I can honestly say I am a fan of Blind Pig IPA from Russian River Brewing Co. in Santa Rosa. I know everyone is Pliny crazed but Blind Pig really makes me happy. And since it is not easy to find in my area and driving a couple hours to the brewery isn't always an option -- I decided to brew it at home. I figure even if I mess it up, it will still be a good IPA. Just not an amazing IPA the way Russian River does it. But definitely drinkable.
I headed to my local brewing supply store in Concord, CA called More Beer.
Side Note: Everyone there is great! I bought my Personal Brewery Starter System there and am so happy I did. It was less than a hundred bucks, I got a Malt Extract ingredient kit and a free homebrewing class. The basic kit came with everything I needed except the syphon and the bottling filler. Together they cost me about $15. I got my kettle from a local Mexican market and it was more affordable than buying a pro kettle from the brewing supply store. It is huge and its original use is for steaming tamales. But it works great from homebrewing. Then I started saving all my brown beer bottles until I had enough for my first batch and simply reuse them. And yes, I used that as an excuse to buy and drink lots of beer in brown bottles. And all sizes too.
I knew I wanted to make an IPA and was thrilled when I saw the recipe pack for RR Blind Pig IPA. I chose to do the malt extract version and got the two malts I needed. When buying your recipe and ingredients, don't forget to get the yeast. Yeast is separate.
So I start looking online for any pointers, tips, tricks and came up with nothing specific to Blind Pig. And if you have homebrewed before you know that the instructions that come with your kit aren't great. I decided to move forward with some tips I found for another Russian River IPA and mixed with my past experience I decided to just go for it.
Please note that homebrewing is a hobby for me. I drink it and sometimes share. I don't enter competitions or anything like that. So with that said, I hope this is helpful. And here we go.
9 lbs of Ultralight Malt Extract
1 lb of Bavarian Wheat
8 oz Carapils
8 oz Crystal 40L
8 oz White Wheat
2 oz Magnum Bittering HOps boiled for 60 minutes
.5 oz Cascade Flavoring hops boiled for last 30 minutes
1 oz Cascade Aroma hops are boiled the last 15 minutes
.5 oz Cascade Dry hops are added to the secondary fermentation
1 oz Willamette Dry hops added to the secondary fermentation
White Labs - California Ale Yeast
Wort Clarifying Treatment
Clarifier - Whirlfloc (Use 1/2 to 1 tablet) the last 5 minutes of boil
Priming Sugar added at bottling
4 oz Corn Sugar - boil with 2 cups of water for 5 minutes
Specific Recipe Information
1 oz American Oak Chips - Add to secondary fermentation for 7 - 10 days
If you don't have a professional wort chiller, you will need a deep sink or a bathtub and lots of ice.
Original Gravity (OG): 1.066-70
ABV %: 6.5
Fermentation Temperature: 68 degrees fahrenheit
First thing is to make sure you have everything that is supposed to come in the recipe kit. You can see there are several components which I would expect for a great beer. Not pictured is the yeast which was in the refrigerator. I also went to the store and got several bags of ice and set them in my bathtub.
Side Note: Keep your yeast in the refrigerator until you are ready to use. Be sure to check the expiration dates.
Next I washed out my kettle and got it on the stove. I was ready.
Here are the steps:
1. Fill the fermenter bucket with water and add 1 oz of sanitizer.