Showing posts with label old baldy IPA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label old baldy IPA. Show all posts

Monday, April 25, 2011

As Time Goes By

I am sure we all have a similar story to tell. Bottles of homebrew, or even commercial beer, that have been sitting around at the back of the cupboard, or storage room which we flamboyantly call our "cellar", at best forgotten about, at worst, guilt inducing because we are yet to drink them. Naturally I have a stash of vintage ales and the like that I keep in a cupboard and am saving for "a special occasion", but when special occasions arrive, I invariably fancy a few pints of whatever I normally drink.

Yesterday was a distinctly lazy day in the Velkyal household, but come the evening as the smell of homemade fishcakes was wafting from the kitchen, I decided to would attack a touch of the guilt that had been gnawing away at me for a while. I have too much homebrew that I haven't drunk, so in the "cellar" I popped and pulled a bottle each of Gunnersbury Gold and Old Baldy.

Gunnersbury Gold is a best bitter that I brewed back in September. I have this desire to brew a really stonking bitter, so far my two efforts have been on the "ok but not great" end of the scale. Admittedly, I think the first one, Ring of Gold, has potential and I plan to re-brew that recipe at some point. Gunnersbury Gold was brewed from a base of Munton's pale dry malt extract and caramel 10, Special Roast and Chocolate for specialty grains. In terms of the hopping, this used only First Gold, an English hop which is a cross between Goldings and a male dwarf hop. For the yeast, I used Wyeast 1968 London ESB.

Unfortunately the picture doesn't do the beer justice as it was pretty clear, but condensation on the glass makes it look a touch murky. The beer was a deep copper colour, very well carbonated, as you can see from the the light tan head in the glass there, and so I didn't pour a full glass as I didn't want to get the lees in the glass. The nose was remarkbly fruity, lots of apricot and peach with maybe a hint of tropical fruit, in the background was a slight touch of spice, almost cinnamon, and a medicinal note, which when I tried back in October was the dominant aroma. Tastewise, upfront was a sourdough tang which I have read is likely a product of the Special Roast. A light sweetness and a nice boozy glow came through at the end, with a decent enough crisp finish. Not a great beer to be sure, but not bad either.

Old Baldy was an American style IPA that I brewed about a year ago now, to be ready for Independence Day, and Mrs Velkyal and I's wedding anniversary (of which we'll be having the third rendition of this year). In terms of malts atop the extract base, I only used caramel 60. This being an American IPA, I went overboard on the hopping and used Citra, Centennial, Cascade and Amarillo in the kettle, and then just for fun, dry hopped the beer on Challenger. Depending on which method of calculating bitterness you go for, this ended up with either 65 or 125 IBUs (I tend toward the former really). The wort was fermented with good old 1056 American Ale from Wyeast.

Again condensation issues, but the beer poured a rich amber with a light beige head that clung around for a while, and the carbonation was good (nice to know after the early bottles of this were wildly over-carbonated). Wow, what a difference the best part of a year has made on the nose, whereas last year it was heavy with acetone and pine notes, this year the citrus you would have expected has come to the fore, lots of bitter oranges and grapefruit. There is still a piney kind of thing upfront in the mouth, though not unpleasant like drinking washing up liquid, and the caramel background holds firm against the bitter assault. Given the extra time in the cellar, this beer was integrated more and with a boozy afterglow and long finish, is not at all bad.

Coming up to date, I currently have a bitter sitting in the primary fermenter. I will be transferring it to secondary in the coming days, and using isinglass for the first time as Windsor yeast is a non-flocculating strain so it needs finings to clear up. The beer started off at 1.037 and seems to have finished out at about 1.014, so an ordinary bitter with an abv of about 3%, and 30 IBUs of Goldings and Fuggles. Assuming it clears up nicely, I am playing with the idea of putting half of it in my 1 gallon polypin to "cask" condition in time for the next homebrew club meeting, perhaps even dry hopping it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What's Been Brewing?

It has been a while since I wrote about my homebrewing exploits, so I thought a little update was in order.

About a month ago I did a brewing double header, the joys of having two carboys, where I made a revamped Experimental Dark Matter, seriously considering a name change on that one once the recipe is settled, and my first American style IPA, which bares the moniker Old Baldy IPA.

Experimental Dark Matter was an attempt to recreate a beer kit recipe which was my first ever stab at brewing, and happened to turn out well. Taking on board the advice of BUL 180 up in Oregon, I cut the amount of peated malt from 0.5lb to just over 0.1lb so as not to overpower the beer with the aroma and flavour of peat smoke, and possibly to lessen the chances of homesick melancholy overcoming me whilst drinking. The original gravity on the beer was 1.052 and it finished off at 1.020, a touch on the high side perhaps, but it should give the beer some nice residual sweetness and an ABV of 4.3%. As I am on a month long beer fast, I will be waiting until July to actually try some.

Old Baldy IPA was originally going to be called Hopbombination, but as this beer is intended for Independence Day, ironically it is also my wedding anniversary that day and then Mrs Velkyal's birthday on the 5th, I decided on a more topical name. I used 5 different types of hop in this beer, Citra, Centennial, Amarillo and Cascade in the boil and then dry hopped with Challenger for a couple of weeks in secondary. If my calculations are correct, it should have an IBU rating of 125 if this website here is to be believed. On the booze side of things, it started off at 1.060 and once primary fermentation was done it came down to 1.016, giving me a nicely respectable 5.9% ABV beer, which I hope will be a hit come July 4th.

Currently in one of the carboys is another batch of LimeLight 2.0, again being made for a friend's special occasion, in this case a house warming party when they move out of Charlottesville to the wilds of Troy. Whilst on the subject of LimeLight, I mentioned previously that there was a bum batch, I think the extract was not as fresh as I would have liked, and it was much darker than usual, plus the fact that I used a different yeast strain. However, the feedback I am getting about that batch is extremely positive, so I am planning to do a batch of Limelight which I will then split into 2 carboys and see the effects of the different yeasts.

That's kind of everything at the moment, other than deciding which beers to put forward for the homebrew competition at the local county fair, and later this month bottling Mrs Velkyal's dandelion wine. You'd think we liked our booze in the Velky Al household, you'd not be far wrong!

Beyond January

Dry January is over, but my beer fast continues. Well, it continues until Friday. As a general rule I only drink at the weekend, thus my win...