Sunday, October 24, 2010
SR5: Delicious Digression³
"It tastes so fresh."
That was the best thing my wife could have possibly said to me. It tastes fresh.
It does, by the way. It really does. It's a wet hop ale. It's a single hop, wet hop ale. It's a dry hopped, single hopped, wet hop ale. It's Centennial hops from beginning to end and it is good.
I wanted to give SR5 another week to bottle condition, but I think it's ready. Tuesday is the next DC Homebrewers meeting, so I cracked open a couple to see if the beer is ready to drink. Man, is it. I really couldn't be happier with how it came out. It has a good bitterness that's well balanced by the crystal malt (20). The grassy flavor of the fresh Centennial hops comes right through, and the five ounces of dried Centennial hops make the beer stinky good.
I was worried that the wet hop flavor would be muted because of the number of days it took to get the hops from the field to me. But I hand it to Rebel Brewer, they were still fresh (it would've been nice if they remembered my SuperMoss so the beer would be more clear). It didn't help that Derek from myLHBS crapped on the idea of mail order fresh hops after I'd placed my order, but I guess he can suck it.
Nevertheless, this should be the last time I order wet hops from Rebel Brewer. With any luck, my own hops will be producing next year. If so, I can either look forward to a wet hop IPA with a combination of the Centennial, Willamette and Cascade hops I planted, or enough hops from each vine to do three single hops batches. Whatever the case, if the beers turn out as well as Digression³ did, then I'll be happy.
Digression³, by the way, is the name of the beer. Dry hopping a wet hop beer seemed like a digression from the concept (dry, wet, get it?). It's also a digression from the line of IPAs I've been working on. And I tend to digress a lot in my writing and conversations. The cubed refers to the three ways Centennial hops were used: bittering, flavor and aroma.
On a minor note, I got the carbonation right. The last couple batches, JDP1 and SR4, the beers were either under carbonated or not carbonated at all. I'd come up with all sorts of reasons why -- too much alcohol, not enough yeast, etc. -- but I started getting worried that I was screwing up something more fundamental, which would be harder to fix. So when I heard the wonderful tsst sound when I popped the cap on Digression³, I was pretty damn happy.
I also like the color. As you can see from the photo, it finished with a soft orange, brown color. That's more or less what I've been going for with the other SR beers. The difference between this beer and the other beers, in terms of malt, is the use of pale malt verses amber malt. Digression³ has no amber malt, while the other SR beers are almost all amber. I like the flavor of the amber malt, so I'll stick with it, but I'll swap out some for pale malt when I get around to making SR6.
For now, I have plenty of beer to drink.