Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pitch Slap IPA

My return to IPA brewing has come after a long hiatus. For months Belgian beers were the only thing that mattered, but its good to have gotten back to my first love, the almighty hop. My mental shift away from hoppy beers coincided with my own IPAs taking a bit of a downward slide. These things seem to be connected; the beers that I am currently into always seem easier to brew well. As my mind shifted away from hops and toward the yeast and fermentation aspects of Belgian beer, so did my best beers seem to start emerging as saisons, belgian pales, and golden strongs, where once they had been IPA's.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Brewday - Belgian Pale Ale 2

Going into this brew I was a little unsure of how to improve on my previous effort. My first Belgian pale ale was a beer I really liked, but seemed to meet with a lukewarm reception from a number of people who tasted it. I had sent this beer into the Calgary homebrew competition and neither judge (neither of which were BJCP certified) liked it very much. This I could handle as competition is the best way to get unbiased, educated advice to improve your beers. Their comments however, left me scratching my head a bit. One of them said "phenolic spices quite bold in flavour... are too big in this beer". The other said, "a little spicier would enhance it". To muddy the waters further a couple weeks later this beer won third place at the competition in Lethbridge, leaving me a bit confused.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Batch # 50 - Faustian Bargain Golden Strong

For my fiftieth batch of all-grain beer I wanted to do something special, so I decided to go after a style that I hadn't tried before, the Belgian golden strong, or strong pale ale. This style has a pretty wide set of parameters and there is a lot of overlap with the Belgian tripel, but in the tradition of its most famed example Duvel, it tends to be drier, lighter in colour, and lighter in body than most tripels. It is also often more fruity, where the tripel tends to be a bit spicier.