Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rockit Cup Black India Session Ale Brewday

It is time for more sweet Rockit Cup action, the game that you can play along at home. And like the last version, this one builds the hop profile via hop bursting. Why again so soon? My response: Jeffrey goes through stages. Me? I just like brewing beer. And Jeffrey, I thought this was supposed to be a Black India Session Ale, not a Mud-Brown India Session Ale, although what with all the nomenclature games going on in the land of beer, maybe Dayton should just start laying claim to that name now. Huzzah, my CDA-drinking compadres!

114. Rockit Cup Black India Session Ale
9 lbs. MFB Pale
½ lb. Breiss Caramel 80
½ lb. Breiss White Wheat
6 oz. Crisp Pale Chocolate

Mashed @ 152° F w/3 ½ gallons of RO water and 2 g. gypsum for 60 minutes; added 6 oz. of Weyerman Carafa Special III to mash at vorlauf; collected 2 ¼ gallons @ 1.066
Batch sparged @ 167° F w/4 gallons RO water and 2 g. gypsum for 20 minutes; collected 3 ¾ gallons @ 1.028

Collected 6 gallons; added ½ gallon, brought to a boil (60 minutes) & added:
w/20 to go: 1 ¼ oz. Citra leaf 13.4% AA

w/15 to go: 1 tsp. Irish Moss

w/5 to go: 1 oz. Citra leaf 13.4% AA
1 oz. Willamette leaf 4.8% AA

w/0 to go: 1 ½ oz. Citra leaf 13.4% AA
1 ¾ oz. Willamette leaf 4.8% AA

Chilled, racked to carboy; pitched Wyeast 1272 American Ale II

Brewed: 4/17/2012 @ 68° F
Secondary: 4/25/2012 @ 1.014; dry hopped w/ ½ oz. Citra leaf 13.4% AA and ½ oz. Willamette leaf 4.8% AA
Bottled: 5/1/2012 w/ 3.1 oz. table sugar; bottled 2 ½ gallons, added 5 oz. Press coffee concentrate (114b.) and bottled the remaining 2 ½ gallons

OG: 1.049
FG: 1.014

Tasting Notes (6/19/2012): I’d offer notes in regards to the Rockit Cup, but I didn’t take any; I think there were four people, and I didn’t win—I got third, if I recall correctly, but that is about it. Which is probably about right. But tonight is about the tasting, both the regular and the coffee version back to back. The regular version (114) features citrus and lemon zest in the nose, coupled with chocolate and a touch of roasted malt, while the coffee version (114b) foregrounds coffee and earthy cocoa followed by roast. Both pour the exact same color of rich chocolate; 114b holds its head slightly better than 114, but it is pretty much a wash otherwise. 114 opens with citrus and caramel in the front; the middle adds chocolate and a touch of roast as well as hop bitterness, while the finish has a touch of earthy mint and chalky hop bitterness—this beer has settled since the last time I tried it, and is not as popping and fresh with the hop character. Still, it is tasty. 114b is coffee and sweet cocoa up front, giving way to chocolate and caramel in the middle; the hop bitterness is there in the middle, but the coffee masks some of it. It does come out more in the finish, ending with a pleasant coffee flavored bitterness coupled with a touch of roast that is enjoyable. 114 is probably a better beer, but I like 114b better. In regards to mouthfeel, both are medium bodied and gently carbonated; 114b is slightly creamier and more rounded on the tongue, with a touch of chalkiness that tastes like it is coffee derived—another slight intangible that helps set 114b apart. Both of these beers have confirmed that I like the idea of a Black IPA more than I actually like Black IPAs, Heart of Darkness not included. Still, both versions of the beer (along with the Press Coffee Black IPA) have been an interesting experiment in style parameters. Which is really just a fancy way of saying that I’m ready to get back to brewing the odd and esoteric beers that I do so love and crave.

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