Tag Archives: hoppy

Upslope!

Having an Imperial IPA from Upslope. Don’t let the plain, non-descript labels fool you, Upslope’s beers are delicious!

Tonight I had the imperial IPA. I found it to be delicious, and I really appreciate that they spent the extra money to provide it in cans. Here’s the text of my review from beeradvocate.com (overall rating 4.19/5, which is an excellent rating for any beer, and a rating I certainly don’t give out at the drop of a hat).

look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A nice two finger head that left pretty good lacing topped an orange-tan beer that was clear and had a few rising bubbles.

Aroma and flavor are quite nice, especially aroma, tons of sticky oily hops penetrate your nose like a fiery hop candle. The flavors are bold, but a bit more subdued than the aroma, with a somewhat hoppy skewed, yet balanced big beer. The hops have both soft fruity and sharp, resinous citric qualities. There’s a bit of dank that accompanies the flavorful malt backbone of the beer, along with notable spiciness.

Body is medium and sticky with resinous hops and a bitter finish. Carbonation is on the money for what I would personally want, given the rest of the beer’s qualities.

The flavors and aromas are complex, and Upslope has once again impressed me with their beer. Keep up the good work, and I’ll keep buying your beer.

And I do like that it comes in cans. Mind you I either use commercial bottles for homebrew, or recycle. But for the general public, and the overall good of the planet, cans are very easy to recycle, are very good at keeping beer fresh, and are easier to store or transport than bottles. So for this reason, I am very hoppy that Upslope decided to invest in canning technology and infrastructure for their brewery.

Great Job! ūüėČ

A new and different IPA, plus some unsolicited beer philosophy

Well this one will be sorta smash-like, in that I’m not using any specialty malts, just base malts.¬† It’s going to have 6 lbs pilsner malt, 6 lbs golden promise, and 2 lbs Munich malt, 14 lbs total.¬† That’s a little bit bigger than I usually make my beers, but hey, I’m experimenting, so I can do what I want!

Here’s what I planned to do with the hops:

0.5 oz magnum at 60
0.25 oz each magnum, bravo at 15
0.5 oz tettnanger at 15
0.25 oz each magnum, bravo at 10
0.5 oz tettnanger at 10
0.25 oz each magnum, bravo at 5
0.5 oz tettnanger at 5
0.5 oz each magnum, bravo at FO
2 oz tettnanger at FO

Here’s my thinking: I’ve seen some cases where other people have experimented with magnum hops NOT solely at the 60 minute mark, but as late additions, flameout additions, or even dry hopping..¬† None have had anything bad to say about their beers, so I figure I’ll step outside the box a little and try some magnum late in the boil.¬† Now I’m also going with a little bravo, which I already know works fine at any stage of the boil.¬† If you recall that far back, my Munich / Bravo SMaSH had half an ounce bravo early, 1 oz at 5 minutes, and two ounces at flameout, and that’s one of my favorite SMaSH beers I’ve ever made.¬† Purely delicious.¬† So to me, that’s a tried and true hop.¬† It should offer support to the magnum, which is a little unknown, but I have no worries.¬† Then I’m tossing in tettnanger, in approximately double-ish the amounts of the two higher AA hops.¬† I really don’t know what I’m going to get out of this, but I bet it will be tasty!¬† Well of course I think it will be tasty, or I wouldn’t bother making it!

Oh, and probably US-05 yeast.

In the near future I’m going to be brewing with some Irish Ale yeast, and some 3711.¬† I think the 3711 will go with the next weird extract experimental two gallon batch I’m planning.¬† Can’t wait to see how EXTRA DARK extract goes with 3711!¬† Hey, the last one worked out great, so who knows!

Now also in the spirit of trying new things, if this one comes out really good, I may have to try a smash beer with all magnum.¬† I know one guy who’s tried just such a beast, and it came out tasty beer.¬† Who says you can’t use magnum late?¬† Sure, it’s a great bittering hop, and I have no plans to take anything away from it in that respect.¬† But is it being unfairly relegated to the background, when it deserves some time center stage?

Well let me just say this – if it’s generic, commonly spewed forth advice that seems regurgitated and taken for granted “just because,” then I’m willing to challenge that notion.¬† I’m already challenging the standard advice with extracts, and now maybe even a little bit with magnum, and maybe a lot more with magnum soon.¬† I encourage everyone to do the same, challenge the norms, try stuff that maybe doesn’t seem like the obvious thing to do.

And when it comes to giving out advice… Yeah, you can always say “sanitation is important,” and you’ll never be wrong.¬† But if you say “don’t use amber extract, use light, then add specialty grains bla bla bla…”¬† Have you actually TRIED amber or dark extract?¬† Is this advice universal and unchanging, etched in stone from cradle to grave?

