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BTV Beer Review: The Maharaja (with homebrew recipe)

Brewing TV received two bottles of The Maharaja Imperial IPA from Avery Brewing Company in Boulder, CO. Here is our tasting notes and an extra-special bonus for homebrewers, the recipe for the beer!

The Maharaja (Imperial India Pale Ale)

Recipe courtesy Avery Brewing Company

5-gallon batch
OG: 1.090
FG: 1.012
Grist:
- Pale 2-Row -- 93.8%
- Victory Malt -- 3.1%
- Crystal 120 -- 3.1%
Hops (pellets):
- 1.09 oz Columbus (13.9%AA) @ 60 min
- 1.09 oz Columbus (13.9%AA) @ 30 min
- 2.18 oz Centennial (13.9%AA) @ 0 min
- 2.18 oz Simcoe (11.4%AA) @ 0 min
- 4.38 oz Simcoe - dry hop
- 2.18 oz Centennial - dry hop
- 2.18 oz Chinook - dry hop
Yeast - California
Fermentation Temp: 74F

 

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BTV Note: No direct reference to length of fermentation or mash temperature... we'll look into it - for now, use the FG and test-tastes as a guidepost.

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-- UPDATE - March 26, 2012 --
Per Avery head brewer Matt "Truck" Thrall

As you very well know, the %AA levels change from year to year, crop to crop. Currently the hops we are brewing with have the following numbers:
Columbus - 16.3 %AA
Simcoe - 12.2 %AA
Chinook - 12.9 %AA
Centennial - 11.4 %AA

 

We never change the end of boil hop amounts so if we have a higher/lower %AA than the year before, we make adjustments to the first addition and either increase or decrease the amount to nail our overall IBU spec.

As for the actual weight of malts, I would have no clue where to start. Everyone has a slightly different mash/lauter tun efficiency and this will play into the amount of grain used. I also haven't used less than 2000 pounds of malt on a brew in almost nine years...

Finally, I would like to finish with saying brews don't scale up or down perfectly. My question though: Why clone anything? Play with the existing recipe and make something of your own. I believe this is the spirit of homebrewing and professional brewing.

To which, we at Brewing TV would like to say: "Damn straight, Mr. Thrall!"