Ale.

For the detailed recipe click here.

Malts and Fermentables

% LB OZ Malt or Fermentable ppg °L
51% 15 0 American Two-row Pale info 37 1 ~
17% 5 0 Biscuit Malt info 36 23 ~
14% 4 0 Pilsner (2 Row) Ger info 37 2 ~
10% 3 0 Munich Malt - 15L info 35 15 ~
7% 2 0 Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L info 35 20 ~
2% 0 8 Honey Malt info 37 25 ~
     29 8 Total

Batch size: 12.0 gallons Original Gravity
1.073 / 17.7° Plato
12° SRM / 23° EBC
(Copper to Red/Lt. Brown)

HOPS and More HOPS
use time oz variety form aa
boil 60 mins 1.0 Centennial info leaf 10.8
boil 60 mins 1.5 Citra info leaf 13.7
boil 20 mins 2.0 Chinook info leaf 13.9
boil 15 mins 0.5 Centennial info leaf 10.8
boil 15 mins 1.0 Citra info leaf 13.7
boil 15 mins 0.5 Sorachi Ace info pellet 15.7
boil 10 mins 0.5 Centennial info leaf 10.8
boil 10 mins 0.5 Citra info leaf 13.7
boil 10 mins 0.5 Sorachi Ace info pellet 15.7
boil 5 mins 0.5 Centennial info leaf 10.8
boil 5 mins 1.0 Citra info leaf 13.7

92.4 IBU / 31 HBU



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