Friday, 18 January 2013

Homebrew Review - Homegrown IPA

Due to adverse weather, that Deuchers I was planning to brew this week will have to wait. Half a foot of snow and a frozen water supply have closed off that little avenue of pleasure.

As I've got behind with some of the tastings, perhaps it's a good time to review some of last year's brews. I'll kick off with the IPA I threw together with my homegrown Bramling Cross hops.

I have to confess, that despite not knowing the alpha content of the hops, this beer has turned out remarkably well.

As usual, I bottled half the batch and kegged the other. The picture is from the keg.

The 10% of Carahell I added to the Pale Malt made the beer a tad darker than I originally envisaged, but on the plus side, it does help to provide a decent malt backbone against the hops.

That's not to say this is a malty beer, far from it. But the balance is good, with the hops dominating as they rightly should. And the Bramling Cross are superb. My concerns that amateur drying techniques and storage would ruin them, failed to materialise. Perhaps it's because I used them relatively quickly after drying. But, surprisingly, I don't get the 'blackcurrant' that is often attributed to this variety. I'm getting fruity, spicy hop notes with a decent edge of bitterness, plus a hint of lemon.

Head retention is good and it laced the glass to the end. To be quite honest, I'm not sure I could have crafted a better beer, had I known the acid contents of the hop. If I'm being fussy (which I usually am) I'd prefer the colour to be slightly paler, but changing the malt would change the beer and I wouldn't want that. It's not completely clear, either, but that may be down to a hop haze.

Frankly, this is a lovely beer and I'd brew it again, just as it is. Granted a decent hop harvest in 2013, that's exactly what I'll be doing come September. It's a belter.


  1. Looks like a great beer. Although, I've often heard that the blackcurrant flavor comes out after the beer has some age to it. I just wish I could get good quality bramling cross hops around here for a decent price.