Gyle #27 – Maroke IPA

Brut IPA, the new style that was going to take the craft beer scene by storm – 2018’s New England. Well, it didn’t quite happen that way, but nevertheless it’s still one of those styles that you feel compelled to experiment with. I’m about to have my first crack at it, and as usual I’m hitting the books and websites to swot up before diving on in.

General brewing thoughts

This beer is all about getting the final gravity as low as possible to remove all traces of sweetness for an ultra-dry finish. With all the sweet maltiness dialled out through the use of added enzymes, unlike other IPAs the IBUs really need to be dialled back here or it’s going to be like sucking on raw hops. 20 should be about the right mark, with pretty much all of that coming in right at the end of the boil. We still want that fruity, hazy finish, so big flameout additions and dry hopping is mandatory.

Mash temperature wants to be nice and low, 61-63C, and 90 minutes to make sure conversion is complete. This should produce a highly fermentable wort on its own. An addition of wheat or oats will help to add some body back or this is going to be really thin and lifeless.

Hop amount should be somewhere between standard IPA and NEIPA. Not so much that it comes out looking like orange juice, but enough to add plenty of flavour. Stick to American and New World fruity hops – it’ll help give the impression of sweetness while still being super dry.

Adding the enzymes

This is where people seem to be divided – do you add the enzymes to the mash or to the fermentor?

Adding to the mash means getting it all done and dusted on brew day. The enzyme (amyloglucosidase) denatures above 70C, so the mash needs to be kept on the cooler side. Once the mash is done with, proceed as normal to the boil (ignore mashout, it’s not needed here) and the enzymes will be deactivated. Use a higher-than-normal amount of yeast nutrient to make sure you get a healthy fermentation.

Adding the enzyme to the fermenter is the other option. Most people doing this method suggest waiting until the SG has hit around 1.020 before adding the enzyme. The enzyme will clear up what the yeast is leaving behind without interfering with normal conditions.

Both methods are feasible, but what are the pros and cons of each?

It has been seen that adding the enzyme to the fermenter does reduce the final gravity more than if added to the mash. I believe this is due to the longer contact time and lower pH that helps create a more favourable environment (as wort turns to beer the pH drops). The enzymes favour a temperature of 60C and a pH of 4.7. Added during the mash is the perfect temperature, but pH is higher and contact time is relatively short. Dropping the mash pH too low will affect the action of the enzymes within the grain and therefore fermentability.

It has also been noted that active enzymes can strip out some of the hop character. Adding the amyloglucosidase towards the end of fermentation could potentially undo some of the work of the flameout/dry hop. And remember, those enzymes are not being deactivated, so bottle bombs may become a concern if not left to ferment out fully. On the plus side, with nothing left in the beer to chew on, it’s probably less likely to pick up a wild bug!

Recipe

SG: 1.053
IBU: 20
SRM: 5
FG: 1.004
ABV: 6.4%
Batch size: 20L
4.5kg Pale ale malt
500g Wheat malt
15g Citra @ 15mins
40g Dr Rudi @ Flameout, 75C, 15 mins
40g Rakau @ Flameout, 75C, 15 mins
30g Nelson Sauvin dry hop
Mash 62C for 90 mins
Amyloglucosidase added during mash after 30 mins
Yeast: US-05

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