Stone 'Enjoy By' (Double IPA)
Twice named "All-Time Top Brewery on Planet Earth" by BeerAdvocate magazine, Stone Brewing Co. was founded in 1996 by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner and is the largest brewery in Southern California and the 8th largest craft brewery in the USA (based on 2016 sales volumes). Most of their beers are characteristic of west-coast craft brews, meaning that they have a high hop content, and none represents this better than their 'Enjoy By' Double IPA.
Hop aroma and flavour compounds are volatile and lose their punch over time. While aging some beers like Barleywines and Imperial Stouts can improve the beer, this is not the case for IPAs. Because of this self-imposed short shelf life, Stone went a step further to make sure the label itself included the "Enjoy By" date right in the name so that it can't be missed. This date reflects a 35-day package-to-consumption cycle, meaning that to fully experience the beer's full potential it must be consumed within 35 days of bottling or kegging. Stone explains all of this directly on their label:
"You have in your hands a devastatingly fresh double IPA. Freshness is a key component of many beers - especially big, hoppy IPAs - but we've taken it further, a lot further, in this one. We brewed this IPA specifically NOT to last. We've gone to extensive lengths to ensure that you get your hands on this beer within an extraordinarily short window, we we've sent a very clear message in the name of the beer itself that there is no better time than right NOW to enjoy this IPA... before the world ends."
Stone even changed the way they distribute this beer, limiting where each batch goes to ensure that it goes from packaging to retail shelf as quickly as possible (usually under 1 week). To quote Stone:
"The beer is bottled on day one, shipped on its own truck to Columbia [Stone's local distributor] on day 2 and by day 5 it needs to be in the accounts. Then 30 days later, on the day the label says the beer has expired, it is no longer fresh and must be pulled from all bars and retail spots if still around."
Stone measures "buzz" for the beer through the company's website and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Based on these interactions, Stone brings the beer to the locations that voice their interest the most. More information in this video by Stone:
So how's it taste? Here are tasting notes, as provided by Brewmaster Mitch Steele:
Appearance: Golden with a creamy white head.
Aroma: Intense dank hoppiness, resin, peaches and hints of tropical fruit are all evident in the aroma.
Taste: Smooth malt up front, quickly dissipating into a massive onslaught of hops. The dankness and peach notes come through strongly.
Palate: Smooth with hints of alcohol, and a perfect balance of bitterness and dryness on the back end.
Overall: We took the opportunity with this beer to use several interesting techniques we've learned during our many years of brewing great double IPAs. The result is an intense dry beer with very little malt sweetness, but with plenty of malt flavor to provide a background to the enormous...or shall I say "ginormous" hop character. Hopping, as might be expected, was over the top. First, the brew was mash-hopped with Calypso, a beautiful fruity hop that we also used in our Stone 16th Anniversary IPA, after which we kettle-hopped with a very small dose of Super Galena hop extract for bittering. Then, using a technique known in homebrew circles as "hop bursting," we loaded up very heavily on the flavor hops at the end of the boil and in the whirlpool. Simcoe, Delta, UK Target and Amarillo were used in the late kettle hop. New Zealand Motueka, Citra, and Cascade were used for the whirlpool hop. As you can clearly tell, this beer was super hoppy even before we dry-hopped it, but then we went for it... dry-hopping with one pound per barrel EACH of New Zealand Nelson Sauvin and Australian Galaxy. Drink extra-super-dank-and-tasty Stone Enjoy By IPA well before its 35-day shelf life to maximize the pungent glory that this beautiful, intense hop profile provides.
