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New system, new beer style… I’m learning the ins and outs of the Ss Brewtech 3V system I recently acquired, and want to share a bit of my second batch experience, which was my first shot at brewing a New England IPA. Often while brewing, I’ll practice my bagpipes while waiting for the mash or the boil to finish.

This is the secret ingredient of Hells Canyon Beer. The tune I’m playing while the grain is mashing is one of my favorite piobaireachd melodies, “Nameless (Hiharin Dro O Dro),” which is appropriate for this specific beer: the beer is called “Certain Slant NEIPA (New England IPA)” which is named after one of my favorite Emily Dickinson poems, “There’s a certain slant of light.” Her poems were not titled (i.e., “nameless”), but are known from the first line of the poem. Same with this piobaireachd, which they call “Nameless,” but because there are other un-named piobaireachd tunes also called “Nameless,” they distinguish them all by putting in parentheses the vocables of the first line, in this case hiharin dro o dro, which is how you would sing the specific notes of the opening melody (as long as you know what a “hiharin” or a “dro” sound like). The beer style connects to all this: it’s a New England IPA, and Emily Dickinson lived in New England. Finally, there’s another connection, too, which has to do with the yeast: the yeast strain is London Ale (Wyeast 1318), originated in England, and — if I were to culture this for future brews — I would use certain kinds of “slants” to store the yeast for cultivation down the road. So there it is. Enjoy!

I also added a steam condenser to the boil kettle so I could brew with the garage door shut and not turn the ceiling into a gooey mess of degrading drywall. Here’s my review of the first test run on the Steam Slayer by Brewhardware.

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