Over the past year, I have been developing an ale that started out as a big, citrus IPA. Overtime I kept dialing back the amount of bitterness and the IBU’s until I found a really nice balance. This is my second time brewing this beer exactly the same way, and it has turned out to be a homerun. Easy drinking, and everyone keeps refilling their glasses. Try it out! Cheers
Here is the review:
Appearance: a clear orange brown with a few hop particles floating around.
nose: The galaxy citrus aroma shines through with hints of melon and grapefruit. There is a malt sweetness underneath the floral characteristics that reminds me of biscuits and toasted bread.
Flavor: A mild but assertive hop bitterness that finishes easily, but with a noticeable hop finish. Very easy to drink
mouth feel: Medium bodied and a very balanced experience
overall: This tastes like it came from a brewery! looking forward to entering it into a competition in the future. 9/10
Here is the recipe:
10 lbs 2 row
1 lb crystal 40
.3 lb Honey Malt
.3 lb Vienna Malt
.3 lb Caramunich
.3 lb aromatic
stepped at 152 for 60 min.
.8 oz galaxy hop for first wort hop
1 oz cascade with 10 minutes left of boil
.5 ounce galaxy at flame out
.7 ounce galaxy for dry hop
British Ale yeast at 67 degrees
It was the fall of 2005 when I first walked into a beer tent in Munich. It was an experience of excess and awesomeness. People were everywhere and absolutely everyone was drinking copious amounts of delicious beer. Oktoberfest is much like a carnival for adults, and I was lucky enough see it.
Later that year, I began home brewing, with a goal being to recreate the beers that I drank at the festival. This has been a very frustrating process. When I first began brewing, I was like every other home brewer out there, not very familiar with proper sanitation practices and lacked any form of temperature control. I also didn’t understand the basics of pitching rate. Needless to say, I have made many Oktoberfests that have tasted like absolute crap.
Last year I put a lot of time working with this beer style. I made 3 batches of Oktoberfest, each through a different process. The first was a triple decoction, which is a very long process of taking some of the mash, boiling it, then throwing it back into the mash tun, which raises the mash temperature. Just add 3 hours to your brew day and you can do a decoction. The next approach was single infusion, using only 1 water addition to reach mash temp, and the last was extract. I found that a triple decoction made the best beer, but took forever for a very minimal gain. The single infusion brew was the smoothest with a very light malt character. Of course the extract example tasted the worse.
This year, I attempted to fuse the successes from the past. Instead of the triple decoction approach, I did a double step infusion, holding the grain bill at 146 for 60 minutes, then raising the mash to 158 for 20 before sparging at 160. Next time I plan on a double decoction, with a more diverse grain bill.
The beer ended up being a damn good lager, even though I am still working on the balance between Vienna malt and Munich malt. This style is finally being made well in my brewery, just a few more tweaks until I get to a finished beer!
Appearance:Perfectly clear with an amber brown color
Nose: sweet caramel nose with a slight toasted quality
Flavor: Smooth and sweet, big Munich malt flavor with a late noble hop finish
Mouthfeel: medium bodied and wonderfully carbonated
Overall: This is the first time I can even come close to being satisfied with my Oktoberfest, I give it a 7.5 / 10
This is a style of beer that I have been working on for the majority of this year. I think I am finally honing in on a very smooth IPA that focuses on late hop additions to give wonderful aroma but doesn’t hit very hard with bitterness. A very hoppy beer that you can also double as a guzzler. I’ve really fallen in love with using Galaxy hops for bittering hops, then a melody of Citra, Cascade, and Galaxy in the last 15 minutes. Dry hopped with 2 ounces of Citra to really bring out the citrus, grapefruit, and lemon character. I used British Ale 1 from Wyeast, which is my preferred yeast for IPA’s, due to its ability to emphasize hop characteristics in a beer.
Citrus IPA Tasting:
Nose: The scent comes up in the front with Citra characteristic, big lemon and citrus scents with some grapefruit underneath.
Appearance: Very cloudy with an amber brown color.
