Saturday, July 24, 2010

IPA Brewday

Today’s beer is an attempt to re-create the magic and excitement that was beer 64, which I consider the best beer I’ve made in a long time (with the exception of 54—a Dandelion Ale—we’d have to go back to the mid-30s or late-20s to find something I liked more). So the stakes are high here today on the brewing fields of Dayton...

72: IPA
1 lb. Maris Otter
1 lb. Breiss Caramel 60L
1 lb. Dingeman’s Belgian Aromatic
8 oz. Dingeman’s Belgian Biscuit
8 oz. Cara 8 Belgian

Mashed @ 150° F for 60 minutes; raised to 170° F
Sparged with 1 gallon of 170° F water

Added to brew kettle, brought to a boil (70 minute) with:
6 lbs. Breiss Pilsen Light DME
12 oz. Turbinado Sugar
1 oz. Yakima Magnum pellet 14.4% AA
½ teaspoon gypsum

w/10 minutes to go:
1 tsp. Irish Moss
1 oz. Centennial leaf 11.5% AA

w/5 minutes to go:
1 oz. Simcoe pellet 12.2% AA
¼ oz. Cascade pellet 7.5% AA
½ oz. Mt. Hood pellet 5.2% AA

@ removal from heat:
½ oz. Centennial leaf 11.5% AA
½ oz. Simcoe pellet 12.2% AA
½ oz. Vanguard pellet 4.8% AA

Cooled, racked to bucket, pitched Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Brewed: 7/24/2010
Secondary: 8/6/2010 @ 1.014 (dry hopped with ½ oz. Simcoe pellet 12.2% AA, ½ oz. Centennial leaf 11.5% AA, and ½ oz. Vanguard pellet 4.8% AA)
Kegged: 8/16/2010 3 ½ gallons force carbonated for Beer & Sweat
Bottled: 8/16/2010 2 gallons with 1.5 oz. white sugar (72° F)

OG: 1.064
FG: 1.012

Tasting Notes 9/17/2010: I’m taking the notes from one of the few bottles I have; there is still beer in the keg, but it is currently elsewhere. And as you can see from the picture, the beer in the bottle is a wee bit over-carbonated. And by wee I mean a lot. Even through all the foam, however, there is a rich spicy, pine, and citrus hop nose with a smaller amount of malt sweetness behind it. The color is a deep copper, possibly verging on amber, and, as previously mentioned, there is an abundant ivory head that lasts and lasts and lasts. Malt flavor is pretty minimal in the front; there is a touch of caramel and some drier malt flavor, but it is hard to discern it from the hop flavor that quickly asserts itself—mostly spicy and evergreen, but some citrus comes out in conjunction with the other two. There is a fair amount of bitterness in the middle, but it is nicely subdued, merging well with the flavors to roll into the finish. The end has a quick rise of creamy sweetness and biscuit that also as quickly retreat, allowing the bitterness to reassert itself and lingering pleasantly on the palate. The clean, rounded mouthfeel matches the lighter body; this could be enhanced a bit by the overcarbonation, which does contribute to the lighter feel on the palate, but this was also partially intentional via using the Pilsen Light DME. There is a light warming sensation after the flavors leave the palate—next time I run this through, I’m going to drop the fermentation temperature to see if that will lessen the effect. Overall, I am quite pleased with this beer; as a remake of 64, it went rather well. In the next version, I might try to also build a bit thicker of a body, as this is a bit thin. Not much—just a bit. While it is currently balanced more towards the hops (as an American IPA should be), it doesn’t have that chewy body some American IPAs have—I think a bit more substance in the body would help the mouthfeel, although I most certainly don’t want to make this a caramel bomb. I do like the lighter body it has, particularly for its quaffability—it is complex, but lacking a bit in substance. It is akin to many of the Bell’s products that taste far lighter than their ABV. I’m also glad to see that some of the initial grassy harshness from the hops has settled out—my guess is that the difference between the two scores is a product of the hop flavor and bitterness getting the couple of extra weeks it needed to marry with the rest of the beer, because it is tasting better. And I will say that I do look forward to further experimenting with this recipe—I already wish I had more around to drink.

Beer & Sweat (8/21/2010): 32.5
Dayton Beerfest (9/11/2010): 38.5; IPA winner and Best of Dayton

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