Brewing is an ongoing education, even after ten or twenty or more years. At Castle Rock we like to keep note of every lesson we learn along the way, to ensure we’re putting out the best possible beers we can. With this in mind, we’ll be drilling a bit further into the recipes behind some new beers as they drop, so you can learn a bit more about their make-up.
SIPA: Idaho 7, Sabro is sunset in a glass. It’s a smooth, citrusy and juicy session IPA with a lovely easy-going finish. Read on for the profile and let us know what you think!
WATER & MALT
We added calcium chloride flakes at a rate of 40g/hl to the malt grist, adjusting the water profile so that it had a 1:2 sulfate:chloride ratio.
For SIPA: Idaho 7, Sabro, we used relatively high levels of chlorides (40g/hl) to help give the beer a fuller mouthfeel, softer bitterness and accentuated sweetness. This helps support the juicy and fruity flavours from the hops. (In a more traditional beer, we’d use a much lower level of chloride ions, and would boost the sulphate content of the brewing liquor (water). This would increase the perceived bitterness in the beer.)
87% of the overall malt bill is made up of Propino malt and Maris Otter – both low colour base malts which are high performing but give the beer that hazy straw pale colour. We’ve then used oats to the grist for a slickness and full mouthfeel.
This SIPA iteration is a showcase of Idaho 7 and Sabro hops. The pairing of these two is perfect for a low ABV, juicy and crushable session IPA. We used relatively small quantities of the high alpha hop Columbus in the boil, to give some low-level bitterness. This allows the juicy, tropical hops added on the cool side to flourish, but gives enough bitterness to leave you wanting more.
Idaho 7 is known for its characteristic flavours of mango, pine and pink grapefruit. It’s more conventional punchy hop flavours pair dreamily with Sabro’s complex mix of fruity and citrusy flavours, including tangerine, coconut, and tropical and stone fruit.
We’ve been tweaking our hop addition process with each new SIPA and IPA iteration, trying to get the biggest aroma hit while maintaining stability in package. We’re constantly trying to invent new ways of increasing our hopping rates without destabilising the end product. It can be a real balancing act with the finished beer mainly going into cask unfiltered.
For this one we added 30kg Sabro and 30kg Idaho 7 hop pellets with the hop torpedo at a rate of around 10g per litre. We split these two additions, recirculating the entire beer through the hops in the torpedo for six hours at a time, once in fermenting vessel which provided a base layer of Sabro, and once in racking tank using Idaho 7. This is where all that gorgeous hop aroma comes out.
Each time we use the hop torpedo, we learn a little more about how to get the best from it. We’re planning to experiment with cryo hops some more in the coming months, to further increase hopping and extraction rates.
In the past, we’ve often used US-05 dried yeast to ferment more hop-forward beers, but we wanted to see whether our house strain was up to the task. We are incredibly proud of our yeast and it’s good practice to put it through its paces on less traditional styles. It has proved to be a really versatile strain, backing up aromatics from the hops and giving a clean finish to the beer with its subtle fruity esters.
As with an increasing amount of Castle Rock specials and one-offs, we haven’t added any finings to SIPA: Idaho 7, Sabro. This means that proteins, polyphenols and some yeast remains in suspension in the finished beer, which helps provide a lovely opaque appearance, and also contributes to that fuller mouthfeel and elevated flavour. Plus, no finings means it’s good for vegans!
SIPA: Idaho 7, Sabro is out now in cask and keg – look out for it in your favourite pubs and bars (and bug the managers if it’s not on yet).