Gyle #32 – Unsinkable Sam v2

It’s been a while since my last post, I’ve been really busy with brewing, the club and BJCP training. I did manage to take and pass the BJCP online exam though, so I’m now a Provisional judge! Tasting exam is scheduled for September, the day after Welsh Nationals. Hopefully I can pick up some last minute tips from the experienced judges there.

Full on hoppy beers have never really been my thing, however I’m coming around to them more and more recently. With my home brew focus wanting to shift to a more commercially-aligned schedule, I needed to start using up some stock. Namely, a load of New World hops I kept buying before I even knew what to do with them. On top of that, the club has a summer BBQ every year and we all brew a beer for a little informal competition. What better way than to make a tasty DIPA and use up a ton of hops. Two birds.

Having made v1 of this beer with Simcoe, Amarillo and Mosaic (see what I did there?) I wanted to try and keep it as similar as possible. In the hop fridge I had some Vic Secret, Ella and Galaxy – perfect (Unsinkable Veg?) An Aussie version of the original recipe!!

Grain and kettle hop bill for the recipe


SG: 1.082
IBU: 97
SRM: 6
FG: 1.014
ABV: 8.8%
Batch size: 19L

5.25kg Golden Promise
700g Wheat Malt
270g CaraPils
250g Golden Naked Oats
250g Corn Sugar

40g Warrior 17.8%AA @ 60 mins
30g Vic Secret 15.0%AA @ 20 mins
30g Ella 17.2%AA @ Whirlpool, 20 mins, 75C
30g Vic Secret 15.0% AA @Whirlpool, 20 mins, 75C
50g Ella Dry Hop 4 days
50g Galaxy Dry Hop 4 days
40g Vic Secret Dry Hop 4 days

Mash at 66C for 60 mins, mash out 76C 10 mins

2x Lallemand BRY-97 West Coast Ale dry yeast, hydrated and pitched @ 20C

Recirculating hop stand, check out the hop oils!

The grain bill was largely the same for this one, just a few alterations due to what was left in the store. I also thought I’d try the dry yeast this time, and make the beer a little drier than last time by using a more attenuative strain. I still wanted that bitter bite though, so went for a West Coast strain.

The sugar was added at 15 minutes left of the boil to sterilise, and popped in to the hop spider so that it didn’t scorch on the bottom. At flameout, the chiller was turned on to get to 75C, then switched off again for the 20 minute hop stand. I like to recirculate during the hop stand to aid leaching out the hop oils, as well as help filter out some break material.

While the target OG was 1.082, I only managed to get 1.070. I seem to have this problem with higher gravity beers. One thing I might try is to dissolve sugar additions in the wort first, then add direct to the boil. Perhaps adding via the hop spider is lowering the extract in the wort?

Dry hopping

I transferred the wort to the SS fermenter, pitched the yeast and left it to sit. After 2 weeks in primary, I added the dry hop and let it sit another 4 days before crash cooling. When I finally opened the fermenter after racking to the corny keg, I noticed about a quarter of the hops hadn’t actually mad it into the beer. They were sitting on top of the chiller coil completely dry. I need to figure out a new method for adding dry hops directly into the Chronical.

Concerned I wouldn’t hit the right ABV for a DIPA, I checked the final gravity. Target FG was 1.014, however it dropped down to 1.010. While I’ve managed to keep the beer DIPA strength (8%), neither OG nor FG were reached, and I need to try and resolve this for future batches.

The beer is now sat in the kegerator to carbonate up. I’ve had a cheeky taste and so far results are good. It still needs some extra fizz but the hop combination is amazing. I will update this post after the BBQ in two weeks with the tasting notes from the club members.


So it seems this beer was quite a hit, winning 1st place at the Worcestershire Homebrew Club annual BBQ. There were some really good entries again this year. I just need to nail the numbers and this could be a regular brew!!

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