The fermentation of my Black IPA kicked in about a day later than usual (I pitched a tad too high) but once it got going it was robust and active. I thank the San Diego Super Strain for that. In fact, I probably should’ve hooked up a blow-off tube since my airlock was pretty filthy with krausen. After a week of vigorous fermentation, I racked off to my secondary and prepared to dry hop for the first time in my brewing career.
The BYO recipe called for Warrior and Cascade but I chose Citra. I like their pronounced aromatic qualities and I’m hoping that the bitterness they impart will add complexity to the roasted quality I’m seeking from the malt. But foremost, I want this beer to arouse the sense of smell. I love the juxtaposition of a jet-black brew and the bright tropical fruit aromatics this hop will provide. I want a strong but not too aggressive hop characteristic to greet the drinker’s nose.
I loaded up a muslin bag with an ounce of whole flower Citra and managed to wrestle the bag through the narrow opening of the carboy. Once inside, the dang thing, with all that air and all those dry, light, air-filled hops simply refused to sink below the surface. The mound just floated there. I gently tried to shake the carboy (I didn’t want to disturb the sediment too much) but to no avail. I failed to move the bag any further down. It wasn’t even completely wet. Great! Yet another cause for concern and a new set of questions I didn’t have answers for.
Did the hops need to sink?...