As you can see, Stone is very forthcoming with the hop bill and they've confirmed that both the late kettle additions and dry hopping is done at a rate of a little over 1lb/bbl for each hop type. Mitch Steele has also been quoted as saying that the malt bill is just a mix of straight North American 2-row and English 2-row with some dextrose. For yeast choices, from what we understand Stone uses a proprietary strain that is similar to White Labs WLP007 Dry English Ale yeast. Given that the way they use it results in a fairly clean fermentation, any good clean American ale yeast would work as well including the Chico strain of yeasts (White Labs WLP001, Wyeast 1056, or Fermentis Safale US-05). From what we've read, brewers that have tried brewing this beer with both WLP007 and WLP001 say the results are nearly indistinguishable. With this information, putting together a recipe is fairly straight forward.
Brew up a batch and let us know how you like it!
Stone 'Enjoy By' (Double IPA)
Size: 12 US gallons (post-boil @ 68F)
Mash Efficiency: 93% (lower due to the high gravity)
Calories: 265 kcal per 12 fl oz
Original Gravity: 1.081 (style range: 1.075 - 1.090)
Final Gravity: 1.010 (style range: 1.010 - 1.020)
Colour: 5.9 SRM (style range: 8 - 15)
Alcohol: 9.4% ABV (style range: 7.5% - 10%)
Bitterness: ~90 IBU (style range: 60 - 120) (Software based IBU calculators break down with highly hopped beers so this is a guess)
4 HopShots (4 x 5ml hop extract) - added during boil, boiled 90 min [~60 IBU]
2 oz Simcoe hops (11.7%) - added during boil, boiled 30 min [17.5 IBU]
2 oz Delta hops (6%) - added during boil, boiled 15 min [9 IBU]
2 oz UK Target hops (8.9%) - added during boil, boiled 15 min [13.3 IBU]
2 oz Amarillo hops (8.7%) - added during boil, boiled 15 min [13 IBU]
1 Whirlfloc tablet (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 15 min
1.65 lb Corn sugar (dextrose) (5.8%) - added during boil**, boiled 10 min (sprinkle in slowly)
2.5 oz Citra hops (7.4%) - added immediately after boil
2.5 oz Cascade hops (7.1%) - added immediately after boil
2.5 oz New Zealand Motueka hops (6.7%) - added immediately after boil
Fermentis Safale US-05 dry yeast*** (52g recommended or make an equivalent starter)
3 oz New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops (11.5%) - dry hop #1 (added to fermenter near end of fermentation, steeped 3-5 days)
3 oz Australian Galaxy hops (12.3%) - dry hop #1 (added to fermenter near end of fermentation, steeped 3-5 days)
3 oz New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops (11.5%) - dry hop #2 (added to brite tank, steeped 3-5 days)
3 oz Australian Galaxy hops (12.3%) - dry hop #2 (added to brite tank, steeped 3-5 days)
*If using pellet hops break them up before adding them to the mash, otherwise they will clump up and you won't get much out of them. We find the easiest way to do this is to add the hops to 2-3 cups of hot strike water in a bowl and let them soak for a few minutes to allow them to break up. Then stir until it's an even soup (no clumps) and dump and mix well into the mash. You may find that your mash will foam up a bit more than usual with hops in there. This is normal.
**It's been said that moving the addition of simple sugars like corn sugar to the end of fermentation can help if you have attenuation problems. (We've never had issues so we always add to the boil per our recipe). If you prefer to add at the end of fermentation, heat up some distilled water to near boiling (above 180F) and stir in about 1lb of sugar. Let it cool and add directly to the fermenter. Keep doing this every 2-3 days until all of the sugar is used up. Why is this said to help with attenuation? Yeast likes to eat simple sugars (like corn sugar) first before it attacks the more complex ones produced by the grain. By giving the yeast only the 'less tasty' stuff (complex sugars) first they're more likely to finish it all before moving on the 'tasty stuff' (simple sugars). Giving them both at the same time is like giving your kids dinner and dessert at the same time. They'll eat dessert first and then be too full to eat their dinner. Given them dinner first, and there's always room for dessert. 😉
***If you prefer to use liquid yeast, Wyeast 1056 American Ale or White Labs WLP001 California Ale are excellent choices as they are the same clean fermenting Chico strain as US-05. You'll need ~888 billion cells (8-9 fresh packs) or an equivalent starter.
