A little experimentation, dry hopping, and single-stage fermentation (Part I)

November 26, 2011

I don’t like to haphazardly throw things together, whether it be beer, science, backpacking equipment, or building a new bike. But I’ll be the first to admit sometimes a little experimentation goes a long way. To this end the last couple of brews have been experiments indeed. The first is Modulation, an imperial cream ale I brewed last weekend. Kind of an oxymoron, but that’s also what makes it so intriguing. Take two seemingly disparate ideas and meld them together. I took my cream ale recipe, jacked up the base malt and flaked corn, added a little caramel malt to round out the flavor, and added a bunch more awesome NW hops. I also fermented with some yeast harvested from the last batch of Omega (Wyeast 1098), which turned out to be a bit more like a porter, but more on that later. Here’s the recipe:



Imperial Cream Ale



All Grain

Date: 11/16/2011

Batch Size:

5.25 gal


Chemical Craig

Boil Size: 6.90 gal

Asst Brewer:

Boil Time: 90 min

Equipment: Rigid Rotor

Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0

Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00
Taste Notes:


Amount Item Type % or IBU
7.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 44.12 %
7.50 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 44.12 %
1.50 lb Corn, Flaked (1.3 SRM) Grain 8.82 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt – 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 2.94 %
0.50 oz Chinook (2009) [11.50 %] (60 min) Hops 15.8 IBU
1.00 oz Simcoe (2010) [12.70 %] (20 min) Hops 19.1 IBU
0.50 oz Citra (2010) [14.00 %] (10 min) Hops 7.0 IBU
0.50 oz Amarillo (2011) [10.10 %] (0 min) Hops
1.10 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
5.50 gal Seattle, WA Water
1 Pkgs British Ale (Wyeast Labs #1098) Yeast-Ale

Beer Profile

Est Original


1.083 SG

Measured Original Gravity:

1.083 SG

Est Final Gravity: 1.020 SG

Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG

Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 8.23 %

Actual Alcohol by Vol: 9.56 %

Bitterness: 41.9 IBU

Calories: 376 cal/pint

Est Color: 6.2 SRM


Mash Profile

Mash Name:

Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out

Total Grain Weight:

17.00 lb

Sparge Water:

3.67 gal

Grain Temperature:

15.0 C

Sparge Temperature:

75.6 C


15.0 C

Adjust Temp for Equipment:


Mash PH:

5.4 PH


Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
90 min Mash In Add 5.27 gal of water at 74.2 C 65.0 C
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).


Ferment cool.

Created with





It’s still fermenting so ignore the measured final gravity and abv numbers. I’m really anxious to see how this turned out.

Aside from the imperial cream ale I also brewed my house amber and IPA last weekend. The IPA was dry hopped in the primary today with 1 oz. cascade, 0.5 oz. Simcoe, 1.25 oz. Amarillo, and 1 oz. centennial. I rarely take beer out of the primary if it’s not going directly into a keg. Beer needs a good two weeks or so contact time with the yeast to really clean up and for the yeast to do their job properly. Autolysis isn’t really a problem unless you have a seriously high gravity beer sitting in the primary for a month or two, furthermore the extra contact time will clean up a lot of off flavors. I like to dry hop in the primary. It doesn’t get much easier, I’ve never had a problem with infection or off flavors (probably more of a chance of both of these when dry hopping in a secondary), and adding the fresh hops while there is still a little active fermentation will scrub a lot of the oxygen in the hops. It should be ready in about a week or so.


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