Thursday, January 7, 2016

Fruit-forward IPAs

Experimenting with hops, I've found that I like fruit-forward IPAs; in this instance, what I'm referring to is fruit aromas and taste that derives solely from hops, not the addition of fruit to the beer.  An IPA doesn't need to be overpoweringly bitter, with in-your-face pine resin or grapefruit-citrus.  Sure, some like an IPA that way, and I've enjoyed a few myself that are that way...they usually come with names like "hop-pocalypse" or "molotov hop-tail".  

I ran across this recipe for a juicy-fruit IPA, and I recently had an opportunity to try the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Tropical IPA, based on Citra, Mosaic, and El Dorado hops.

I've done a couple of fruit-forward IPAs myself...the still unnamed IPA (I'm referring to it as "hop bomb" at the moment), a Melon + Galaxy IPA (huge thanks to Mr Rufus Brewing for the recipe idea...), the Mandarina IPA, and most recently, a Calyspo IPA.  Each of these has come out really well (still waiting to do dry hop #2 for the Calypso IPA, so it will be a bit longer), and I've enjoyed them without the addition of fruit (juice, rind/zest to the beer).  These beers have been sort of my version of DuClaw's Hop Continuum series, with beers often being described as "unique".

I haven't always done just straight hopped-up beers.  I really enjoyed the first grapefruit IPA I brewed, and that was a combination of hops and grapefruit zest.

So, the "hop bomb" IPA I made turned out really well...and I mean, REALLY well.  Several of the folks who've tried it all have two things in common...they don't care for IPAs, and they really liked it. The consensus has been that both the aroma and flavor of the beer are rife with berries, and on the sweet fruit side.

From NorthernBrewer:

Mosaic - "Mosaic™ is so named because it gives a range of aromas and flavors which are complimentary to other common hop aromas. Everything from citrus, pine, earth, herbal, mint, bubblegum, blueberry, lime peel, black pepper - the character seems to change depending upon the conditions it is in."

Brewer's Gold - "German Brewer's Gold is a moderate alpha bittering hop with spicy, fruity, and black currant character."

HBC-438 - "Expect prominent tropical and stone fruits, herbal, spicy, a subtle cedar note in the aroma."

Being a small batch home brewer, the "reviews" pretty much mean that that beer is all gone (I tend to average about 9 bottles per gallon), so I thought that with some time I have available, I'll make two batches.  I'm going to use the same recipe and hopping schedule for both batches, and I'm also going to continue with the two-step dry hopping (started with the Calypso IPA) and see how that affects the final results.
Brew Day #2 Starting off...

Brew Day #1: 7 Jan 2016
Brew Day #2: 8 Jan 2016

Music To Brew By
Something else to add...while watching an episode of BrewTV, Wil Wheaton mentioned that along with his brewing notes, he also makes a note of the music he listens to while brewing.  I have my workout music on my iPod, and I like to listen to some of the music while brewing and bottling, so here goes:

Disturbed - Sound of Silence
FatBoy Slim - Weapon of Choice
AC/DC - Thunderstuck

I've also got a mix of Van Halen (NOT "Van Haggar"), Poison, Ozzy (Crazy Train, and Close Your Eyes Forever with Lita Ford), Linkin Park, Family Force 5 (Zombie), and Skillet.  I've even got the entire soundtrack from Highlander (all Queen/Freddie Mercury) mixed in there, as well.

Partial Mash:
8 oz Rahr 2-row malt
4 oz Gambrinus honey malt
4 oz Munich
1 oz CaraPils

*I followed my usual partial mash process.

Boil (60 min):
1 lb Munton's Plain Extra Light DME
6 g Mosaic (AA: 12.1%) (@ 60 min)

Hop Schedule:
 15 min   0 min   DH #1  DH #2 
Mosaic             (AA: 12.1%) 4 g 4 g 5 g 5 g
HBC-438         (AA: 15.7%) 4 g 4 g 3 g 3 g
Brewer's Gold (AA: 5.9%) 4 g 4 g 7 g 7 g

Yeast: Safbrew US-05

*I followed my usual process for cooling the wort and pitching the yeast.

9 Jan: Fermenters
Addendum, 9 Jan: Checked in on the fermenters during my morning routine; was greeted to a cacophony of bubbling.  The two "hopbombs" have the blow-off tubes; the one in the back is #1, and has been there for about 36 hrs.  The one in front is #2 and has been there for about 11 hrs at this point.

The other two fermenters are doing well.  The golden one in the back is the abbaye, and the one to the far left is the Calypso IPA, due for dry hop #2 today.

Addendum, 18 Jan: Dry hop #1 for both fermenters today.  Both were pretty clear, and a nice golden red color when I transferred them into clean, sanitized fermenters and on the hop pellets.  I've got the hops for dry hop #2 measured and ready to go.

Addendum, 20 Jan: Dry hop #2 for both fermenters; bottling on Fri afternoon.

Addendum, 22 Jan: Bottled tonight, each with 1.1 oz of table sugar dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water; got almost 18 bottles out of it.  From the first fermenter, I got one bottle that was almost completely full, and from the second I got one bottle that was just over half full.  I'm really looking forward to tasting this in two weeks, although I still don't have a name for it.  I wrote "BG" on the labels, for "Brewer's Gold", but maybe after I taste it I'll come up with a name.

No comments:

Post a Comment