Jan 23, 2014

Tasting notes: Playoffs Rye IPA

The Playoffs Rye IPA was brewed on December 28 for Jason's birthday BBQ, bottled on January 8. This tasting was on January 23.

OG: 1.062
FG: 1.012
IBU: 65
ABV: 6.6%

Aroma: Pine is the main impression then pineapple, mango, light floral notes, some sweet & creamy malt and a generic fruit aroma that's hard to pin down.
Appearance: Cloudy orange, dense white head that persists.
Flavour: fruity and sweet first up that finishes with some earthy rye flavour, some nice malt and a moderate, balanced (for an IPA) bitterness. A little yeastiness.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, probably a bit higher than I'd like it. A little chalky in the finish from the yeast in suspension.

I had high expectations for this beer and beneath the flaws, there's a nice IPA lurking. Unfortunately the cloudiness is a big problem. It harms the appearance firstly which is something I'd like to improve in my beers but much more importantly, it leaves a yeasty flavour and a chalky feeling in my mouth that seriously undermines the whole experience. The only bottles I have of this beer were the ones at the start and end of bottling and I'm not sure if these were particularly cloudy or if the whole batch was like this. Unfortunately, I didn't have the time to cold crash the beer to get it reasonably clear. Next time, that's a priority.

The hop aroma and flavour are good but not great. The Columbus is dominant and while I like what it brings to the table, I wanted something more from the combination. This isn't the hop profile I had the first time I brewed it and I suspect it's a matter of seasonal variation.

It does have some things going for it though. The bitterness is well balanced, the malt flavour is great although it could do with some more rye. The hop flavour is pretty good even though it's not quite right. It's a shame that the cloudiness compromised it, this beer should be so much better. If I have the time I'll brew it again for the NBA Playoffs and see if I can get it right then.

Next time: Clear the beer! Gelatine, cold crash, time, whatever. That's the big problem with the beer. I'd also increase the rye to 20%, other than that the colour and malt flavour is great. The hop combination isn't bad, it just doesn't do heaps. I think that's because the Columbus dominated the Citra and Amarillo. Next time I'd probably go for a 1:2:2 or 2:3:3 ratio.

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