Friday, November 13, 2015

Unnamed IPA, or "Hop Bomb"

A bit ago, I ran across a lone ounce package of Brewer's Gold hops at a local home brew supply store, and something compelled me to grab it and find something to do with it.  I know, I admit...I have a problem.  While described as a bittering hop (at 10.5% AA, I get it...), it can also impart a "spicy aroma" that is described as having a "black currant" characteristic.  I thought this might make a nice aromatic/flavor addition to an IPA using Mosaic hops.

I also have some (14 g) HBC-438 hops left over from a previous single hop brew, so this may be a good opportunity to use it up.  Also, it would be a good counterpoint...see what the single hop beer is like when contrasted to this one.

Brew Day: 13 Nov 2015

Partial Mash:
8 oz 2-Row malt
5.5 oz Weyermann CaraRed
5.0 oz Briess GoldPils
1.0 oz Briess CaraPils

Just to be clear, the malt bill for the partial mash had more to do with what I had left/available than anything else.

*I used my usual partial mash process.

Boil (60 min):
1 lb Pilsen DME (@ 60 min)
3 oz corn sugar (@ 60 min)

7 g Mosaic (12.1% AA) (@ 60 min)
3 g HBC-438 (15.7% AA), 4 g Mosaic (12.1% AA), 4 g Brewer's Gold (10.5% AA) (@ 15 min)
3 g HBC-438 (15.7% AA), 4 g Mosaic (12.1% AA), 4 g Brewer's Gold (10.5% AA) (@ 0 min)

Yeast: Safale US-05

*Followed my usual process for the boil, as well as for aerating and pitching the yeast.

Addendum, 14 Nov:  Checked on the fermenter this morning, about 11 hrs after pitching the yeast.  Things are looking good, as you can see from the picture to the right.  Nice activity through the blow-off tube, some material collecting in the blow-off bottle.  You can't tell from the image, but there are lots of tiny bubbles rising up from the trube that's already settled at the bottom of the fermenter.  Things seem to be progressing very nicely at this point, we're off to a good start.

Addendum, 18 Nov: Activity had settled down enough for me to put an airlock on this one.

Addendum, 24 Nov: Dry hopped tonight.
Dry Hop:
6 g HBC-438 (15.7% AA), 4 g Mosaic (12.1% AA), 4 g Brewer's Gold (10.5% AA)

So far, looks like it's doing very well, and I'm looking forward to bottling this one next week.

Addendum, 1 Dec: Bottled, with 1 oz table sugar dissolved in 1/2 cup of boiling water.

Addendum, 15 Dec: Pours to a very light brown color, with moderate head and lacing.  Carbonation is good.  Sweet fruits or berries both on the nose and the palate.  A small bit of the malt peaks out from behind the hops, very slightly.  A small bit of pine in the aftertaste.  Definitely an IPA, but without an overpowering piney or citrus bitterness.  Very drinkable, and quite part because it's not like anything I've ever had an opportunity to taste.

Addendum, 25 Dec: My daughter's boyfriend came over and spent some time with us, and the rest of the family, and had one of these.  He's not a huge drinker, but liked it so much that he wanted another one!  My brother-in-law tried this one and really liked it.  I don't have any tasting notes at this point, because I didn't get to have one, but those who did try this one really liked it.

Addendum, 9 Aug: A bit ago, I found a 22 oz Belgian and three of these beers sitting in the back of a cabinet.  I tried one not long ago, but didn't do any updates.  I'm having another one tonight, and it's really good.  REALLY.  The beer is a golden amber color and poured with a nice, thick head.  The head dissipated during my first few sips, but there's some good lacing going on.  The flavor is distinctive...a light cedar flavor from the HBC-438 hops, with a little bit of fruit, but none of the sharp bitterness found in many commercial IPAs.  Very distinctive and enjoyable.

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