I say no.¬† There are times when amber or dark extract will be perfect for the beer you intend to make.¬† If that’s the case, just use them!¬† Taint no big deal!!¬† Now other times, it may be better to use light extract, and adjust the finer points of your beer with specialty grains.¬† There’s no doubt that there are many times when this advice is also the best advice, so again, I’m not trying to take away from this approach.¬† But there should be a reason why the light extract+steeping grains is superior in the particular instance at hand.¬† Conversely, if amber (or even dark) extract is appropriate for the beer at hand, at least try it once.

I recently had an email exchange with a representative from Munton’s about their extracts.¬† While he didn’t hand over the manufacturer’s specifications to me, he did indicate that the notion that extracts are “chock full of crystal malt” was simply not the case.¬† If they were, then extracts would not have the versatility that they do.¬† instead, they would consistently produce cloying, overly sweet, overly thick beer (just like if you put too much crystal malt in a beer!¬† Imagine that!).¬† And of course he believes that the quality of extracts (particularly Munton’s, lol) is very high, and the quality of beer you can make from extracts is also very high, including for the amber and dark or extra dark varieties.¬† I tend to agree, at least so far.¬† I know I’m brewing all grain now, but my extract brews¬† were very tasty too.¬† That’s part of why I keep experimenting with small extract batches.

So anyway, I’ve digressed into pointless rambling.¬† I tend to do that sometimes.¬† Make of it what you will, or just grab a beer and go watch reruns of your favorite TV show (as a means of ignoring my ramblings)*.

Anyway, I need a beer.  Cheers!

*wouldn’t be the first time that happened, lol

EDIT: Brewed 11-23-13

Changes to the Double-Smash Beer

Well I finally got around to actually brewing the Double-SMaSH, with Vienna/Munich, BUT – I forgot the cascade hops on brew day.¬† Since I have to drive a ways to get to where I brew, I wasn’t going back.¬† However, I had some hops there, so I just changed the hops schedule around completely.¬† So now it’s a double-TRIPLE-SMaSH.¬† Yes, I realize that’s one hell of a misnomer.¬† But hey, it’s my beer, and I can change it up if I want to!¬† Plus I was never that good at keeping to the strict interpretation of literary meanings or definitions of words.¬†¬† I do what I want!!

Still 6 lbs each Vienna / Munich malts.

Here’s the new hops schedule:

0.25 each at 60 bravo/belma
0.25 each at 15 bravo/belma/centennial
0.25 each at 10 bravo/belma
0.5 centennial at 10
0.25 each at 5 bravo/belma
0.75 centennial at 5
1 oz each belma/bravo at FO
DH one ounce each belma/bravo

From past experience, it’ll at least make beer, and probably tasty beer.¬† Maybe it’ll be the new sensation, who knows?¬† But as long as it makes tasty beer, I’ll be happy.

Fresh Hops are in!!

Just picked up three bags of fresh hops, 8 oz each:

  • cascade
  • citra
  • simcoe

Gonna make a fresh hop pale ale today!¬† No idea what the IBUs will be, not even sure what the OG is going to be either.¬† I’m going to use 17 lbs of Golden Promise as the grist, so basically it’s a smash (one grain, fresh hops, a loose definition, lol).¬† OG should be about 1.060, but I’m making seven gallons, not my usual five, so not sure what the exact efficiency is going to be.

All the fresh hops will be added at flameout and hopstand.  A tiny bittering charge of pellet hops will be added at 60 minutes to ensure enough bitterness.

I’ll dry hop with something.¬† Probably cascade, but I’ll decide when the time comes.

Can’t wait to see how it comes out!!

Double SMaSH – Two Malts, Two Hops?

EDIT: This beer got changed, the hops schedule at least.  New version is here.

Got this idea from Beer Advocate Homebrew forum – making a SMaSH, but making it with TWO base balts and two types of hops. ¬†Actually we were discussing smash beers, and I was noting some of my results. and the idea just kind of evolved, so I figured I’d try it. ¬†Here’s the recipe I came up with:

Munich/Vienna+Belma/Cascade Double SMaSH

  • 6 lbs Munich malt
  • 6 lbs Vienna malt
  • 0.5 oz Belma at 60
  • 0.5 oz Cascade at 60
  • 0.5 oz Belma at 10
  • 0.5 oz Cascade at 10
  • 0.5 oz Belma at 5
  • 0.5 oz Cascade at 5
  • 1.5 oz Belma at FO
  • 1.5 oz Belma at FO
  • 1 oz Belma dry hop
  • 1 oz Cascade dry hop

Targets:

  • OG 1.046
  • IBU 48
  • SRM 9
  • ABV 6.2%

I’ve really liked making SMaSH beers. ¬†Some have come out great, some have come out OK (but quite drinkable!), but they’re all interesting to make, and I learn a lot from each one about various types of malts and hops. ¬†Between the results of my Munich/Bravo SMaSH and my Vienna/Cascade SMaSH, plus the results of the Belma IPA, I think this might make for a real tasty beer. ¬†Only way to find out for sure is to brew it!

