Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Let's compare...

Yesterday, a few friends helped me taste a few recent concoctions. Specifically, I opened a few bottles I had been saving: QIII Cascade Pale Ale, QVII Rich Hipp's Rise'n'shine, and QIX Accidental IPA. All three are variation of a very basic recipe, with minor adjustments to steeped grains, extract amounts, and hops.

This is the first time I have let anything age at all (QIII a few months, QVII about a month, QIX not really). The QIII tasted great like I remember, pretty easy drinking with a strong hop finish, though not as strong as it once was. I think aging mellowed it out a little.

Rich Hipp's Rise'n'shine was a strange mistake. I tried to imitate the recipe of QIII but with more extract, but I think I racked too early. It ended up malt forward, a little sweet, but still a good hoppy finish. Neither of these is about 40 IBU's. I think the maltiness was from racking a little early, so it was still sweet. Lucky I didn't have a bottle bomb, I suppose, so all's well that ends well.

QIX is a very good IPA, though I can tell a little more complexity in the malt bill (i.e. brewing from grain), would help balance it out. I used more graing and less extract than usual, but might go farther in this direction next time. Still, pretty tasty. These three beers were different enough that they appealed to different people, but none were terrible, and it was a chance to compare some intentional and unintentional differences in the process.