Stone – IPA

Stone - IPAIt’s Day 7 of the #12BeersOfXmas and it’s another from Stone.

Stone – IPA (6.9%, 12oz bottle)

This one pours a light orange in colour, with a light fluffy white head and medium carbonation.

The aroma is a lot more delicate than I expected – light floral, citrus notes combined with equally light pine and resin, it’s really quite delicate and pleasant.

The delicate nature of the aroma is matched in the flavour also, light orange, grapefruit and other citrus characters backed up by a piney resinous punch and a little bit of biscuity malt. This is much more subtle than the other Stone beers I’ve had in the past, and I have to say it’s better for it – this is a real delight to drink.

This is a fantastic IPA, not at all headline grabbing and extreme, just delicate, well balanced and wonderfully made. If you can get hold of one do it, do it now!

BrewDog – IPA is Dead, Dana

IPA is Dead, DanaMy first of this years batch of IPA is dead…

Appearance – Pretty much the same as all the other IPA is Dead beers (shocker). Orange, hazy, creamy white head.

Aroma – Earthy… Reminds me a bit of digging up the garden, but add to that, there’s a distinct cheesy aroma in there, like a cheddar that’s just a little past it’s best.

Flavour – Again earthy, and with a hint of orange and other citrus fruits. Not entirely unpleasant if you can get past the cheesy smell.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied. Well carbonated and feels quite sharp on the tounge.

Overall – Hmmm, not enjoying this one to be honest. It’s like someone has taken a pretty average IPA and dropped a sweaty sock in it after a long hard running session. Fingers crossed the other three are a vast improvement.

BrewDog – IPA is Dead, Motueka

BrewDog - IPA is Dead Motueka

This is my third bottle of the IPA is Dead series, hailing from New Zealand – Motueka.

Aroma – There’s a really strong piney resin nose to this one, coupled with a light hint of grapefruit.

Appearance – Deep orange, with a slightly off white head and just a little bit hazy.

Flavour – Much like the aroma, it’s got a real piney deep flavour with a background hint of grapefruit and citrus. It’s also slightly sweet, but not enough to leave a bad feeling in your mouth.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied with slight carbonation – just enough for it to sparkle on the tongue.

Overall – This is really quite a pleasant IPA, strong, hoppy and flavourful.

Would I buy more? – Yes, I do believe I would if BrewDog ever make some more.

BrewDog – IPA is Dead, HBC

Hmmm, I fancied a nice IPA tonight so i’m breaking out another one of the BrewDog IPA is Dead beers.  This time it’s the North American hop, HBC.

Aroma – Soft pine/resin and slight hints of citrus and malt.

Appearance – Much like the Challenger, golden orange in colour and slightly hazy. Nice white head formation.

Flavour – Pine and resin matching the aroma, but followed up with a complex fruity character.

Mouthfeel – Medium body and carbonation.  Smooth drinking with a great dry finish.

Overall – Much nicer than the Challenger, it’s a more balanced and rounded beer, and a good showcase for the HBC hops.

Would I buy more? – I could quite happily drink this one again, it’s not the best IPA i’ve ever had, but it is nice.

Single Hop IPA – Galaxy – Results

Here’s the results of my first attempt at an IPA. The brew day (and the bottling session) was a bit of a cock-up but thankfully the beer has turned out really well!

Aroma – A slight yeasty aroma (most likely due to the crud in the bottom of each bottle), but this is masked mostly by a really powerful tropical fruit and citrus aroma.

Appearance – If you pour it right and avoid getting any of the crap out of the bottles it’s a clear light orange/brown colour, with a creamy white head.

Flavour – Matching the aroma for big big fruit flavours – citrus, kiwi, banana and a sweet maltiness too.

Mouthfeel – Light to medium body, good carbonation.

Overall – This has to be the best beer I’ve brewed yet, and it’s a bloody nice IPA to boot – once you manage to separate the beer from the crud that is!

Would I brew it again? – Oh yes, I’ve already ordered another bag of galaxy hops!  This turned out way better than I expected, the next time i’ll make sure I have a better brew day and manage to bottle more…

Flying Dog – Snake Dog IPA

Aroma – Not really much of an aroma to be honest. Only very slight notes of malt/caramel and hoppy resin.

Appearance – Gold with an orange tint, and crystal clear. It also has a bright white head that stayed around nicely.

Flavour – Slightly malty, very piney and a medium-dry finish. Not really much of a citrus character, but a good medium-high hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied and quite high carbonation giving a dry feeling in the mouth. There’s a slight warmth in the aftertaste.

Overall – An average American IPA. Drinkable, but not awesome.

Would I buy more? – It’s ok, I might buy another one in the future, but I don’t think it’d be a regular…

BrewDog – IPA is Dead, Challenger

I really enjoyed BrewDog’s IPA is Dead series when I sampled the latest run at their bar in Camden, so I decided to buy them in bottled form just so I could see if they differed in any way to the kegged counterpart.

This is the first one I’ve gotten around to cracking open – the English hop, Challenger.

Aroma – Very soft citrus, but strong pine/resin notes.

Appearance – Golden orange in colour and slightly hazy. Nice white head formation.

Flavour – Strong resin, piney flavours, not much in the way of citrus. The most overwhelming characteristic of this beer is the bitterness – it’s very bitter, almost bordering on harsh, followed by a very dry finish.  As it warmed up (and I got into it) it almost reminded me of Stone’s Ruination IPA in the flavour and bitterness.

