Friday, August 29, 2014

#26 Heady Topper Clone - Tasting

Recipe     -     Brewday     -     Tasting

ABV: 7.0%
IBU: 130
Serving Temp: 35F
Carbonation: 2.8 vol
Grade: B-

So after brewing two IPA's that underattenuated pretty severely, I'm pretty sure the GigaYeast Vermont Ale yeast I used is not actually the famous Conan strain.  Conan is known for tearing through high gravity worts like Arnold Schwarzenegger through a cast of extras, but I only got 72% ADF before and 74% on this beer.  And that's with a highly fermentable wort and half a pound of corn sugar.  It's pretty disappointing since I prefer dry IPAs, and this one certainly isn't.

The aroma isn't bad--plenty of hops--but with the wide variety of ... varieties I used, there are no individual flavors that stand out.  At first sip, the beer is heavy with residual sugars.  The hops peak out from behind the pale malt--I like the mango of the Amarillo as it's not overbearing--and one could even call it "balanced" if they were so inclined, but it's certainly not the balance I was shooting for.  The finish is just enough bitterness to balance the malt (meaning a lot).

Your Mom (our championship-winning rec softball team) enjoyed this beer at her post-season party, and I've had some friends prefer this over the session IPA, but I can't say I share their enthusiasm.  There is nothing technically wrong with the beer, but as it turned out, it's not something I would normally choose to drink just out of personal taste.

Edit 9/10/13:
Now that the keg is almost gone, the beer seems to have dried out just a bit.  The session IPA brewed with this yeast seemed to do the same thing, so it must have continued to work very slowly in the keg.  That seems rather odd considering the cold temperature, but I guess it's possible.  I prefer the beer much more now; it's still a bit heavy but the hops pop a little more, and the flavor is very nice.  I do think the hop bill is great with it's balanced orange citrusiness, so I could see using it as a starting point for another IPA in the future.

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