I just cracked open my second go at an APA (extract) and I couldn't be happier with how it came out.
It's amazing how different the same recipe can turn out.
My first APA was also my very first time extract brewing. It's supposed to be a CA style crowd pleaser as a modified house recipe from one of my LHBS's. We were jokingly calling it the 5C brew as it contains coopers DME, Crystal malt, California Ale yeast, Cascade and Citra.
The first time I brewed it, I boiled over right out of the gate and probably lost a large % of the bittering hop addition with the foam. I also didn't have an immersion chiller yet, and the ice bath took over an hour to chill. Another no-no, is that I fermented at room temp, 78F. When I brought a bottle back to the LHBS, he said I did good, but he could tell it was fermented on the high side. Lastly, I did a two stage fermentation for no good reason.
This time around, I was careful not to boil over, I chilled it within 20 mins, and feremented in a SOFC starting at 64, and raised it by two degrees each day till I hit 72. Also, I didn't bother doing a secondary...It only needed two weeks in the fermeter. Correcting those things changed the character dramatically. I thought the first one was great, but it was definately more malt forward than this.
This was my 4th extract brew, (excepting my Mr/ Beer kit) and I feel like I'm getting the process down with my equipment. What I love about this beer, is it's a quick turn around. 2 Weeks fermenting, and 1 week bottle conditioning. This is going to be my go to beer, and I can see myself brewing this every other batch.
Tomorrow, I'm brewing a Hop in the Dark CDA copy. There will be several firsts for me with this one...First time cold steeping grains, first time BIAB mini-mashing, and first time dry hopping. Woohoo!!!
Sometimes the angels punish us by answering our prayers. -Peart
Next Brew: SWMBO's choice. Probably Saison.
Primary: Janet's Brown, Mulled Chamomile Cider/Perry
Bottle Conditioning: Nada
Bottled and Ready: Hop in the Dark, Raison Detre, Hoppy Saison