Mad Alchemist Obliterum (Rye IPA)
Every now and then, I brew a special oak-aged rye beer to share with my friends and coworkers. The last, Savage Remedy, was very well-received.
To commemorate the same occasion for our latest project, I brewed a Rye IPA, companion to the above, and lovingly call it Obliterum.
I also enjoy testing new techniques whenever the opportunity presents itself. With this beer, I purchased some HopRage to use for bittering. It’s a shelf-stable hop extract that can be kept refrigerated for~6 years.
It also smells wonderful and imparts–as I found with this recipe–a smooth yet assertive bitterness. I will likely use HopRage either as the only bittering hops in my future beers or I’ll augment it with my usual Magnum. Highly recommended.
On to the recipe and description. This Rye IPA is equal parts bitter and smooth, delicate and bold. It is silk obscuring an assassin’s blade. The flavor develops on the palate as luscious > sharp > warm > smooth > dry. You are compelled by a brain itch to retrieve the glass mere moments after your last sip.
I present to you, Obliterum:
- 2-Row Pale (4 lbs)
- White Wheat (4 lbs)
- Rye Malt (1 lb)
- Flaked Barley (1 lb)
- Torrified Wheat (1 lb)
- Flaked Rye (1 lb)
- Special Roast (1 lb)
- Crystal Wheat (1 lb)
- Crystal Rye (1 lb)
- Hops: Magnum (0.5 oz @ 60 mins for Bittering)
- Hops: HopRage Extract (5 ml @ 60 minutes for Bittering)
- Hops: Liberty (0.5 oz @ 20 mins for Flavor, 0.5 oz @ 0 mins for Aroma)
- Hops: Willamette (0.5 oz @ 20 mins for Flavor, 0.5 oz @ 0 mins for Aroma)
- Yeast: Dry English Ale + London Ale
- Water: Balanced Chloride/Sulfate Ratio (favor Sulfate a little bit)
- Mash: 150°F at ~1.25 qt/lb. Target pH is ~5.4
- (Don’t forget the rice hulls! This is a recipe for a gummy mash)
- Original Gravity: 18° Plato (1.079 SG)
- Final Gravity: 3.36° Plato (1.013 SG)
- Color: 17.7 SRM
- Bitterness: 70 IBU
- Alcohol: 8.1%
- Carbonation: 2.6 Vols
2 oz Medium American. On brew day, put them in a sealed container with enough Rye Whiskey (I use Bulleit) to cover the cubes. Shake it up every now and then. After 2 weeks of fermentation, add the oak cubes to the fermentor along with the Rye Whiskey, and leave them in for one week prior to cold crashing.
Ferment at 67°F for ~2 weeks, raise it to 70 for the last few days of that two weeks, add the oak for a week, then crash it down to ~34 over the course of a week. Bottle/keg and age for ~3 months to allow the flavors to meld and harsher characteristics to mellow out.
As with any recipe, adjust to your equipment and taste. Some might want less rye, others more bitterness. Some might find they have a more efficient system than I do, while others might have to add additional 2-Row.
Experiment! Make the recipe your own and imbue it with your own artistic touch. Make a California variant with American yeast and fruity hops. Use different oak. Substitute “Wheat” everywhere you see “Rye” and condition the oak cubes in Irish Whiskey instead.