Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Experimenting - another fun part of brewing

Sometimes the best beers I've made are the smaller more experimental ones.  Why, oh, why do I spend time on the Classic Styles?  Here is the story.

I made a simple IPA, with Maris Otter and a little bit of Crystal malt.  I limited the hops to Centennial for bittering and Simcoe for aroma and flavor...this was the next beer after the SMaSH beers I brewed, and I wanted to keep with the some of the same ingredients.

It was another 4 gallon batch, and when I racked to secondary (into a 3 gallon carboy and a 1 gallon carboy), the one gallon was calling for something extra.  The 1 gallon carboys are the best things in the world.  It allows you to experiment, without risking the entire batch.

But what to do?  Hmm.  I have some cheap honey here in the pantry.  Let's squirt some honey into this IPA in the 1 gallon carboy.  One, two, three, four seconds (or so) worth of honey.  OK.  Let's let this set for another 4 weeks before bottling.

I ended up bottling 6 total (I guess it was less than a full gallon).  Extreme limited edition brew.  I drank one or two a couple months later, took another to the Brew Club after that.  Add another 2 months, and I put one in the refrigerator last week.  Wow!  Very honey and still very much beer.

Lots of honey on the nose and in the flavor.  A slight bitterness that lingers.  A nice amount of carbonation, on the low side, which presents well with the smooth honey flavor and a little bit of sweetness.   Smooth, honey, malt, hops.  Nice!  Nice! Nice!

And I made this!  Oh, the joys of home brewing.  I should have a few left, which will continue to age until another special occasion.