A quick review of my IPA

| August 6th, 2011 | No comments

I finally had the chance to taste the bottled and carbonated IPA I brewed and I was pleasantly surprised! Of the three beers I’ve brewed thus far, this one is definitely my favorite.
It has a very reddish hue, I was expecting it to be more of a golden color. This shows how much of an effect the slightest specialty grain addition affects the color.
There isn’t as much hop aroma as I would like. Typically, I love IPAs with a strong hop smell. This, on the other hand, has more of a bready, malt smell. Not bad, just not what I’m looking for in an IPA.
It’s amazing how much the taste of a beer changes as it’s fermenting and conditioning. Immediately after brewing, it was a very sweet liquid, with some florally, hop taste. After it finished fermenting, it had a very smooth texture. Not too thin, and not too thick. The sweetness mostly disappeared, but what was left had masked most of the hop bitterness. It made for a very good beer, but not what I would recognize as an IPA. After I let it carbonate and ferment in the bottle, it had changed completely. The carbonation gave the beer a lighter texture. It still has a very smooth taste, but only in the beginning. The finish has a wall of bitter hops that come out of nowhere. Now it tastes like an IPA! While it doesn’t have the aroma I was looking for, it has a much better bitterness to it than I typically find in most IPAs.
Next time I brew this, I’ll likely leave the grain bill alone. The taste was smooth and had a great texture and reddish color made the beer stand out from typical pale colored beers. While I’ll likely mix up the types of hops I used, I want to keep the same bitterness levels. I loved the bitter finish this beer had. However, I’ll add quite a bit more at the end of the boil and dry hop the fermentor with more hops as well. Adding more hops during these times will produce more hop aroma.
I am really looking forward to people trying this beer, but I admit, the 8.5% alcohol and bitter finish might be a bit much for most people!