Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Brewing Update

I have been brewing, just not reporting. Currently I have three beers in the fermenters. Two are IPAs and one is an ordinary bitter. The first IPA is my standard recipe which I am exceptionally happy with. The second IPA was an experiment. The malt bill is my normal one (a combination of American 2-row, some Munich, and some special-B) but my hop profile is different. For that beer, I am using warrior and columbus hops, and dry-hopping with columbus. The inspiration for this hop profile came from the Flying Dog IPA, which in my opinion is a great IPA. My third batch, brewed last night, is my tried and true ordinary bitter recipe. I miss having that one on tap.

New to my brewing process is an aeration stone. When hooked up to a canister of oxygen, this should aerate the beer and hopefully aid in the attenuation of my fermentation. I haven't used it enough to see how it is working, but the current beers in the fermenters should provide me with good feedback because I have records from brewing these beers a few times before.

The brewing of my standard IPA brings me to another, more commercially oriented comment. My IPA was inspired by a clone recipe for the Avery IPA. I am not sure if my recipe is much like Avery's, but I think it tastes pretty close and I am a big fan of both. Or I was, anyway. It came to my attention recently that Avery has changed their IPA recipe. I noticed something was different when I saw the IPA with a new label and in the liquor store, where only high-alcohol beers are sold (here in TN). I finally decided to buy a sixer of the new formula to try, and I was disappointed. The new IPA is really good, don't get me wrong, but now it tastes much like many of the other American IPAs on the market. The hop profile is a little brighter and, I would say, a little stronger. The alcohol difference is pretty negligible in my opinion (this isn't an imperial IPA), but it is now missing the signature maltiness that was evident in the old Avery IPA. I am an Avery believer, but I don't see myself buying this IPA. I don't agree with their decision to change the recipe. (To me it is like the experiment Coke did back in the 80s, after which they came out with Coke classic. I would buy an Avery IPA Classic.)

In other news, I have decided to retire one of my own recipes because, frankly, I just don't enjoy it as much as other beers I brew. I have limited brew capacity and limited consumption capacity (if i want to keep my girlish figure), so the Oatmeal Mild is going away.

Last week I was in Chattanooga to run in a race, and the night before the event, my special lady and I had some time to spend in the city, so we tracked down the Terminal Brewery. First off, I should mention that the Terminal is at the end of the free electric shuttle line (at the terminal) so if you are staying anywhere in town, you have free transportation to the brewery and can drink to your heart's content without worrying about driving. Now, as far as the beer they serve, it was nothing short of phenomenal. Their IPA was so good that I opted for a second in lieu of trying another beer. (It was primarily hopped with Magnum hops - possibly my favorite hop variety.) They also had a great German Alt which the lady has now requested that I attempt to brew at home. Looks like the Terminal Brewery has inspired 2 beers for me to brew in the future. Great stuff.

That's all for now, and that's enough. Cheers.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

So was the old Avery IPA the one with the nautical theme six pack box? I'm pretty sure I've had the old one, purchased from Whole Foods and I agree, a very good IPA. I haven't seen the new one, but it sounds like it's a shame they didn't just introduce another IPA opposed to replacing the current one.

It does seem that American IPAs are taking over. Not a terrible thing mind you, but I always enjoy more variety, compared to just more.

I wish an ESB movement would start next. I feel I'd like to explore more ESB options but there just isn't that much variety here in town, in stores or pubs.