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Tasting – Micro-Ipa

06/02/2014

Micro_ipa2

Time to post a tasting of the Chinook-Centennial hopped “IPA” of 2,9% ABV. I’m very happy with the way this one turned out.

Appearance : Pours a coppery slightly cloudy body (probably the flaked rye) with a fluffy white head. A very nice lacing is left in the class. Not crystal clear but I feel it’s a nice looking pint given the high amount of hops and flaked rye in the recipe.

Smell: Very piney. There is a grapefruitiness and slight note of biscuity malt underneath but the main aroma is of pine resin, plain and simple.

Taste : A slight maltiness followed by a resin piney-spruce taste. There is a very firm bitterness but nothing over the top, it’s nicely “balanced” in the IPA sense of the word. The hop character is very nice but considering the high amount of aroma and dry hops it could have even more “oomph”. This is more of a technical consideration rather than a fault since I was pretty sure the amount of hops wouldn’t deliver quite as much in a small beer as it would in a high ABV% beer.

Mouthfeel : This is where I feel the beer shines – it feels more like a 5% ABV pale ale rather than clocking just under 3%. The high mash temperature and healthy proportions of crystal and flaked rye really helped in this regard. The beer also leaves a nice resiny feel in the mouth, which I think is because of the high amount of dry hops. Carbonation is in the middle range as usual.

Notes/thoughts : One of the beers that I’m really happy about the way it turned out. The only things I would change about this one are things that I think are more a result of choices and compromises : If you want to brew a beer with a low alcohol content you will end up with a slighter hop character from the amount of hops used because alcohol acts as a solvent for hop oils. Also the use of a lower attenuation yeast that flocculates well strips some of the hop aroma out of the beer compared to a lower flocculating yeast. There are some things you just can’t combine in the same package because of (bio)chemistry. Considering this I think this beer is close to an ideal compromise of trying to cram as much aroma and taste as possible in a small alcohol content beer. I’ll certainly try the same recipe with a different choice of hops : something fruity as opposed to citrus piney, perhaps Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin or Citra.

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