Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wontonamo Bay (batch 2) IPA tasting

Ah, a day off. I don't get enough of these right now, and I'm enjoying it! I haven't left the house or even put on real pants for that matter. I am wearing Clarissa's pajama bottoms because mine are in the wash. But you don't want to know about about a homebrew tasting?

Aroma: Piney, spicy, slightly oily hops, some general citrus/fruit aromatics with a little grapefruit. Fairly dank, with a light caramel malty note, very clean/background malt aroma, no diacetyl, clean fermentation profile with clean alcohol.

Appearance: Very clear, deep copper with moderate carbonation. Wispy white head, but OK retention, would probably persist longer if carbonation were higher. The finings seem to have helped the clarity quite a bit compared to my previous hop-hazed beers (which I really don't mind at all).

Flavor: Full-on hop blast in the first sip, a lot of flavor hops going on here. I get a little onion from the summit, an overall spicy, herbacious and piney flavor, a little grapefruit. Malt is very clean, just a touch of caramel malts let the hops really come forward. Bitterness has calmed a bit since it was first brewed, but it is still has a clean, bitter, slightly woody finish with just a touch of residual sweetness. A little flavor contribution from the Carapils. I swear there is a distinct flavor to beers with Carapils, even though most people would tell you it just adds body. A bit of alcohol at the end, but hey, this is an alcoholic beverage. It's not hot or bitey.

Mouthfeel: Slight slickness or creamyness from some residual sugars, great bubblyness, crisp finish with a little hop astringency.

Overall: I think this beer has really gotten better with a little time, and it's definitely the best IPA I have ever made. But that is compared to a lot of IPA's that just seemed to be too balanced or problematic in other ways. I'm not really sure if I would change anything. I need to drink more of it to find out! It's pairing nicely with my rustic lunch of homemade bread, sharp cheddar and stilton.

In all likelihood, with my current work schedule, I won't be doing any homebrewing for the next month or so. That will be my biggest break since moving out to Oregon. So, until I get some new brews going, I'm going to try to update the blog about once a week with a beer tasting of something that I've already brewed. I hope to get back to homebrewing at least once a month by May, and really just concentrate on brewing 10 gallon batches of lower alcohol, drinkable beers, or doing sours or strong beers that I can brew and forget about for a while.

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