Saturday, January 26, 2013

Thanksgiving IPA - Review - Albeit a Late One

Appearance - A golden blonde, very clear but a slight hint of haze (hop oils?) thin wispy head (low carb) that dissipates quickly but leaves a thin layer of bubbles and lacing all the way down the glass

Aroma - Citrus! with a hint of pine. Loads of tangerine, orange, grapefruit and pineapple!

Taste- Big hit of citrus when it first hits your mouth, a very smooth bitterness quickly follows, it finishes with a huge dose of pineapple juice alongside some biscuity/caramelly malt backbone that's just the perfect amount to balance the bite of the bitterness

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation (cask levels) which helps to keep the beer extremely smooth, medium bodied, and very silky

Drinkability - I love this beer, but at 6.5% (tad higher than normal for me) it starts to kick in quite a bit quicker than usual, but even with this its hard to stop from pulling another pint or two

Notes/Thoughts - It just must be this time of year because in late fall and winter I really crave a good IPA.  As usual this one did not let me down, and in fact was loved by everyone at Thanksgiving dinner.  The bitterness really helped to cut through all the rich food served.  The hop combo (Citra, Amarillo, Simcoe, Cascade) is something I definitely will use again, and the tapioca starch worked like a charm to think out the Marris Otter while leaving quite a bit of malty flavors

Brewday - 11/14/2012 - Recipe & Notes

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Belma the Husky Blonde

I recently got my order of hops for this year, and one of the new ones I picked up was Belma from HopsDirect.  I'm sure a lot of other people out there got them as well, I mean for $5 it was hard to pass up a pound of hops!  However like some of the other new varieties Ive tried from HopsDirect, there really isn't much info out there about how these new hops will taste. So I thought, why not try a sole hop beer (not really that uncommon for me) that will hopefully highlight the taste and bitterness of Belma.

I decided that I would use a fairly basic grist of Pilsner, but for a long time Ive really wanted to add oats to a pale blonde-type beer.  I figured this would be a great chance. Now I don't really know how well the oaty flavors will pair with citrus-like hops, and I really actually think that something like EKGs or Strisselspalt would work better, but I did it anyway.  Sometimes you just have to take a chance.  The combination did leave me with what I think is a great name for the beer, a hearty mouthfeel from the oats and hopefully a strong hoppy presence from the Belma.

One last thing I did on this beer, and something Ive been playing with more lately is adjust the water profile.  This time however I basically made my own water, although I still added in 1qt of tap water (micronutrients).  The water profile I shot for was one that would emphasize the maltiness and was balanced for the pale color of this beer.  Ive included the water profile (sans tap water addition below the recipe)

Belma the Husky Blonde
Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
1.0Flaked Oats
Amt (oz)TypeTime
0.25Belma (12.1%)60
0.75Belma (12.1%)10
1.0Belma (12.1%)5
1.0Belma (12.1%)KO
Mash Schedule
170F2.0qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastLondon ESB 1968 Slurry x 800mL starter
84% effIBU27
6.5gal BoilFG-
Notes: Water Profile:  135-Ca: 6-Mg: 85-Na: 179-Cl: 136-SO4 (mg/L)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Chocolate Saison - Review

So time go the better of me again and I never got around to adding the homemade candy syrup to this beer.  Guess I'll have to test the chocolaty flavors in another brew.  Essentially this review boils down to two variables I'm testing out.
  1. Testing the chocolate flavors of boricha/mugicha in another beer
  2. Wyeast French Saison yeast

Appearance - Black with dark brown highlights, dense beige head that leaves substantial lacing in the glass and a thin wisp on top of the beer

Aroma - Chocolate!! tons of chocolate, not much yeast or hop smell

Taste - Very dry, strong dark chocolate flavor. Minimal yeast derived flavors, which is very disappointing, slight hints of coffee.  

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation, with a very silky smooth body.  slightly too carbonated for my tastes

Drinkability - Tastes exactly like a strong really dark chocolate, good all around beer but I would really like a tad more sweetness and a bit more yeasty flavors. 

Notes/Thoughts - The French saison yeast is very very bland compared to the Dupont strain.  Contrary to what lots of people say Ive never had any difficulty getting Dupont to finish quickly.  Any extra effort you have to give to use the Dupont strain its well worth it after tasting the blandness that is the French Saison yeast.  I really don't think I'll ever use it again, blech.  As for the boricha, it is extremely chocolaty again, I think Ive found it takes a bit of time aging for the flavors to really come out.  This time around I decided to add 1tsp of vanilla when I kegged the beer.  Its not enough to taste but really accentuates the chocolate flavors

Brewday - 8/18/2012 -  Recipe & Notes

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