My daughter slept though the night for the first time last night. Unfortunately, the night ended at 5:30 this morning.
So I was up bright and early to start bottling SR3. As I mentioned before, this is the first batch I dry hopped. It was completely worth the trouble. Even with the coffee pot going, my kitchen was enveloped in hop aroma. And if the aroma is any indication of the quality of this batch, I'm on to something.
For a raw beer, the flavor was pretty good, too. The ounce of Warrior hops and half ounce of Simcoe seems to have added enough bitterness to balance out the 10 pounds of malt. Beer in this state always tastes flat and weird, but this is the first batch I've sampled and kind of liked. I wouldn't order this in a bar, but it wasn't terrible by any means. That also means I didn't infect the beer when I transferred it from the fermentor to the carboy. As long as my bottles were sterile, I should be good.
Speaking of the malt, it occurred to me this morning that I might not have an IPA at all. Rather, I think I made a hoppy ale. You can see in the photos, the beer came out a nice dark orange, but it did so with an amber malt base that included toasted crystal malt. Technically, an IPA should include pale malt. I may be splitting hairs here, but that's what I do.
I also got the A.B.V. I was shooting for. According to my favorite new iPhone app, BrewMath, my projected alcohol content is 6.7 percent (F.G.: 1.020). I tell ya, that's the best $3 I've spent in a long time. I hate doing math, especially when I don't completely trust the outcome. And as influential and successful a brewer as Charlie Papazian is, his A.B.V. equation never seemed to work out quite right, even to the guy at the homebrew supply store. Well, it doesn't matter now, I have technology on my side. So screw you math, I didn't need you in college and I don't need you now!
As I did with my last batch, I'm giving SR3 four weeks to ferment in the bottle. Regardless of how it tastes, dry hopping will be a regular feature of my brewing process.
I was planning on giving a status update on my hops by now. Unfortunately, they haven't surfaced yet. Folks on the Homebrewing Facebook page say that it's not unusual for rhizomes to take a few weeks to come up. I hope that's the case, otherwise it'll confirm my suspicion that I planted all five rhizomes upside down.