I also plan to try something with just Munich and Cara-Munich in the near future, just for the heck of ¬†it! ¬† I realized I haven’t been making anything with much (or any) crystal malt in it lately, and would like to try cara-munich, so perhaps I’ll give it a try. ¬†I’ll search around a little for the appropriate amounts of cara-munich to use, then add that to some munich malt, add hops, yeast —-> Beer!

Citra / Munich SMaSH – Citra Bomb From Hell?

EDIT 2: After some discussion on beer advocate homebrew forum, I’m going to UP the citra to EVEN MOAR. ¬†So this recipe will be different than when I first published it. ¬†Slightly edited hops schedule again. ¬†This is the final version that is actually in the fermenter right now. ¬†Toned back just a touch on the extreme overkill so I could have reasonable quantities of my pound of citra leftover, and available for other beers. ¬†I can probably get two more pretty citra beers from what’s left, or perhaps two pale-ale strength brews. ¬† ¬†I’m not super crazed over citra, and this will probably be the largest citra addition I’ll use in a beer. ¬†Beyond this one, I’ll probably choose a more balanced hop approach. ¬†This one is intended to be off-balance tho, heavy on the hops, and heavy on the citra. ¬†I just want to see what a super citra-bomb tastes like! ¬† Anyway, enough of the edit, here’s the original post, modified to fit the actual recipe…

Gonna make a SMaSH with Munich malt again, this time with citra hops. ¬†And yes, I’m going to hop the living hell out of it, knowing that I’ll probably create a citra bomb from hell! ¬†Everybody has to over-do it at least once in their lifetime with citra hops, right? ¬†So let’s just do it and see what happens! ¬†I know I will drink every last one, no matter how citra it comes out. ¬†It will technically not be a perfect smash beer, because I’ll use a tiny bit of Belma as the 60 minute bittering charge. ¬†Also, I don’t really think this is over-doing it on the citra, but we shall find out just how wrong I am in a month or so.

  • 12 lbs Munich
  • S-04/US-05 yeast (50/50 mix)
  • 0.5 oz Belma at 60
  • 1 oz citra at 15
  • 1 oz citra at 10
  • 1 oz citra at 5
  • 1.5 oz citra at FO, then cool to 170F and let stand 15 minutes
  • 1.5 oz citra after 15 minute hop stand, while wort is still hot,¬†¬†let stand another 15 minutes
  • 2 oz citra DH
  • 1.061 OG
  • 47 ¬†IBU
  • 12 SRM
  • 6.4% ABV

Bigfoot Found!

It’s true!!¬† Bigfoot found!!

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale 2013 is in my local grocery store, and I picked up a four pack.¬† Such an amazing brew!¬† This is the definition of barleywine if you ask me.¬† Although a bit hoppier than most barleywines, I haven’t found one that I like more.¬† Well, Dogfish Head Olde School is pretty damn awesome too, but that one is kind of a different beast: it’s got way more alcohol, for one thing, and isn’t comparable to bigfoot ale.¬† Although both brews are fantastic, this post is about Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot ale, so we’ll stick to that!

I’m going to post my original review from more than a year ago, along with my edits for this year’s vintage:

Bigfoot!

Downright gorgeous to look at, deep amber with copper notes, clear, with a great 3 finger head that lasted forever and laced the glass with sticky chunks.

More like an IPA in the nose, hops are dominant and the typical barleywine smells are secondary. Piney and even grapefruit hops are pungent. A little caramel malt and a little fruitiness provide something other than hops as a side note.

Taste is bold and again, very hoppy. Tastes more like a barleywine than it smells, but still, this one is quite a bit like a DIPA in the taste department. The hop profile is just dominant as hell, this fact cannot be hidden. Fruity and caramel malt flavors do balance out the taste more so than the smell though, and overall it’s quite nice!

The body is thick and tangy but the alcohol is surprisingly well hidden. The hops even leave a bit of a bite on the aftertaste.

Honestly, this is a fine barleywine, albeit a lot hoppier and a bit different than I’m used to when I buy a barleywine. I really like this stuff. I can’t wait to see how it mellows. I’ve put a bottle away for a year, and another for two years, will re-try it again next march (and the one after that) and report back.

