Thursday, August 22, 2013

Validation Red IPA, Tasting Session

It Kills me to "Show off" this cloudy beer

Last night I was pouring a beer to drink while making dinner and it happened, pissssssss.   Grabbing a note pad, scrambling to take notes as quickly as possible. 

Aroma:  Big Cascade piney notes fill your nose.  Backing  it up I get a distinctive pineapple Conan yeast appearance.  Grassy aromas are the star here, don't get me wrong.  Which is what I wanted designing the recipe...but somehow the pineapple yeast aromas worked their way forward, just enough to make you think Citra is a big part of the dry hopping.  

Appearance: poured clear out of the tap, but once it was settled in my glass it was full of chill haze.  (Remember I used Clarity-Ferm only, more on that later) The color was spot on to what I was looking for.  Deep amber with hints of brown in the wrong light.  A full, lightly tan head commanding attention stood watch on top of the glass.  Protecting the liquid inside.

Flavor:  This beer embodied everything I love in Craftbeer and Homebrew.  Big flavors starting with this tropical mash of sweet pineapple, mango's and papaya.  Then I started to get the grassy flavors of the traditional American hops.  Piney and resinous.  Somehow the balance is working perfectly.  The small amount of maltyness is needed yet under appreciated, cut off by the aggressive amount of bittering hops.  Leaving a dry mouth..wanting more. No off flavors that I can detect.

Mouthfeel: The right amount of body for the style.  Honestly, it felt bigger than it really was.  The beer is creamy, yet sharp from the bitterness.  The carbonation levels are perfect.

Overall Impression:  I love this beer.  It is a great everyday malty IPA.  The interplay with the big piney American hops and the conan yeast is also really complementary.  I can really see how breweries would save money using this yeast, faking the citra flavor profiles people want. 

Brewing Timeline/Notes:  Coming off my Session IPA brewed with Conan Yeast I wanted something big, piney and stronger.  This is what I settled on.  There are some great things about this beer, the taste being the biggest.  I'm also really disappointed in the White Labs Clarity-Ferm.  I omitted all my normal clearing products and really relied on this to clear up the beer.  It failed.  The turbidity is just not going away.  I even moved back this post trying to highlight this "Amazing Clearing Product"  It just didn't work as advertised.   I can not recommend this for clearing a beer at all.  I've never had a problem with Iris Moss and Gelatin right before carbonating, which I still feel are the way to go. 

Here is a link to the original post and recipe. 

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