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Notes / Process
- Add 500mg potassium metabisulphite to 20 gallons water to remove chlorine / chloramine (if required).
- Water treated with brewing salts to our Hoppy flavour profile: Ca=110, Mg=18, Na=16, Cl=50, SO4=275 (Basically Randy Mosher's ideal Pale Ale numbers with slightly less Sulphate). For more information on how to adjust your water, refer to our step by step Water Adjustment guide.
- 1.25 qt/lb mash thickness.
- Single infusion mash at 147F for 90-120 mins.
- Raise to 168F mashout temperature and hold for 10 mins.
- ~90 min fly sparge with ~5.6-5.8 pH water (measured at mash temperature). Collect 14.9 gallons.
- Whirlfloc and hops per schedule. Lid on at flameout, start chilling immediately. Boil for 90 minutes, adding
- Cool the wort quickly to 66F (we use a one-pass convoluted counterflow chiller to quickly lock in hop flavour and aroma) and transfer to fermenter.
- Oxygenate the chilled wort to a level of 14 ppm dissolved oxygen. For more information refer to our Aerating / Oxygenating Wort guide.
- Pitch yeast and ferment at 66F (wort temperature). We use modified stainless fermenting buckets in wine fridges.
- Add dry hops #1 once fermentation is nearing completion (i.e. 5 points from final gravity) and raise the temperature to 70-72F. In our case we simply turn off the fermenting fridges and allow the beer to naturally rise to room temperature. Steep hops for 3-5 days while fermentation finishes. Assume fermentation is done if the gravity does not change over ~3 days.
- Add dry hops #2 to brite tank (we use 5 gallon glass carboys), purge with CO2 to avoid oxygen pickup, then carefully rack in the beer on top of the hops. Allow to steep for 3-5 days at 70-72F room temperature. We do not recommend using hop sacks or other containers as you'll get the best flavour extraction from the hops if you let them roam free.
- Before packaging you may also optionally add 1 tsp of unflavoured gelatin dissolved in a cup of hot distilled water per 5 gallons of beer, and allow to clear for 2-3 days. Gelatin may "round off" some hop flavour / aroma so we tend to skip this step with hop forward beers like this.
- After 3-5 days in the brite tank package as you would normally. We rack to kegs that have first been purged with CO2, and then carbonate on the low side (around 2 volumes of CO2) to minimize carbonic bite and let the hop and malt flavours shine through. We chill the kegs to near freezing while carbonating at the same time in a 6-keg conditioning fridge. After ~1-2 weeks at serving pressure the kegs will be carbonated and ready to serve. Like all hop forward beers this Double IPA is best consumed fresh so feel free to raise the CO2 pressure temporarily to 30-40 PSI to carbonate fast over a 24 period, and then turn back down to serving pressure. Some hop bits will have invariably made their way into the keg during transfer so we use a Hop Stopper Keg Edition filter to ensure that hops do not clog the dip tube and/or end up in the glass. Force carbonating at high pressure and using a Hop Stopper filter allows us to serve this beer 24 hours after kegging. There's no need to wait a few days for any hop bits that made their way into the keg to first settle out.
For detailed brewing instructions, see our Brew Day Step by Step guide.
Questions? Visit our Stone 'Enjoy By' Double IPA forum thread.
Pictures / Videos
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Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens. Image (c) StudioSchulz.com
Sustainable development has always been a core value of Stone Brewing's business philosophy; from the all-natural ingredients in its acclaimed beers to the onsite Bistro's emphasis on local, organically produced food, use of reclaimed building materials and environmentally friendly beer garden. In keeping with this theme, the company installed a 312kW Photovoltaic Solar System on the roof of its brewing facility in the Escondido Research & Technology Center (ERTC). Image (c) Borregosolar.com