Saturday, September 28, 2013

Summer IPA Tasting

Now that I've got the first fall seasonal beer brewed, I suppose it is past time to post some tasting notes for the IPA I brewed a back at the start of summer.

Firefly IPA

Appearance - Slightly hazy, orange-yellow with a thick, foamy white head.

Aroma - Fresh grapefruit and ripe melon. 100% hops. The Amarillo, Cascade, Citra and Motueka hops really work well together. The Motueka hops bring some non-citrusy fruitiness that adds another dimension to the aroma.

Flavor - Firm bitterness that lingers just long enough. "Grapefruit juice" definitely comes to mind. Nice dry, clean finish. Just enough malt to prevent the hops to becoming overly harsh. There's a slight hint of sulfur in there too, which I imagine is derived from the hops - it is just barely noticeable and does not detract from the flavor.

Mouthfeel - high carbonation, dry and slightly prickly on the tongue - perfect for a hot day.

Overall - I am very, very pleased with this beer, especially given it was my first-ever IPA attempt. I drank this almost daily there for a while. For my tastes this IPA had an excellent balance between being nice and hoppy withouth being overly bitter. I suppose it would fall on the "lower" side of the IPA scale, which is exactly what I was looking for.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Autumn Brown Ale

This is, by far, my favorite time of year.  Crisp, sunny days and cool breezy nights.  The summer vegetable garden is winding down and the leaves are starting to turn colors.  Temperatures are perfect for brewing too.

It just feels right to brew something darker and maltier as the days start to grow shorter.  One of my favorite Autumn commercial beers is Sierra Nevada's Tumbler , so I thought I'd try my hand at making something similar.  This is not an attempt at a clone exactly - though I did use info on Sierra Nevada's website to help guide my recipe.  I was looking for something rich and malty, something where the hops take a supporting role to the roasted malts.  I actually had hoped to brew this up at the beginning of the month so that it would be just about ready for the start of the fall season, but, as usual, time got away from me.  Still, it will be a good beer to have as the weather continues to cool down.

Abscission Ale
brewed on 9/19/13

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 3.75 gal
Estimated Color: 22.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 28.3 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
OG: 1.050
FG: 1.018
ABV: 4.2%

6 lbs Pale Malt, UK - 80.3 %
12.0 oz Brown Malt - 10.0 %
6.0 oz Crystal Malt (45L) - 5.0 %
4.0 oz Chocolate Malt (450L) - 3.3 %
1.5 oz Smoked Malt - 1.3 %

14 g Challenger [5.70 %] - 60.0 min
14 g Challenger [5.70 %] - 15.0 min
14 g EKG [5.70 %] - 15.0 min

California Ale (White Labs #WLP001)

Mash Schedule
Single infusion, 153ºF, batch sparge

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