Wednesday, March 27, 2013

2nd Place Review: IPA

Every so often you get that itch, you know the one I'm talking about, the craving for hops.  Some of us always have that itch, others float between flavor cravings.  I have found myself to have a fairly diversified palate, but I always love a good IPA.  And there is no better IPA than the one you brewed fresh yourself.  On this beer I was looking for a big fruity hop punch with lots of tropical and juicy fruits, low citrus, and a big piney background, with a restrained malt presence.  That's what I got.

Pours a deep gold almost orange, clearish but still hazy from the dryhops, creamy and thick white head.  This beer glows.  The foam stays the distance, and leaves sticky lacing all down the glass.

Smells like tropical punch!  Lots of mango and pineapple, touch of peaches, resin, and pine.  Not really getting much citrus fruits, but this is a fruit bomb.  Makes you wonder what fruits are in the beer, but there isn't any.

Flavor mirrors the smell.  Lots of pine hits first, with a lingering of tropical fruits.  The finish is a little off, leaving a mild overripe peaches flavor that isn't too appealing, but it is mild enough that it doesn't make the beer off-putting.  Lots of fruit and resin.  Restrained malt, with a touch of toasty malt.  Some honey notes.

Medium-Light body with a dryish finish, not super dry like I had hoped for.  Bitterness is there, but a little restrained for the estimated 92 IBUs, more like 60s?  The hops coat the tongue leaving it sticky.  Carbonation is a little prickly and helps cleanse the palate.

I really like this IPA.  Good burst of fruity hops, pine, resin, tropics, complex layers, sticky hops, good color and head.  It does need to finish dryer and have a higher bitterness to get it to pop more.  It borders on a highly hopped Pale Ale with a higher ABV.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Increased Output: Multiple Beers With Minimal Effort

I learned early on that I needed to find a way to brew more beer without taking away more time from my family and ministry.  Although this seems impossible, I found a trick that has allowed me to double my output while keeping my brew schedule light.  I began doing this in my 5th month of brewing and have used it a lot ever since.  Basically, make one beer into 2 (or more).  There are a couple options for doing this, some require a little more time and effort, others are no more difficult than making a single 10 gallon batch.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Recipe: Becca's Bavarian (German Hefeweisse)

Every so often you hit it spot on.  Everything comes together to make a magical concoction of malt, hops, and yeast.  My Bavarian Hefe that I brewed nearly 2 years ago was such a beer.  The perfect flavor blend of banana and cloves, a smidgen of vanilla, light, bready, highly carbonated, effervescent   My wife loved it, as did I, and it was sad to see it go.  I have longed to brew it again, and my wife has longed for the day I would.  On Valentine's Day she gave me my present, an extra brew day to make my Hefeweissen, and a twist, she wanted me to teach her to brew it.  Sweet!  

Friday, March 1, 2013

!!FAILED!! Hop Taco Revisited... AGAIN!

After my latest Hop Taco failed on brew day during a 10 gallon IPA using my brand new pump, I decided to make another one, bigger, and less tightly woven to maybe keep it from clogging again.  Needless to say, after buying a larger SS mesh strainer, pulling it apart, threading it with brass wire, and cutting up my fingers, and attaching it once again to my kettle, it too, failed the test of a 10 gallon hoppy beer.  Guess I am moving to another option, again!