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Tasting – Galaxy Columbus IPA

31/08/2014

starfarerIPA

The West Coast style IPA I brewed a while back has now been on tap for over 3 weeks. At the time I brewed this I had a hop-itch and this beer certainly proved to be a cure for that. Here are my notes and thoughts on it :

Appearance : Two large dry-hop additions have made for a very murky beer. The colour is coppery but the haze makes it look rather unappetizing (not that I personally mind hazy beer). It pours with a large head which doesn’t last for long. Not a looker but the allure of  this beer isn’t in how it looks.

Smell : Dank, resiny, grape-citrus. A certain herbal quality (gough). When the beer had been on tap for about a week the aroma was more fruity with peach and mango smelling through. They are still there but the resin-grapefruit smells are now dominant. When fresh, that is about a week old, you could smell this beer from a couple of meters away but unfortunately that is no longer the case. While certainly very aromatic it seemed to really flower within that first week and now it’s not as strong even though I have a second fresh set of hops in the keg.

Taste : Resin and grapefruit, citrus-zest. The sip ends with a strong bitter bite in the back of your mouth and tongue. A delicious resiny coating is left behind. No sweetness, even from the alcohol, and no maltiness in evidence under that wall of hop-goodness. This really is all about the hops.

Mouthfeel :  The body is very light and the beer goes down (a bit too) well. There is no sign of that thick caramel body that sometimes is found in commercial IPAs over here. Medium carbonation that suits this beer well.

Notes/thoughts : If you haven’t gathered already I really like this beer. All the effort that went in to brewing this really was worth it. The only thing I’m not happy is that the brightest aroma really faded after a week so I only got to enjoy about  five or six pints of it when it was at its peak. Still, as it stands now, it really is probably my best IPA thus far. I can’t think of a commercial beer that I’d take over it even though I got to sample Stone Ruination this summer. The comparison is hardly fair since it was bottled and 2 months old (and I have the luxury of using huge amounts of hops per gallon) but that really shows the beauty of home-brewing – with some practice and effort you can make beer that is up there with the best of the commercial breweries.

The Columbus-Galaxy combination works well but I think it could be better with a third fruity hop or with a 3:2 ratio with more Galaxy. Columbus is a really robust hop and it seems to dominate the aroma, at least now that the beer is older. Not much else I’d change with this one. Perhaps try something different with the malt-bill but I think that leaving the caramel malts out altogether is the way to go with a big IPA. The Mangrove Jack West Coast yeast did its job well but to really say something definite you’d have to do a side by side comparison. At least with this beer it flocculated and attenuated well and it has a really clean fermentation character.

Now to figure out how to improve over this one…

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From → Tastings

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