Doctor Duvel

I'm like a sommelier, but for beer.

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Location: Upstate New York, United States

Favorite Beers: Orval, Samuel Smith, Duvel, Hennepin, Oude Gueze, Chimay, Dogfish Head, Anchor Steam, and anything made by Trappist monks.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

IPA: Checking the Doubles--Planning Simcoe/Santiam

I may regret this, but I just poured two glasses of double IPA--my first and second attempts thereat. The first was purely my own concept, conceived in a vacuum, dedicated to the notion that a double IPA could be screamingly hoppy and elegant at the same time. The second is indebted to Pliny the Elder. I diverted from a Pliny clone due to hop availability, but it's intended to be pretty similar still--paler, leaner, and brasher than my first one.

Excellent heads on both. Pliny the Room-Mate is very pale; Star Chamber is a deep, glowing orange. The nose on the Pliny is screamingly loud, with a vivid Columbusiness that drifts in two directions--an almost strawberry-like fruitiness and a very intense pine character. Despite its greater age (10 months?) the Chamber still has a relatively declamatory nose; it's not as bright but it is more complex, with much more resin than fruit--and much more spice as well.

I can't help comparing faux Pliny to real Pliny (I had one a week ago). Mine compares very favorably in hop character and aromatics; its weak spot is a slight hole in the palate. Pliny has this weird viscosity that's kind of awesome. If I were to brew a beer similar to this recipe again, I would mash it 4 degrees higher and try to get a little more meat on its bones. U.S. 56 is an awfully attenuative yeast, especially when re-pitching.

The Chamber, on the other hand, has a stunning depth of malt. It is the more perfect beer of the two. In this, its twilight, the palate is beginning to develop a barley-wine-esque fatness. I think it peaked at about 6 months of age. You can certainly age DIPA's but I really think they are best when they still have a cleaner, drier feeling, younger malt character. I'll brew this again without alteration when I get around to it, and will feel freer to drink them young.

On a totally unrelated note, the varietal hop project has come to at least a brief halt. I've no more hops that I think are appropriate. I could do an all-Newport or all-Santiam IPA, but I seriously doubt either hop has the requisite back-bone. Instead, I'm going to give Simcoe/Santiam a try. Amarillo/Crystal with Chinook bittering is another concept I had, but I'll let that one wait. I don't have a ton of Simcoe--just enough to do most of the bittering, with an ounce left for dry-hopping. In between, it'll be all Santiam. Just punched it up in ProMash. Oughta be good.

After that?

Batch 100, baby.


Blogger Trina said...

I don't know where else to put this. It just seems appropriate to comment here.
I embarked on Pearish Cider today 9/18/06
Used White Labs 775 English Cider yeast. ~10lbs of very small ripe asian pears were shredded in a food processor. (We were lazy and didn't bother letting them 'soften' {read rot} for 3 weeks) We added 1 gallon of 100% apple juice to the pulp and tested a SG of 1.060. Sounded good to us, so we added the yeast (The whole vile even though we had around 2 gallons of juice and pulp). We're planning to strain it off the pulp in a couple days after we've gotten the fermentation really going. I hope it turns out well. shit.

1:57 AM  
Anonymous doctorduvel said...

Sounds good to me. Using the whole vial is good as the yeast are now present in really good numbers and should out-compete any other shit. Well done. I hope it's good. Worst case scenario, it should still have alcohol.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Trina said...

Pulled it off the fruit 2 days in. I decided the pears were sufficiently broken down and didn't want to get wierd flavors from the seeds (we shredded whole pears due to their apricot size) The jars started bubbling through the airlocks right away. Juice looks nice, kinda golden, looks like with a racking or two we might even get it clear. 1st racking set for next week. I need to ask jerm about borrowing the capper... and we need bottles. We're so used to having months to wait before needing that stuff with the wine, so I've got to get on it!

12:45 AM  
Blogger Trina said...

Racked the cider Friday Sept 29. We now have just a 1 gallon jug of the stuff fermenting. The cider from smaller jug was clearer and had more crap at the bottom, the larger jug was a bit hazy and only had the solid plug of crap. They are now mixed and hopefully will clear again together. We have plans to bottle in a week or so. I'm contemplating getting some smaller bottles around 8oz each so that we'll have more to try and to share. I supposed we would just make more... we'll see. I may get more pears from Kier's parents this weekend.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

sounds good.

10:11 PM  

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