Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Black Beer, Belgian Beer and Beer efficiency... Again

Hi everyone, its been a couple of weeks.
Heres an update:
So here in Christchurch the decision was made to do a Single hop swap (Yes I realise it rhymes a bit :-D).
So we all chose a hop to brew with and then the wheel is spun and a hop chosen. Then everyone brews a beer with the same hop and we do a swap. It gets to know the hop in different styles of beer whether it be a IPA, Saison, or best bitter.
the hop that was picked out was Mosaic, which to be honest seems to limit your styles to IPA's and Pale ales. However, given what other people have been brewing (Finney has brewed a Saison) Seems an interesting choice, but I really hope it works well. If so, it could be a fantastic beer.
My choice in the end, after much debate was to brew a Black IPA. something I haven't really tackled. so I figured I'd give it a shot. Not overly inventive I know. there is plenty of conjecture about this style, be it the name or the fact that its considered an IPA etc. etc.
The beer style has many names, from Black IPA, to Indian black ale, all the way to Cascadian Dark Ale.
I modelled the beer on the 21st Amendment Back in Black. Aiming for 1.065 OG I set to brewing. now after my last post I worked a bit on my water volumes and came up with a nice 34 litres strike volumes. With the standard 1-1.5Litres of top up should I overshoot temperature, which i did.
So away I went, and ended up having more efficiency issues, approximately 3 points instead of 4-5-6 points,  which is an improvement. so I clearly need to work on the boil off points etc. which is i think where the issue lies. things to work on again...
so I hit 1.062, and dry-hopped the beer late sunday night just been. and measured at 1.018, not bad, could do with an extra point or two.

Bad wolf Belgian IPA has been in bottles for about 10 days. i chucked a bottle in the fridge on Monday morning before my flyby trip to Nelson, and popped it tonight, still needs some aging, but I'm enjoying it, similar to the previous one, with some more body, I'm hopingthe vienna has added this. so heres a short review.
aroma, belgian-ness, with some slight citrus, but the yeast dominates (not exactly what I was going for, but i'm happy, less banan than previous)
appearance, same as previous Bad wolf, burnt orange colour,, the only difference is that the current beer has a good chill haze to it. (Most of my beers do these days) White dense head, which if the glass was clean sticks to the glass well enough. carbonation is good, probably a bit low for style, but I like it.
Flavour, Belkgian yeast dominates, with a good resin-y bitrterness from the 60min simcoe hops., the citrus amarillo and cascade hops are pretty tasty, but you don't get the IPa flavour as such. very nice. another week or two, It'll be better again. the last one hit its stride at 6 weeks.
Mouthfeel, better body, much better. slightly sweet malt flavour finishes the beer, with lingering bitterness, big improvement.
Overall, great beer, will improve with time, so hopefully worthy of a mention in the GKBF homebrew comp. it certainly wont win a brew at the hop. (Its in the wrong category for a start).
I'm pretty happy with how its come out, I don't think Id change much from here. maybe a little more hop aroma if possible. but i think that'll be difficult, given the yeastiness thats there.

Heres the recipe for the Black IPA, I've named Dark Storm Black IPA (I brewed midst the hail storm in the garage). this will be the last beer i will bottle for hopefully awhile (not counting big imperial beers, and possibly a milk stout I'm planning for winter) Bring on the kegs.

Next Brewday is sunday: Belgian Amber soured with WLP650 Brett Brux. I'm really looking forward to making this beer. It'll be my first attempt with Brettanomyces. and will be aged in a new Carboy I should receive in the next couple of days, the wide mouthed carboy. I'll tell you more next week when the recipe goes onto Brewtoad.com. I haven't come up with a name yet.

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