Universal Sanction IPA: tasting notes


If you can cast your mind back a bit, you’ll remember me whipping this one up: https://yeastismybitch.com/2014/07/09/universal-sanction-india-pale-ale/

Well, we’re gathered here today to see what it turned out like…

Out of the keg it’s quite hazy, but not yeastily so, I guess it’s the dry-hopping that’s done it.  The head’s quite good, is snow white and hangs about a bit.  A bit of lacing clings on merrily as you get further down the glass.

Aroma-wise, I’ve learnt a big lesson here – and that’s not to use seemingly well-sealed, but opened, hops from the freezer for aroma additions.  The Nelson Sauvin had gone past their best – meaning that we get plenty of hops in the aroma, but they’re not as fresh as I’d like them to be.

From now on it’s brand new packets of hops or I fork out for a vacuum sealer…

As for Citra and Nelson as bed-fellows, I remain to be convinced.  Their respective uber-citrusness and uber-white-whineyness seem to push against each other, leaving the hop profile weirdly confused.  Next time it’ll be Nelson on it’s own (a la Thornbridge Kipling) or Citra on it’s own (a la Oakham Citra)

It’s not to say that this beer is a disaster – everyone who’s tried it has liked it…but I know, and I can taste it’s deficiencies.  I also think that for something this hoppy, S04 yeast was a mistake, it’s character is also far too evident in the taste and doesn’t seem to contribute a great deal.

The Next IPA will be brewed with either US-05 (my one true yeasty love) or I’ll splash out on some liquid Californian ale yeast (WLP001, or something like that)

Body, mouth-feel, bitterness and all the other things are all fine, which is a further testament to my house malt bill (with reversible Vienna and Munich malt quantities…although the variation with a majority of Munich malt just has it on taste…)

I have a couple of kit brews to do soon – all-grain kits from the folks at BrewUK, which I was bought for my birthday by the Jimster.  I hope to get one of those on the go with him next week – that’s if my Belgian Saison ever stops fermenting.

Come Monday it’ll be three weeks in the fermenter…it’s Thursday today and bubbles are still coming through the airlock every 90 seconds.  It’s going to be a dry ‘un…

UPDATE (16/09/2014): This beer seems to have turned a corner.  It’s now much less yeast-led, and the Citra and Nelson seemed to have bedded down together making the whole hop profile seem less confused.  It’s a much more drinkable beer now – but it’s still a little way off from where I would have liked it to be…

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