Welcome back folks.
So, we’ve got the whole ‘big, fat hoptacular’ thing rolling around our brains for our first non-session IPA.
This thought caused Bif to vitriolically shout at me about a beer he had in Amsterdam, a beer called
What he was screaming at me amounted to
‘Dude, this beer was fucking incredible. It was hoppy and citrussy and fucking devastatingly delicious. We should totally use some similar hops to it man!’
Anything which created such unbridled earnestness in Bif must be a good thing, right, so we decided to use the same hops used in the holiday beer. Those hops were Citra.
Now, we could have attempted to clone the beer completely but, well, we never set out to do any beer cloning. We always wanted to create our own beers; things we could be proud of having spawned from our twisted, and degenerate brains. So I set about having a look at what we could do to ensure that this beer was distinctly ours, albeit with the beautiful flavour of Citra jumping about the liquid goodness.
I decided that the way we had used hops previously was a way which we both felt created some really interesting and complex results. Particularly the batshit hopping we gave Fizzy J. With this in mind I set about looking into some other hops to add some depth to the brew; I decided I also wanted to use hops neither Bif nor I had heard of before. With this I chose two bad boys which I thought would play really nicely with the flavours of Citra. These were an American hop called Apollo and a Polish hop called Junga. What flavours do these hops have? Some frantic scouring of the webernets revealed:
Citra- Citrus fruit flavours. Leaning towards the tropical and peachy end of the spectrum. Healthy aroma to boot.
Apollo- Grapefruit. Big fuck off Grapefruit and Orange. Yummy Orange.
Junga- Herbal, spicy and blackcurrant. A bit of an undercurrent of citrus.
If you Google them I’m sure you’ll find some better descriptions, but I think I’ve encapsulated the drift.
At this stage I sent Bif the ideas of the hops and, well, he fucking loved it. So much so that he began working on using Junga into some other beer ideas (more for the future folks).
In terms of Malt we decided to use a similar mix as with our Session IPA. This meant majority Maris Otter Pale malt and a bit of Crystal (that standard, medium, British crystal). We decided to use 6kg of Maris and 200g of the crystal; we wanted to try and get a bit of a lighter colour in the brew and decided we didn’t want too much of a maltiness in the finished beer. This motherfucker was to be about the hops!
With this in mind we also decided to mix up the yeast as well- we don’t like changing things one at a time!
I’d read about the Safales s05 American Yeast; it was meant to produce a lot less in the way of fruity characteristics than the s04 British Ale yeast we’d previously used. Now we love the character of s04, it adds a nice rounded depth to beer. Again, though, this beast of a brew was to be all about showcasing the hops. For that we needed a relatively clean canvas… S05 was chosen.
SOOOOOOOOOO….. with all the constituent components agreed upon I toyed with a couple of recipes and we decided on this little motherfucker.
I’ll leave you here and hope you come back for more with the next instalment of THE BREWDYSSEY