I really like trying new beers, and I hadn’t had this one yet. Overall I’d list it as “must try” Excellent job, SN!

Edit for 2013: once again, they nailed it.¬† The original review is more than a year old, but now I’ve had 5 different years of vintages, both aged, and for the more recent years, fresh.¬† Every time it’s just fantastic!¬† Gold standard of barleywines.¬† Monstrous hops and tons of delicious malts, one of my favorite beers anytime, from any brewery.¬† If I decide to try and brew a barleywine, it will be based on this!

Cheers to Sierra Nevada for 2013 Bigfoot Ale!

 

Bigfoot Found!

Vienna Cascade SMaSH

Slapped together a quick one last saturday, a SMaSH beer with only Vienna and Cascade.

  • 12 lbs Vienna malt
  • US-05 yeast
  • 1 oz cascade at 60
  • 1 oz cascade at 10
  • 1 oz cascade at 5
  • 2 oz cascade at FO
  • about 2.5 oz of cascade dry hop (the rest of the bag, whatever it weighs)

Mashed at 153 for an hour.

Targets:

  • OG 1.058
  • IBUs 38
  • SRM 6.4
  • ABV 6.2

Freetail Brewery IPAs

Was working on a deck over on that side of town, and stopped at Freetail Brewery to see what bombers they had for takeout.¬† There were four bombers available, and I didn’t know what any of them were all about, nor did I have the time to read about it or discuss it with the staff.¬† So I picked the two IPA type beers to try later that day.

Two days later, we finished the job early, so we went to Freetail for lunch and a couple of beers.¬† I saw that there was a third IPA in bombers for takeout, so I picked that one up too.¬† I guess it’s Freetail “IPA week” for me!¬† I’ll post the review of Soul Doubt IPA below.

The other two IPAs I picked up:

Velocihoptor (what a great name for an IPA!).

Buffalo Hump 1840 Belgian IPA

In addition, I had another round of Spirulina Wit, a delicious rye witbier with spirulina added to give it a wonderful and deliciously strange green color!¬† At 3.9% ABV, it’s damn easy to drink, and I could easily have several of these in a sitting.

I also tried Uglie Ollie Stout, a delicious dry Irish stout that’s full bodied, but only 4.1% ABV.¬† These two brews made a nice lunch (along with some delicious pizza from their food menu).

I am going to try to make it there this Saturday for the “battle of the wits” where they’ll have various varieties of their witbier for your drinking pleasure!

Cheers to Freetail!

 Soul Doubt IPA

Pours a nice amber to copper color, mostly clear, with a creamy head that left about a 1/4″ sheet of dense foam capped on top the whole way down, leaving sheets of nice sticky resinous lacing.

The aroma doesn’t blow me out of the water, by any means. It’s somewhat subdued, but I get Cara-Munich malt first, then some herbal, earthy hops.

Flavors much follow the aroma, but they stand out more, and leave me wondering why I don’t make it out to freetail more often! The Cara-Munich and aromatic malts (along with whatever crystal malts they used) make a great base, and an unusual one for an IPA. I like the innovation! It’s well hopped, but balanced very well with the moderate ABV and bold malty backbone. There’s a little citrus, but I am getting mostly heavily earthy and lightly floral or grassy hop flavors.

This IPA is very unusual, and very likeable. Just don’t expect to be getting a standard west coast 47 lbs of hops per five gallons type of IPA. This beer is well crafted and delicious, but it’s not Pliny the Younger or Heady Topper.

Cheers to Freetail brewery for this brew!

Maris Otter / Simcoe SMaSH

Next up is Maris Otter / Simcoe SMaSH.

As always, I’ll be using 12 lbs of grain (my standard for SMaSH beers).

I’ll be using “the rest” of my bag of simcoe hops.¬† I think it’s about 4 oz.¬† I will check the exact weight before starting, but the hops schedule will look something like this:

  • 0.5 oz at 60
  • 1 oz at 10
  • 1 oz at 3
  • 1 oz flameout

Whatever the remainder of the hops comes out to be, it will go in at flameout.

  • OG: 1.060
  • IBUs 47
  • SRM 6
  • ABV 6.2%

This will be my second maris otter smash.¬† My first one was quite tasty, but needed more hops.¬† I used willamette and didn’t really hop it enough.¬† I don’t think I’ll have the same problem with this much simcoe (much higher AA and much stronger flavor than willamette).¬† If anything, the simcoe might overwhelm, but I’ll take my chances on that!

I think I’ll use WLP029 yeast, East Midlands Ale Yeast, as I have some that I need to use.

UPDATE: starter made with WLP029.  Beer should be brewed within 3-4 days.

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