Mouthfeel – Dry and smooth with moderate carbonation, medium bodied.

Overall – Not an amazing example of an american IPA, but quite interesting. The bitterness is too strong though on this one…

Would I buy more? – Nah.  It was nice to experience, (as it was on keg), but I wouldn’t like this as a regular beer – BrewDog have done much better.

The Kernel – India Pale Ale Galaxy

Aroma – Intense. Strong grapefruit, citrus and floral notes.

Appearance – Dark apricot-like orange in colour and quite hazy with a very thin white head.

Flavour – Super hoppy, with a character that matches the aroma – fruity, citrus and floral. Quite bitter an dry, and the dryness lingers in the finish.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, but not very well carbonated.

Overall – An awesome IPA!

Would I Buy More? – This is one of the best beers I’ve had in a while – most definitely yes!

Single Hop IPA – Galaxy

Let me get this out there, I love IPA’s; English, American, Imperial, it doesn’t matter, it’s rare that i’ll find an IPA that I don’t like (Greene King – i’m looking at you >:-/ ).  So it’s quite odd that I haven’t got around to brewing an IPA yet…

This changed a couple of weekends ago with my first batch – I thought i’d try a single hop American style IPA with one of my current favourite hops – galaxy.  Thank BrewDog and their recent IPA is Dead series for the inspiration on this one.

Recipe: Single Hop IPA - Galaxy
Style: American IPA
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 20.59 l
Post Boil Volume: 18.55 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 15.00 l   
Bottling Volume: 15.49 l
Estimated OG: 1.062 SG
Estimated Color: 16.0 EBC
Estimated IBU: 75.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 89.2 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
1.89 kg               Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (3.9 EBC)            Grain         1        47.5 %        
1.88 kg               Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC)         Grain         2        47.4 %        
0.20 kg               Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (157.6 EBC)   Grain         3        5.0 %         
22.07 g               Galaxy [15.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop           4        41.3 IBUs     
29.81 g               Galaxy [15.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min         Hop           5        33.7 IBUs     
0.50 tsp              Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins)              Fining        6        -             
1.0 pkg               British Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1335) [124. Yeast         7        -             
46.00 g               Galaxy [15.00 %] - Dry Hop 14.0 Days     Hop           8        0.0 IBUs      


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body
Total Grain Weight: 3.97 kg
----------------------------
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 11.50 l of water at 71.4 C          64.4 C        75 min        
Mash Out          Add 6.72 l of water at 98.0 C           75.6 C        10 min        

Sparge: Fly sparge with 7.36 l water at 75.6 C

Photos:

Notes / Measurements:

Brewed on 7th April 2012

Before we move on, here’s a PSA – always check your equipment!!!  Somehow I managed to forget this golden rule resulting in me (a) putting 4 kg of grain in the mashtun when the false bottom was not properly attached to the drainage pipe, and (b) proceeding to put in the first batch of mash liquor with the drainage tap open on the mashtun…

So, one slightly moist carpet later I went on ok with the mash, but when it came time to run off the wort and sparge nothing was coming out!!!  Not such a good start to the brew day.  So, I had to scoop out the water and grain into another container to realise my error (the false bottom wasn’t attached) – once fixed I got all the grain and the mash liquor back into the mashtun and got to sparging.  I managed to retain 24 litres of wort, with a pre-boil OG of 1.050 (target was 1.054 so we’ll call this close enough – I was just glad to be this far)!

Thankfully the boil was pretty much uneventful and all went to plan, ending up with 16.5 litres going into the fermenter with a post-boil OG of 1.057, again this was slightly below target (1.062), but I wasn’t too unhappy with that.

After pitching the yeast there was good fermentation going after 12 hours.  I transferred the wort into the secondary fermenter (a pressure barrel) after 4 days.

After 10 days in the barrel it was time to bottle, the FG came in at 1.018, which is quite a bit higher than expected, so we’re looking at about 5.1% ABV, maybe the yeast will still get a little bit of work done in the bottles. In preparation for bottling, I added 180g of light dry malt extract to the barrel for priming, and then after a short while got down to filling my first few bottles, now here’s where it all went wrong again…

After the fourth bottle nothing else was coming out of the barrel – the taps and pipes were blocked with all the hops used for dry hopping!  I ended up having to siphon all of the beer out and only managed to fill about 20 bottles (10 litres). 🙁

The bottles have been sitting for nearly a week now and they’re starting to clear a bit, but there’s some nasty looking crud at the bottom of a few of them – fingers crossed it’ll all taste ok!  Next time i’ll work on putting a filter over the tap in the barrel. 🙂

As usual, tasting notes etc to come once the beer is ready to drink…

Goose Island IPA

Taste – Caramel malty sweetness mixed with a citrus/grapefruit flavour from the hops, it also has a slight spiciness to it. It’s quite different to your normal American IPA, there’s more depth to it than just malt and a fist full of hops.

Aroma -Malty, fruity, spicy goodness. This smells not too dissimilar to a batch of home brewed english ale sitting in the fermenter (this is a good smell).

Appearance – Dark golden amber, slightly hazy, not overly carbonated.

Would I buy more? – I think I most probably will be buying some more of this when I fancy a slightly different American IPA.