IPA and Amber Ale Updates

A few odds-and-ends. . .

Fake Tire Amber Ale 1.1
This brew was transferred to the secondary on Sunday, February 12, after 8 days in the primary. The gravity at that time was 1.012, down from 1.050 (giving a current ABV of 5.0%). Unlike the first version of this recipe, I did not get an estery aroma out of the primary fermenter – maybe because I fermented at a slightly lower temperature?

Fake Tire 1.0

Fake Tire Amber Ale 1.0
The original version of this recipe has conditioned very, very nicely, and as a result I’ve been drinking it with some regularity. A few weeks back a friend and I did a blind taste-test with the commercial version of Fat Tire. My version is a little less bitter and just a shade darker. Otherwise, they’re quite similar. In some ways, I prefer my slightly less hoppy version; it will be interesting to see how version 1.1 varies.

Socks-Off IPA
On January 5, I transferred this IPA over to the secondary fermenter; the gravity at that time was 1.024. On January 19, I added 2 oz. of Northern Brewer hops pellets directly to the fermenter (no hop bag). I let this mixture dry-hop until February 12, when I bottled the brew. The final gravity was 1.021, yielding an ABV of 6.7%. I ended up with four 22-oz. bottles, 21 pint bottles, and 13 12-oz. bottles.

This is a solid IPA. It has a subtle hop aroma, and a clear, coppery hue. The flavor is appropriately bitter, but perhaps the only fault is that it is a shade on the sweet side.

Brewing Plans for the Rest of Winter 2012
Time is growing short, before the temperatures inch their way up too far. My summer ale is in the primary fermenter now, and I’m considering doing a wheat beer to close out the season. If that happens, it will have to be next weekend. Finally, I have five pounds of honey that I’m planning on turning into mead. My understanding is that you can ferment mead at a reasonably high temperature, so that will be my “anchor” for Winter 2012.