Presenting our latest Keller Door bottle release, the IIPA. This BIG beer has been a battle between the beer, the brewers and the brew house.
In fact, it’s so big that our brewers are curious to know whether anyone in Australia has brewed a bigger & stronger batch of beer in Australian. Read about that here.
Aiming for a 9% ABV, we have squeezed as much barley malt as we possibly can into our mash tun. More malt means more dissolved carbohydrates to be extracted (we call this ‘gravity’). And more big, syrupy ‘gravity’ means more fuel for the yeast to make into alcohol. This is a high gravity beer! We’re not talking black hole levels of gravity, but definitely Jupiter levels.
In a beer like this, balance is key. The alcohol and smooth malt flavour is matched with aroma and formidable bitterness from characteristically fruity and herbal varieties of Australian hops. These hops – Enigma, Galaxy, Vic Secret, Helga and Aus Willamette – are the real heroes of the beer. All were picked from local hop fields earlier this year, and as a fitting send off the latter two of these varieties will be the last crop that the Tassy hop farmers ever produce. Be sure to get in there and enjoy the last victory lap that these exquisite varieties have to offer!
This brew is drier than a swagman’s beard. The bitterness will come from the brewhouse addition of Vic Secret, Helga, Enigma and Galaxy hops whereas the zest and floral punch will lend itself in the warm and cold dry hopping of Aus Willamette, Helga and Enigma. The style also benefits from the skillful use of pure cane sugar as a supplement that dries out the brew and prevents flavour convolution, fatness on the tongue and shadowing of all those juicy hops.
A close eye also has been kept on the happiness and health of our yeast. The wealth of sugars (and eventual alcohol levels) can easily cause our little mates to become somewhat stressed in producing a beer this big, and stressed yeast almost always leads to an overly soapy and sulphury mess. Yes, we could have adopted a high-alcohol yeast strain to more easily handle this juggernaut of a beer but it wouldn’t have exhibited the sought after flavour that our favourite American Ale Yeast strain provides.
Summoned from the inspiration of Pliny the Elder & Heady Topper, “It’s like being hugged from the inside by my buzzed Grandma” says brewer Garrett Sherman.