Daily Drop No. 16 – Homebrew Mystery Pale Ale

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On today’s Daily Drop, I’m doing something completely different. With the experience I’ve gained in the past two weeks, I’m going to sample my currently kegged homebrew batch — an IPA that failed and landed in the Pale Ale category, all due to some personal shortcomings regarding patience, diligence, and most importantly… sanitation.

This batch is now known as the Mystery Pale Ale. I would say that it is a successor to an insanely delicious triple-hopped rye IPA, except that it’s not. Rather, a red-headed stepchild of said insanely delicious triple-hopped rye IPA. It’s going to need to stand on the wall for a couple weeks before it learns valuable lessons and comes good. But for now, a harsh pre-trial.

Appearance

A cloudy dark straw colour, with reasonably solid head retention. No active bubbles in sight due to the cloudy nature and the residual head and surprisingly solid lacing.

Aroma

Loads of berries and hints of floral, and some fruity and tropical notes. The body is dry and not present in the aroma, and the hops are the only thing present.

Mouth feel

Sharp carbonation, and a lemony citrus bite on the nose. Medium to full bodied dry malt flavour, landing on a mostly dry and bitter aftertaste.

Flavour

A very prominent lemon citrus bite on the nose, very dry malt flavour with a bit of wheat coming through in the middle of the palate. It finishes quite dry with a residual bitter lemony-grapefruity citrus aftertaste.

Overall

While the aroma is really impressive and the mouth feel solid, the flavour is lacking in the sweet department. It’s too dry. There’s not a single solitary sweet note after the initial bite, which I liken to drinking salt water in the middle of Death Valley. A siren’s song of refreshment, who’s aim is to confuse with the thought of cold liquid in a desolate desert wasteland, only to reveal itself a dry mouthful of citrus flavoured sand.

Ok, maybe it’s not that bad. But we are all our own harshest critics. The biggest shortcomings are the ones we see in ourselves. And even though this brew tastes like rubbish to me compared to the incredible beers I’ve been sampling, there’s a chance it’s not as bad as I think.

Brewing thoughts

2 row pale malt, wheat and victory. Mashed around 67°, attributing to that wickedly dry flavour. Should have been at least 69°, maybe 70°. Hopped with Warrior, Ella, and too heavily with Cascade. The Cascade should have been lighter from the beginning, and saved the big hit for the end of the boil. Warrior hops could have dosed down a hair to let provide a segue for a sweeter body, which would’ve​ come through at a higher mash temp.

Today’s Daily Drop is brought to you by fireproof wood.

Have you mutilated a brilliant recipe before? Was your last batch a success or a total flop? Or are you a machine that only produces top-notch crafts that rival the greats? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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