Opened the first bottle of my first ever batch two weeks too early...

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jakeperks

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...but wow, it was GOOD!!!!

Being a Brit, we don't get many of your fabulous American IPAs over here and those that we can are hard to find and very expensive, so I decided to brew my own using pale & crystal malts, Cascade & Citra and US-05 yeast. The result is a light to medium bodied very hoppy amber coloured ale at 5.6% ABV and about 60 IBU, which is exactly the way I like it. I brewed in my kitchen using the brew in a bag technique, so only managed to produce 19 x 500ml bottles, but I reckon a few little adjustments will give me 26 bottles from future batches.

It has sweet toffee and biscuity malt up front, with the hops coming through shortly after and a dry, clean, bitter finish. The clarity is spot on and I can't detect any off flavours. It needs at least a couple more weeks to carbonate fully and I reckon that will really help push the hops to the front. As you can imagine I'm totally beside myself with this for a first attempt and can't wait to get the kit out and get brewing again.

I think I have Beersmith to thank for helping me keep the recipe true to style and everybody on here for all of the great advice posted, which I've been reading and soaking up for a few months. The best advice I've come across relates to conditioning and dry hopping in primary, which I'd never considered but ended up doing, which I believe has saved me a lot of hassle, time and potential contamination.

So cheers - and Merry Christmas :)
 

jwalk4

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Awesome stuff! Lol, that's what I love about brewing.

No more, "Oh man, the Sainsbury's doesn't have the beer I want."
Now its like "Meh, I'll just make it myself!"

That satisfactory feeling never goes away!
 

unionrdr

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Sounds like we like our IPA's about the same. I love that buiscotti like flavor with the caramely light toasty sort of malt flavors right before the hops hit you between the eyes. A good IPA,imo,should have a solid malt backbone for the hops to shine through. It seems you've accomplished this.
I've got a partial mash APA fermenting now where I did an experiment to get a pm version of my Sunset Gold APA listed in my recipes. Trying to get the same flavors,but I fear the color may be a bit darker than the amber orange of the original. That is to say,I use the same base recipe for both,but change the hop schedule depending on which it is intended to be,APA or IPA.
That's where it's fun in this hobby. I do think that a medium bodied,more sessionable IPA is far more enjoyable than a 10% 100 megaton hop bomb would be. Congrats!:tank:
 
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jakeperks

jakeperks

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Cheers all!


Yeah, I'm getting a little tired of the thin, yellow brews that seem to be taking over. They were exciting at first and were the perfect antidote to the insipid brown warm stuff that UK breweries used to produce, but with the low mash temperatures, creating an ultra-fermentable wort with nothing left behind, and the use of wheat to bulk up the proteins, it's all very one dimensional and quite predictable. With these thin backbones even a 35%-45% IBU brew can feel mouth puckering by the end of the glass. I'll probably be branded a heretic for saying this, but I even find SNPA a bit on the watery side these days.

To me, the key is to leave some sweetness behind and balance it out with the bittering hops. That way you end up with a beer that has structure and character, but still delivers the all-important hop blast. I wish I could remember which American IPA it was that I tried which achieved this, but I remember thinking "now THIS is what beer should taste like"! Or maybe it wasn't an American one... it could have been Vuur & Vlam from De Molen in Holland.
 
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jakeperks

jakeperks

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Not yet, but in 2013 I plan to have three brews at various stages of production at all times. At only 24 bottles per run I'll just about manage to be self sufficient and reduce my reliance on Waitrose! (UK supermarket with a decent selection)
 
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