Ever since we first had a pint of Alpine Beer Company's Nelson Golden Rye IPA, we have been wanting to brew a "RyePA". Given that we didn't have any of the New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops that Alpine's beer is named after, creating a Nelson clone was out of the question. Still, we figured we could take a shot at the "Golden Rye IPA" part.
The rye in our recipe is whole malted rye grain. Rye malt is not available in extract form, which was one of our motivations for moving to partial mash brewing.
This is what the rye looks like cracked:
Definitely darker in color than malted barley - below you can see them together for comparison:
Rye has twice the coloration potential as barley - about 3.7L vs 1.8L (the "L" stands for Lovibond, a unit of color measurement). Given this, we were a bit worried that we would not be able to achieve the bright, golden, "West Coast IPA" look that we wanted. Our standard IPA recipe uses a bit of crystal malt specialty grain, but to counter the increased color potential, we were careful to use a very light version (10L) - we even considered dropping it altogether.
Color wasn't a problem, though, as you can see here:
Exactly what we were going for. Pretty much the same color as our Blind Pig ("Piggish") clone. We used very similar recipes for both beers, with exception of substituting rye for about 12% of the grain in the mash and increasing the hops in secondary.
Below, you can see the two beers side-by-side (the rye is on the right):
Any perceived difference in color is mostly due to lighting - they looked virtually identical save for a difference in carbonation.
And the taste? Also similar, yet different. I would say that the rye added a more round and complex malt flavor. We've tasted them together a number of times now: sometimes I prefer one, sometimes the other. Depends on my mood. A little variety (even if subtle) is nice to have, though, and we'll definitely be making this beer again.
Piggish Rye IPA
Total batch size = 5 gallons; Partial Mash in 3 gallon beverage cooler; ~3 gallon 60 minute stove-top boil; very late malt extract addition; dry hopped for aroma; target abv of 6.5%.
3 3/4 lb 2-Row Pale Malt
3/4 lb Rye Malt
1/2 lb 10L Crystal Malt
1/2 lb Carapils/Dextrin Malt
1/2 lb Wheat Malt
4 1/4 lb Briess Golden Light Dry Malt Extract (DME)
2 oz Columbus Hops (12.3% AA)
2 oz Cascade Hops (6% AA)
1 1/2 oz Simcoe Hops (13.2% AA)
1 oz Centennial Hops (8% AA)
1 tablet Whirlfloc
White Labs WLP001 California Ale Yeast
4 oz corn sugar (for bottle priming)
1 oz Columbus - 60 minutes boil
1/2 oz Cascade - 30 minutes boil
1 oz Cascade - 15 minutes boil
1/4 oz Columbus - 2 minutes boil
1/2 oz Simcoe - 2 minutes boil
1 oz Columbus - Dry Hop in Secondary Fermenter
1/2 oz Cascade - Dry Hop in Secondary Fermenter
1 oz Simcoe - Dry Hop in Secondary Fermenter
1 oz Centennial - Dry Hop in Secondary Fermenter
Heat 8.25 quarts water to 165 degrees for a target mash temperature of 150-153 degrees. Place the 6 pounds of crushed grain (2-Row Pale, Rye, 10L Crystal, Carapils and Wheat) into a large mesh bag. Pour the hot water into the beverage cooler, then lower the grain bag into the water very slowly, pushing and prodding with a large spoon to ensure all the grain is wet (this can take several minutes). Put the lid on the cooler and allow to rest 60 minutes.
While the grains are mashing, heat another 4-5 quarts of water to 180-185 degrees for sparging (rinsing the grains). Near the end of the 60 minutes, heat 2 quarts of water to a boil in your brew pot.
After the first mash is complete, remove the cooler lid and open the spigot to draw off about 2 quarts of wort into a large pitcher. The first few draws will likely be cloudy with grain particles; if so, pour it gently back into the cooler over the grain bag to help filter it. Draw off the remaining wort by the pitcher-full and carefully pour that wort into the boiling water in your brew pot; continue until only a trickle of wort leaves the spigot.
Pour about 4 quarts of your hot sparge water over the grain bag in the cooler. Gently lift the bag up and down to thoroughly re-wet the grains (but don't slosh). Cover and let sit about 5 minutes. Use the spigot and a pitcher to draw off all of the second wort and add it to your brew pot. You should have about 3 gallons of wort.
Bring the wort to a boil and add hops according to the schedule. At time zero, remove from heat and add the DME one pound at a time, stirring to dissolve (alternatively, with 15 minutes left, carefully begin adding DME by the cup-full, stirring well between each addition; at time zero, add the remaining DME off the heat). Stir in 1 tablet Whirlfloc. Cover and let sit 10-15 minutes.
Move brew pot to an ice bath and cool quickly to less than 80 degrees. Transfer wort to a primary fermenter, straining most of the hops. Add water to reach the 5 gallon mark. Swirl vigorously then pitch the yeast.
Ferment in primary for 1 week, then transfer to secondary and dry hop with 1 oz Columbus, 1/2 oz Cascade, 1 oz Simcoe and 1 oz Centennial. Bottle or keg after fermentation is complete (2 to 3 weeks in secondary).