Gigantic Grapefruit IPA – Tasting Notes

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So many of you* have written in to ask how this beer turned out, that it’d be a public disservice if I didn’t write this review.

And god knows it’s nice to hear from people from time-to-time.  Very often blogging is like casting pearls to the wind; and people, that’s one mixed metaphor you certainly won’t have heard before.

(*alright, so it was actually two people: Dan and Simon…but I was very happy to hear from them all the same…)

Anyway.  Here is the post about making the Grapefruit IPA:

https://yeastismybitch.com/2016/04/11/gigantic-grapefruit-ipa-recipe

Annoyingly, the half keg of it I had kicked half-way through a barbecue, so I had to break out some very nicely-aged Brett Pale Ale instead .  The rest was bottled – which are way more “fridgeable” than the corny keg.

The Grapefruit IPA arrives in a glass with a fearful chill-haze; but, hey, it’s an American-style IPA and they’re always hazy so everyone wins.

The head is magnificently retentive and that’s down to the wheat malt (as is, probably, the chill haze…)

Bear in mind, that because it’s 7.7% it has to be served cold, and there’s no two ways about it:  warm it’s like Gold Label (Barley Wine) from the days of yore.  Cold: it’s refreshing, fruity, zesty and suicidally drinkable.

There’s more than enough aroma, which is all West Coast hops with not so much dankness, but more of the fruitiness and juiciness that I was looking for.

It’s a big old taste, with lashings of warming alcohol, fruity hops and a solid bitterness – after that comes a wave of fairly pokey citrus ‘n’ grapefruit.

All-in-all, it’s just what I was hoping for. It runs the Ballast point Grapefruit Sculpin pretty close – and on that basis alone, I’m happy.

Honestly, it’s the best beer I’ve made this year; and do you know what?  I might end up adding citrus zest to all of my hoppy beers – as the hops fade the zest takes over and seems to elongate the sensation of hoppiness.

Again, as with some of my other beery efforts, those who have tried it have offered to buy it in quantity.  But I couldn’t do that… the thought of the excise men battering down my door in the middle of the night leaves me cold and clammy.

God, I wish very small-batch brewers (i.e. under a barrel – 117Litres per month) were allowed to flog their beer like the cider farmers can.

I’d only sell to make a tiny profit, meaning the rest covered the cost of ingredients and electrics.

Essentially it would mean that I’d be able to do more of what I enjoy, and that’s making lots of beer and have people buy, drink and enjoy it.

Gigantic Grapefruit IPA Recipe

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After a lengthy hiatus, I’ve finally got around to brewing again.

The Brewmaster/Braumeister kept casting me baleful looks as I passed, and in the end it was all too much to bear.

So what did I brew?

I need big IPAs in my life and one of the best, in my opinion, is Ballast Point’s Grapefruit Sculpin.  Ballast Point have recently been on the receiving end of some considerable earache for their merger/buyout by someone or other.

And by all that’s holy do I give a flying toss whether they’ve “sold out” or not?

Nope.

I couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss. As long as they keep pumping out gallons of quality Sculpin, I don’t care.

I mean, I live in rural Oxfordshire, so it’s neither here ‘nor there to me…  They might as well be making this stuff on the moon.

Mind you, if it stops tasting good then I’ll just stop drinking it, No drama. That’s pure economics for you.

Aaaanyway.

As I wanted my beer to be as big as I can possibly get it, I bought 6kg of grain and 200g of Falconer’s Flight pellets: I need my flavours to be distinctly “West Side” *makes W hand sign and feels distinctly like a dick*

Big citrus and pineyness are what we’re after here.

Oh and I used Magnum for bittering; for a grain bill this big we need considerable bitterness from the Magnum, with pretty much all the Falconer’s Flight at the back end, pulling the taste and aroma levers.

At the end of the boil, I cooled to 80C and dumped in my flame-out additions, letting the whole thing have a good half-hour hop stand while it cooled.

Grapefruit Sculpin (see my review here: https://yeastismybitch.com/2016/01/22/gorgeous-gargantuan-grapefruit-bpbrewing-grapefruit-sculpin-ipa/) is a cheery seven or so percent…and so is mine.  By some miracle of extraction I got 22L of 1068 wort into the fermenter and am hoping for a finish of 1009 or so.

Mind you, I’m being a bit careful to tame the West Coast Ale yeast by not fermenting above 17C; any higher than that and we’d get some yeast fruitiness, and this should be a clean beer.

After the krausen drops, I’m going to star-san a grapefruit or two and then zest them straight into the fermenter and then bung in 30 or so grams of FF pellets.

Then with six or so days to go I’m going to hit it with another 30 grams of pellets.

God, I LOVE getting hops into stuff…

When it eventually clears (and it’ll be a while I suspect), I’m going to bottle a fair amount and put some on keg – just for fun.

Here’s the recipe:

Grapefruit