Hot on the heels of the 120hl of DIPA v3 we released on the 9th of April we're today announcing a dual release of DIPA v4 and DIPA v5. Before I go into what we're presenting next time, let me recap what we've worked on so far in our quest to perfect a DIPA recipe.
v1 was a great start, made with a very complex and broad hop grist (in part because all the IIPAs we drank that inspired v1 were hopped with US hops and the freshest hops we had at the time were Antipodian), Extra Pale Maris Otter, and a stripped back US05 yeast.
v2 was almost a hop vintage DIPA, made with Citra and Chinook hops from the '15 harvest as soon as they landed, with the same malt and yeast as v1.
v3 saw us change over to Vermont ale yeast, which makes such a bold contribution to aroma, flavour, and aftertaste that we think more than 80% of what v3 is, is Vermont ale yeast. We also used Golden Promise malt, a light yet delicately flavoured malt we thought would back up the yeast really well. For hops we chose enhanced Citra, Chinook, US Comet, and Mosaic. None of those hops are anything other than impactful, so it goes to show just how full a contribution Vermont ale yeast made that four big hops used generously hardly got a look in!
Before we get into what v4 and v5 are, I'll make something of an apology — despite 120hl of v3 flying out of our brewery with over 95% pre ordered, we're only making 48hl (24hl each of v4, and v5 respectively) for release this time for a number of reasons. Firstly, though we expect this to be a fantastic participatory experience for you all, in essence v4 and v5 are experiment driven, so we'd rather save ourselves for a bigger release of v6. Secondly, v3 really impacted our ability to keep stock of anything else in our current line up because pre orders amounted to a third of our total fermentation capacity. We very much expect to open v6 up to pre orders, but a smaller batch release of v4 and v5 together will let us get the feedback we need very soon, and allow for us to brew v6 shortly after without worrying that any of our wholesale or retail partners might have a disadvantageous stock position.
So, let's get down to it! In our dual release of v4 and v5 we're focusing on something we're increasingly interested in — the effect of yeast and fermentation on hops, and the difference timing makes to dry hopping. Specifically we're interesting in a phenomenon called bio-transformation whereby yeast breaks hop flavour compounds down during its lifecycle (some hop compounds are absorbed by yeast never to be released, whereas others are absorbed, transformed, then ejected as different flavours). We'll make both v4 and v5 with the same wort (half filling both 24hl FVs in the morning, before topping them up in the afternoon from a second batch), same yeast, and exactly the same dry hops. The only difference between the two will be when we add the hops. In v4 the dry hopping will added be exclusively during fermentation, whereas v5's dry hop addition will happen exclusively post fermentation.
This is where we'll love you to be involved — we'd love you to try both, side by side, and tell us which version, or which ratio of both mixed together that you prefer. If v4 wins out, great, but maybe 60% v4 cut with 40% of v5 will blow v4 alone out of the water. We'll set up the easiest way to take responses on this that we can possibly figure out, and invite your feedback. It'll be great to hear just what works out the best for you all, and share a journey that'd otherwise be hidden behind our brewery doors.
As soon as we've set the dates for brewing v4 and v5 we'll let you know, as well as keeping you posted where the bottles are going to be available from. We'll put a small amount into kegs for very limited distribution, but we're thinking that a (mainly) bottle release will let many more people join in, irrespective of where they live or their access to forward thinking beer bars.
I'll look forward to letting you all know when you can expect the v4/v5 release, and I promise a stockist list will be circulated well before the release date.
*** 1st of July Update ***
We're starting to get v4 and v5 out there for you all to try. There's only three places it'll be on tap:
1. At our brewery tap.
2. The Bottle Shop arch on Druid Street, London.
3. CASC, Aberdeen.
Whether you try it on tap or from a bottle we heartily recommend trying both side by side, and also blending them too! Start with v4, then v5, then blends. We're not sure there's ever been an opportunity like this in the UK before, to try just what effect a simple but important process change has to the finished beer.
Please find below a couple of tables showing who is getting bottle stock.