Friday, March 22, 2013

Rock-it Cup Single Hop Session IPA Brewday

Boom! Pow! Bang! Rockit Cup to the rescue! Two years of pushing people to better understand their brewing process. It’s like therapy, only better. Because this one gets you straight liquid gold. Here’s to April’s single hop beer tasting, to more pushing of the craft and science of brewing, and to more of the fun and hijinx that is the Rockit Cup!

142. Rock-it Cup Single Hop Session IPA
8 ½ lbs. Rahr 2-row
1 lb. lb. Dingemans Cara 8
½ lb. Breiss White Wheat

Mash @ 150° F for 60 minutes w/ 3 gallons of RO water & 2 g. gypsum; collected 2 gallons @ 1.080
Batch sparge @ 168° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water & 2 g. gypsum; collected 4 gallons @ 1.030

Collected 6 gallons; added ¾ gallon RO water, brought to a boil (60 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: ¾ oz. Comet 11.0% AA

w/20 to go: 1 oz. Comet 11.0% AA

w/5 to go: 1 ½ oz. Comet 11.0% AA

w/0 to go: 1 ½ oz. Comet 11.0% AA

Let stand for 15 minutes; chilled, racked to carboy, & pitched Wyeast 1272 American II

Brewed: 3/22/2013 @ 70° F
Secondary: 3/28/2013 @ 1.012; dry hop w/ 1 oz. Comet 11.0% AA
Bottled: 4/6/2013 w/ 2.85 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.054
FG: 1.010

Tasting Notes (4/27/2013): This is a combined tasting of 133. ECYFarmhouse Brett Saison w/ Comet and 142. Rockit Cup Single Hop Session IPA w/Comet: I wanted to see how Comet compared in the two styles. Both beers pour different shades of tan; the Saison is clearer and has more tan in it, while the IPA is slightly hazy and more of a dull gold. Both have a white head, with the saison having better retention and coverage—it is silkier and provides Belgian lacing on the glass. The nose of the Saison is a mix of resin and citrus, which includes mineral, lemon zest, orange flower, and dried orange as well as some spicy earthiness and just the hint of brett leather beginning to show. The IPA is more citrus forward, with peach, mango, passion fruit, and over-ripe pear—it much more tangy, although the spicy earthiness is lurking in the background. The Saison opens with cracker and toast malt with mineral hop tang and citrus; it further dries out in the middle and has a gentle cleansing bitterness that lingers into the finish. The earthiness and lemon zest start in the middle and run into the finish, and there is slight tart lemon citrus bite in the finish followed by the lingering bitterness and an earthy brett dryness. The carbonation is lively but not bright, although the beer itself has bright, crisp flavors even with the dry body. With the IPA, opening flavors are a kiss of caramel and orange marmalade; there is the same mineral tang as in the saison, but this one has more of a resin citrus bite to it. The middle is spicy resin bitterness mixed with pear and mango before giving way to bright, clean finish that features an ever-so-faint evergreen tang along with a gentle but assertive bitterness. This beer has more body and more hop flavor, but the underlying bitterness is strikingly similar between the two. I do get a slight gumminess from the wheat in the IPA that I don’t find in the Saison, which is surprising given that there is twice the wheat (1 lb. as compared to ½ lb.) in the Saison. While both the ½ lb. of oatmeal and the more attenuative yeast in the Saison helps account for the difference, the perception on the palate is still interesting to contemplate in relation to the differences in the malt profile. Still, when focusing on the shared hop between these two beers, I think that Comet has components that make it equally viable in both styles. There is a slight earthy gaminess behind the citrus and tropical fruit that may throw off some people, but it still finishes clean and bright. While I want to say I prefer the Saison to the IPA, I can’t honestly admit that: each beer plays to different strengths in regards to this hop. The Saison foregrounds the earthy components of the hop (and it is a bit longer in the tooth), while the IPA highlights the complex citrus and tropical fruit aspects of it. Either way, I’m hooked: Comet is the hop de jour at this house.

No comments:

Post a Comment