Sunday, January 2, 2011

Rihanna Double Black Eye-PA

This tactful name was brought about by this. While I in no way condone domestic violence I am a sucker for word play. I have been wanting to try a beer with citra hops for a while now but havent had a chance. Citra is a proprietary hops developed by Sierra Nevada named for its very strong citrus aroma and flavor. It is a cross between Hallertau, Mittelfreuh, U.S. Tettnanger, Bavarian, Brewers Gold and E.K. Golding. A very complex but wonderful hop. This is used in such popular beers as Sierra Nevada's "Torpedo Extra IPA" and Widmer's "Sunburn" summer seasonal. Citra is very high (22%-24%) cohumulone which is sometimes described as the "Good" bitterness in beer.
  • 10 lbs Light/Pale Malt Extract
  • 4.0 oz. Citra (13.4% alpha-acid, whole leaf) Note: Higher than most strands (10-%12%) but should be fine.
  • White Labs Dry English Ale Yeast (WLP007)
  • 5 oz. English Crystal Malt (50°L, Crushed)
  • 3 oz. Crystal (120°L, Crushed)
  • 6 oz. Carafa II (550°L, Crushed)
  • 2 oz. Roasted Barley (300°L, Crushed)
On Friday December 31st I worked half a day so I decided to take a couple co-workers (Ones Blag) and teach them how to brew. This was more complicated than I originally anticipated. Since Brew Brothers is very close to my work I decided to go there. However when I reached their location they had moved. Only a short distance but enough that I had call and find their new store. When I got there the guy that usually works wasn't available. This was not ideal since I was hoping he would help me put together my recipe. After that unfortunate turn of events I went to my normal store Main Street Homebrew Supply Co they also had moved recently. I voyaged to their new store. The new store was much nicer and 4 times as big, a huge improvement, much more space.
Following a standard brewing process I began brewing. Nothing eventful with this batch except narrowly avoiding a boil over and like a true dumb-ass I forgot to add the Irish moss again. Following this hop schedule I dumped the leafy goodness into the boiling cauldron (I have decided its a cauldron now not a brew pot.)
Hops/Ingredients Schedule:
QuantityIngredientBoiled for
1 oz.CitraEntire 60 min. Boil
1 oz.CitraLast 20 min. of boil
1 oz.CitraLast 10 min. of boil
1/2 oz.CitraLast 1 min. of boil
1/2 oz.CitraDry Hopped

After the boil was completed I cooled with the wort took a gravity reading and pitched the yeast.
The smell of this batch is like nothing i have experienced before pure hoppy goodness. I have done a couple IPA's in the past but nothing that has been the truly carnal hop experience that my nasal passages knew with this IPA. Sorry I didn't take any pictures but I mean if you are really hurting for some pics look at any of my other posts and imagine that they were from this batch.


UPDATE: Tuesday 1/11/2011:
I transferred the beer to the secondary fermenter today when I put my head into the primary and took a big whiff I was mortified by what I smelled. I don't know what has happened or if it is a property of the Citra hops but my nostrils were burning intensely. The pain that I felt was immediate and agonizing. It was similar to when a friend of mine had made apple cider and it had turned into vinegar. When I tasted it however the burning vinegar taste was not present. Relieved I transferred to the secondary and placed in the brew closet.
Overall it tasted pretty good however it was missing a lot of alcohol taste and the hoppiness I was hoping for. This may be cause because I transferred too early but I hope it will get more hoppy and the ABV will jump up too. .
Gravity at Transfer: 1.030
Current Alcoh
  • ABW=105*(1.060-1.030)=3.15
  • ABV=1.25*3.15=3.94%
Somehow my double IPA has become a half IPA. I am hoping that it is because the fermentation is not fully completed but this low of an alcohol content is troubling for an alleged double. I did start with a much lower starting gravity than I would have liked also so that may have contributed to it.

UPDATE Friday 1/21/2011:

The carboy has stopped bubbeling and I transfered it to the keg and took a reading. Dissapointingly, but not unexpectedly, this has turned into a standard black Eye-PA unfortunately something happened and the OG was not high enough. I don't know what caused this phenomenon. Perhaps it is because I didn't get every drop of the sticky malt extract out of the bucket. It was very cold that day and after adding the extract there was a lot at the bottom left. Only after I had finished the boil and placed it in the fermentation bucket did I realize this though.
I did taste the beer and was very happy with the flavor though. The citrus notes did not come through as thick as I was anticipating. I believe this is because of the dark malts that were added to give the beer its dark color also gave it a roasted flavor, overpowering the Citra. I am very pleased with how the beer turned out and cant wait to drink it on Sunday when it has completed carbonating.

Gravity at Kegging: 1.022
Current Alcoh
  • ABW=105*(1.060-1.022)=3.99
  • ABV=1.25*3.99=4.99%


  1. Joseph, thanks for the lesson. I definitely want to try a glass when this is finished (preferably in a pilsner one). That Citra hop smelled so good!


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