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Wandering Barbarian

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Batch Size (gallons)6
Recipe typeAll Grain
Style14B. American IPA
Original Gravity1.071
Final Gravity1.011
ABV7.88% (basic)   /   7.9% (advanced)       [what's this?]
Color9.5 SRM
Boil Time60 min

YeastEast Coast Yeast ECY29 (North East Ale)

Pale Malt, Golden Promise12 lbs78.4%2.5
Vienna Malt1 lb6.5%3.5
Honey Malt 12 oz4.9%25
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L 12 oz4.9%60
Sugar, Palm 9 oz3.7%4
Barley, Flaked 4 oz1.6%1.7

El Dorado (First Wort).5 oz6015%21.6
El Dorado (Boil).5 oz1015%7.1
Motueka (Boil).5 oz107%3.1
El Dorado (Steep/whirlpool)1 oz2015%11.9
Motueka (Steep/whirlpool)1 oz207%5.2
El Dorado (Dry Hop)1.5 oz515%0
Motueka (Dry Hop)1.5 oz57%0
El Dorado (Dry Hop)1.5 oz315%0
Motueka (Dry Hop)1.5 oz37%0

DirectionsMash @ 150 degrees F.

When I brewed this beer, I saved my sugar, and added half each time I did a dry hop addition.  Sugar was dissolved in one cup of water, which was briefly boiled.  This solution was added directly to the fermentor. 

Start fermentation at the bottom of the range for this yeast (66 degrees F), then ramp up to 72 degrees F by the end of the second day to help ensure ester production and proper attenuation. 


Aroma is huge and heavenly.  Massive hoppiness dominates.  The biggest component I get is a lemon/lime citrusy portion, but there is also a strong, sweet, generic "fruity" that is quite prevalent; also, there's is a touch of that Conan peach here, too, though it is very mild.  Malt is reserved, but not missing - I get mild toastiness behind it all.

Flavor is (not surprisingly) huge and hoppy up front, though there is definitely enough malt to hold it all up.   If I want to pick it apart and really focus on the individual flavors, I can pick up on some toastiness in the middle... also, I may be nuts, but I swear I can pick up on a hint of honey.  Let's not kid anybody, though - hops are the star of this show.   Finish is bitter and dry, but pleasingly so; there is zero astringency here, just that pleasant hop aftertaste that says "take another sip". 

Mouthfeel is on the light side of balance, though a bit more substantive than I would have expected from a 1.011 FG.  It almost has a hint of creaminess to it. 

CreditsThe seeds for this beer were first sown last year when a kind brewer (screen name of GirkinFirker both here and at reddit) was kind enough to send me the ECY29 (Conan) yeast - best known as the yeast from the famous commercial beer, Heady Topper. 

I started thinking of a fruity IPA, and began researching hop varieties that would go well with the expected peachiness from the Conan yeast.  The reddit homebrewing sub was useful in my research, but truly, our charter member email list (with special shout out to Testingapril) was invaluable.

I then got to thinking of an international brew, what with all the ingredients I had, and another charter member (uberg33k) got me hooked on the idea of a nontraditional sugar. 

All told, I'm loving the idea of having ingredients from seven different countries (and at least four US states) represented.  This kind of beer would have obviously been impossible in the past; this truly is a golden age for homebrewing.

As for the name - well, the play on words (Conan the barbarian) was too easy and fun to resist.  The "wandering" bit is a nod to the wide range of ingredients. 

Recipe Reviews

Type: Drank this Beer

Aroma 10/12
High, fruity hoppiness, which dominates the other aspects of the aroma. Out of the three tasters, I was the only one to perceive any malt sweetness, but there was a hint of sweet malt character. I wouldn't say that it provided a layer of complexity or that it was a backbone against the aroma, but there is absolutely a note of it there which I enjoyed. That being said (which wasn't a criticism so much as an observation) the aroma was still layered nicely, dominated by a candy-like fruit and citrus characters. I personally thought of lemon being those flavors, but one of the others tasters noted more of an Orange characteristic than anything. There was a layer of peach as well, which I was the only one to really pick up, and one other taster noticed it when they were pressed. I think I noticed it because I was looking for it. Also, low alcohol presence, just a little bit right next to the malt sweetness. Overall, the aroma was fantastic. Nothing grey about it, layers were defined and complimentary. My only possible criticism is that the other layers (peach, malt sweetness) aren't as noticeable as they could be. I think fermenting a bit warmer (no idea what you did this at) will bring out more of the peach character, which I think would help balance out that candy-like aroma which could get you a more full complex-aspect.

Appearance 2/3
Deep orange-gold, and incredibly clear. There was a finger and a bit more of head, which had good retention, not great. Damn fine looking beer! After getting hit with that aroma, I'll be honest and admit that I paid less attention to this aspect than the others, I really wanted to give it a taste.

Flavor 17/20
High hoppiness right up front which continues throughout the sip, medium bitterness in the middle which finished smooth. The malt backbone is present and is represented by a familiar clean grain flavor. The hoppiness is a noticeable sweetness, not grassy or astringent in any way. I don't get the stone fruit notes that I did in the aroma, but the citrus is absolutely there, more present than the aroma, and the candy-like flavor is less present. It is a more balanced sort of profile which I really enjoy. There is some honey-like sweetness in it as well from the grain. There is a hint of a resinous character in it in the middle of the sip. I'd like there to be a bit more of a malt presence here, maybe some more toastiness. This is a hop showcase, for sure, and it does that really well, but if it were me I'd push for just a little more malt character.

Mouthfeel 4/5
Great carbonation, medium-light body, very smooth. I do pick up that resinous character a bit, and the beer finishes medium-dry.

Overall 8/10
Olan, this thing was awesome. It was really balanced, leaning a bit too much towards the hops but still excellent. I don't have anything to say here I haven't said already, a benefit of not being restricted to those tiny forms. So as a summary, the only thing I would end up doing differently would be to ferment warmer for more peach character, maybe add a bit more for head retention (carapils or flaked barley/oats? Not sure what you used), and then maybe dry hop less to deal with the resinous character or layer the dry hopping by using a muslin bag and a marble attached to fishing line so that you can dry hop for a few days, remove the hops and add more, repeat.

posted by Matt on 2/7/2015

This all grain American IPA homebrew recipe was submitted by homebrewdad.