Taste: The beer begins with a smooth round bitterness that blends into a lemon/grapefruit flavor.
mouthfeel: medium bodied, more bitter than not, but very easy to drink.
overall: This is the way it should taste. Easy drinking citrus fruit that is mild enough to drink a few pints. 8.3/10
A good friend of mine wanted to get one more batch of brewing in before he moves far far far away to Mississippi and becomes a father. In a recent adventure, he stumbled upon a thai iced tea that was simply splendid. He decided to brew an extract pale ale with the thai tea. A pretty straight forward brew day, with only 1 hop addition of Galaxy at 60 min made this one of the easiest brew days I have had in a very long time. The tea went directly into the secondary fermentation after we brewed a strong cup of the tea. We brought it up to a camping trip and the keg went quickly.
Thai tea pale ale
appearance: a light orange brown color that is hazy. poor head
nose: a bunch of esters, but also a lot of tea and mint scents, kind of twangy
flavor: an earthy flavor that is a combination of the full flavored tea and the Galaxy hop bitterness, while dry, it is pleasant.
mouth feel: the tannin pushes the bitterness to a bit of astringency, but is still a very drinkable beer. medium bodied and needs more carbonation.
overall: not bad for an extract brew. next time, I would like to dry out the beer, ease up on the tea, and hop with an english hop like Willamette. 6.0 / 10
This last month has been a hectic one. The end of the school year is always a fun time and with the month of June comes a real urge to drink some awesome fruit beers. Being a beach bum summer guy, I really enjoy a whole bunch of tropically influence beers, and this is my latest attempt at one. This beer is a citrus hopped IPA with around 95 IBU’s of Warrior/Citra/Pacific Gem being added predominately in the last 15 min of the boil. After fermentation, I chopped up a whole pineapple that I had let “ripen” for about 1 -2 weeks and put that into a keg with the IPA. A month later, I transferred off the beer and tapped it, here is what it tasted like:
Appearance: A honey/ straw color that is semi clear with just a slight cloudiness, poor head retention, but highly carbonated
Nose: A big citrus nose with the Pineapple shinning brightly. Mango and apricot undertones.
Taste: A light beginning with a slight hop bitterness coming forward, followed by a big tropical finish. A bitter pith of grapefruit and tart pineapple end into a dry finish.
Mouthfeel: Balanced, but big. The dryness causes the taste to linger.
Overall: a bit too dry for what I was going for, but for a highly hopped IPA, it was pretty delicious. This will go great at the beach or a BBQ. 7/10. Add a lot more specialty grains next time.
With a warm winter, I am already having my hop plants come to life! My second year Nugget is growing very quickly and the Goldings (2nd year) is growing nicely. I also picked up some Willamette and Sterling. I’m planning on having a great shady spot underneath the hops to relax in this summer. Here are some pics
two weeks later:
and now the Nugget
This is a tremendous difference from last year, which didn’t see sprouts until may/june. I’m thanking a warm winter and a pleasant conversation about being happy hops every morning.
Brewing with coconut has been an a desire of mine for some time. I’ve only have had a few wonderful coconut beers, so this was my first shot in the dark. It tasted ok, but really, not too impressive. I toasted the dried coconuts on the stove for about 15 – 20 min before putting them into the secondary for about 10 days.
Appearance: A wonderful Dark brown that has a honey/amber undertone to it
Nose: Big time Chocolate and some coconut aromas. Malty with hints of dark fruit and plum
Taste: easy start with a big coconut, hop , dark chocolate mid flavor. the blend of flavors gave an almost metal taste. Kinda weird, but if i cut the hop character, I think it would just be coconut flavor
Mouthfeel: nice carb, but the flavor is a bit cloying
Overall: 6/10. Kick up the coconut and drop some hops. The base beer was a great start on this beer.
Oaked up front, unoaked in the back
15 min sorachi ace IPA
Oak vs unoaked
on a busy work day I decided to make a quick IPA, only a 15 min boil with 2 ounces of Sorachi Ace. I put half into a cask, the other half i kept plain.
Appearance: clear, amber brown with yellowish hue
Nose: sweet vanilla oak with very little hop character
Taste:tannin flavor that bends into an orange cream sickle. Orange grapefruit bitterness
Mouthfeel: low carb, but a quick dry finish
Overall: 7.9/10. Weird flavor, but delicious
Appearance: more cloudy than the oaked, but I have found that common when using carb tabs
Nose: hoppy citrus a plenty, in the great sorachi ace lemon/grapefruit flavors
Taste: a balanced bittering, but nothing on the end. Some more malt flavor would help, a light grapefruit finish
Mouthfeel: good carb, nice balance, good mouthfeel
Overall: good lingering hop flavor, pretty nice IPA