Inspired by Brew Dog’s Elvis Juice Citrus IPA, this contains great citrus hop notes combined with grapefruit aroma to give an abundance of fruit on the nose. Sharp and tangy, the grapefruit complements and enhances the citrus character of the hops, making it refreshing, clean and crisp on the palate.
Three weeks of conditioning should be enough – crack one open!
Update 02 March: I’m seven bottles in now and have just opened an eighth, this time choosing a yellow cap and opening it over the sink in view of my note-to-self made at bottling time. Carbonation was indeed more than necessary but by no means a gusher, and the amount of citrus is just right. I don’t think I could drink more than a pint of this on any given night, but the landlady reckons its fine; not too bitter but a bit on the fizzy side.
Question is, will it hold? I’ve heard that the fruity kit beers are best consumed early because the character fades quickly with time. We’ll have to wait and see.
Sneaked a quick 500 ml bottle tonight before moving onto the cider, and although it’s not quite clear yet (only been conditioning for 8 days) it’s really not too bad. There was a small amount of residue in the neck but no off-flavours, good amount of citrus notes thanks to the prevailing grapefruit taste. Carbonation seemed OK; not a gusher but quite fizzy on pouring, in-glass bubbles accentuating the citrus and mouth-feel. Looking good so far!
Edit: I just checked the bottling notes, and as my sample just now had a red crown cap that means it received 2 carbonation drops, which is the recommended amount for this size. The yellow crown caps had 50% more, and judging by the bubbles in this bottle that could mean a problem. Let’s open those near the sink, eh?
Been in the warm for 2 weeks now, time to put her out in the cold for at least 7 days to clear.
Since I was at it, why not sample one? Look, there’s a cheeky little Heineken number that nobody’ll miss. Forgot that this was one of the over-carbonated ones, receiving nearly twice the recommended bubble-magic for its tiny 275 ml size. Unsurprisingly it was a bit of a gusher, spewing up a relentless fountain of bubbles from the base, turning the already unsettled contents ever more turgid. Managed to catch about half a small glass and it didn’t taste too bad – maybe a bit yeasty and very grapefruity. Once these settle down a bit in the cold they could be quite nice, I just hope that the small amount of high-tide sediment in the necks isn’t anything to worry about, just like the white sheen on the bubbles before bottling.
Checked the gravity again today as it’s been 48 hours since hops were added, and she’s moved up a point to 1.015, possibly due to the inclusion of those hop pellets, which had well and truly broken up and dispersed.
Cause for minor concern are what looks like a very thin film of mould on some of the bubbles covering the top of the brew. I took care to leave these as undisturbed as possible but a large cascade of trub was visible through the side of the FV as I placed her on the window sill for syphoning. Let’s hope that the cleansing power of the hops is enough to prevent infection.
Bottling went otherwise OK and I took the opportunity to try some more over-carbing by giving 10 bottles 3 carbonation drops aimed at 750 ml, capping these with yellow crown caps. The remaining 29 bottles each received 2 carbonation drops (target = 500 ml) and a red crown cap. One solitary 275 ml Heineken bottle at the end was filled with dregs and received 2 carbonation drops, so almost double the recommended dose. Careful with that one.
All bottles were moved to the server room for two weeks, present ambient temperature 25.4 ℃.
Gravity hasn’t moved in two days now and the Krausen as pretty much faded to nothing, so I added the included bag of hops: 50 g pellets identified only as ‘Grapefruit IPA’. Next step is to leave this for 2 or 3 days and then get it bottled.
Had a quick peek under the lid and that Krausen is still there, but it seems less prominent than 6 days ago. Looking at another set of instructions (via the QR code on the paperwork) they recommend bottling if it’s within 2 points of 1.012 and stable for several days, so the last reading of 1.015 wasn’t as desperately late as I first thought. I also located the missing bag of hops, so we should be good to go as soon as the foam clears a little.
Nine days in and there’s a fantastic amount of active Krausen on top of this brew which leads me to think it’s nowhere near finished, but the SG is at 1.015 and although I’m looking for stability at 1.025 or below I’ve never seen one this far below the threshold, let alone with a foamy head still in place. Will reach out to the forum for advice.
Update 9 Jan: target bottling gravity is 1.012 according to these instructions, not 1.025. Looks like I wasn’t as far gone as I thought.
I’m moving this back into the brewery to bring the temperature up a notch, seeing as I probably misinterpreted the instructions and stored her a little too cool. Ambient temperature in the office was 19.1 ℃ (vessel measured at 20.4 ℃ using infrared thermometer) when I moved her out at 21:45 tonight.
Brewery ambient temperature is 21.9 ℃ and the vessel is starting to acclimatise, currently at 21.6 ℃ as per infrared thermometer. No change in rate of bubbling but I expect that to increase slightly for the last remaining couple of days as the temperature climbs in the brew.
The foam seems to have peaked on both of these and is starting to recede as far as I can tell from the outside of the FV. Both vessels are still bubbling along nicely every few seconds.
On the Tripel I’m just getting a hint of Krausen on top of the brew and the specks which cover the now empty head-space are a lighter colour, as though they’ve dried.
The IPA meanwhile has had some more activity in the past couple of days and also decorated its head-space nicely, but now it looks as though it’s falling back and settling as a thick layer on top of the brew.
Looks like I spoke too soon, both the Tripel and the Grapefruit IPA are well and truly fermenting! The Tripel is almost constantly popping the airlock, maybe 3 or 4 seconds between rapports, and the IPA not far behind with 4 – 6 seconds between emissions.
The IPA has evidence of some foam touching the inside of the FV lid, and there’s a slight trace of bubbliness in the airlock, but no residue. The real star performer is the Tripel, which has managed to climb all the way up the side of the bucket and touched the lid, despite being only a third filled. Can’t imagine what this would have looked like in a 10 litre FV – probably time for a new carpet. Will need to keep an eye on these two.
Really not very much happening with this one, maybe one small burst on the airlock every 5 minutes. Was expecting a lot more. Maybe the added liquid malt extract (LME) is difficult for the yeast to digest?
First go with a Mangrove Jack’s (MJ) kit (instructions) and I’m pleasantly surprised how much easier those pouches are than the cans used by other manufacturers; just squeeze the contents into a FV, add 1.2 kg of light malt enhancer (from the same manufacturer) and then 3 litres of boiling water. Mix, then top up to 23 litre mark with cold water. Chilling 3 x 5 litre bottles of Tesco’s Ashbeck English to near-zero temperatures in the outdoor freezer was very effective, dropping the overall temperature of the filled FV down to 16 ℃ on this attempt. OG sampled at 1.054 and straight in with the included 10 grams of M44 US West Coast yeast. Job done, no drama.
From the vendor: Inspired by Brew Dog’s Elvis Juice Citrus IPA, this contains great citrus hop notes combined with grapefruit aroma to give an abundance of fruit on the nose. Sharp and tangy, the grapefruit complements and enhances the citrus character of the hops, making it refreshing, clean and crisp on the palate.
ABV Approx: 5.7%
Colour: Vibrant Gold
Yeast: M44 US West Coast
Dry Hops: Simcoe & Cascade
Brewing Sugar Required: Mangrove Jacks 1.2kg Pure Malt Enhancer