Falling Leaf IPA Tasting Notes

December 2, 2013 at 9:58 pm



Falling Leaf IPA Tasting Notes:

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark gold with burt orange overtones. A puffy cloud like whitish-tan head sits atop.

Smell: Sharp, cutting citrus,pine and sweet malt.

Taste:  Starts smooth and malty, lazily giving way to a moderate bitterness that transitions nicely to a finish of aromatic, bright, floral hops.

Mouthfeel: Slightly under carbonated, malty with a moderately bitter finish.

Drinkability & Notes: While this finished lighter then what I would consider the average IPA it has a wonderful malt flavor that is extremely clean and supports the heaping amount of late addition hops.  It has a moderate hop bitterness as opposed to the over the top bitterness in many of the commercial examples with huge hop aromatics and flavors on the finish.

For me the highlight of this beer is the finish.  The finish is loaded with amazing hop flavors yet just enough bitterness to cut through the malt  The Simcoe really dominates with its pine and grapefruit flavors while the Citra and Amarillo play  off them nicely with their citrus and floral contributions.

I brought a half keg to a Thanksgiving party a few weeks ago and it was a huge hit with all everyone.  The keg wound up going super fast and made me wish that I had brought a full keg instead of a half.  At the party I  was describing the beer as more of a strong Pale Ale then an IPA but a lot of people thought it was perfectly in the range of and IPA style beer.  Either way, what it lacks in bitterness it more than makes up with its hoppy finish, making this truly enjoyably and accessible, hoppy beer.



Rich’s Coffee Pale Ale 2.0 Tasting Notes

May 24, 2013 at 9:33 pm

I will admit it, I am a coffee addict.  I absolutely love coffee and enjoy each and every cup I drink throughout the day.  I have also been known to enjoy a coffee porter or two from time to time, however with that being said I have never experimented coffee in any of my homebrews.  Traditionally coffee finds its way into darker beers usually porters and stouts as the darker malts used in them tend to compliment the roasty, coffee notes.  Recently, I have been reading about brewers experimenting with coffee in other non traditional beers such as IPAs.  I decided that I would experiment with a small batch of my Pale Ale and attempt to infuse it with some coffee flavors.

After doing some research online it appears that the two most common ways to extract the good coffee flavors without the bad (astringent) is by one of the following methods.  Cold brew.  This process calls for grinding up the appropriate amount of coffee and placing it in cold water for 24 hours, after which the coffee is seperated and the coffee is added to the beer usually before bottling or kegging.  The second option, is to do a coffee bean dry hop where whole coffee beans are crushed slightly and added to the secondary or keg directly.  When brewing a porter or a stout option one is available, however when attempting to add coffee to a pale ale, realistically the coffee bean dry hop is the only option in order to preserve the classic Pale Ale color profile.

Below are my tasting notes after adding 22 grams of slightly crushed Columbian finca villa loyola coffee beans and 1 oz of whole leaf Chinook Hops to a 2.5 gallon keg.  The coffee beans were left in the dry hop for two days prior to being removed, the hops were left for the full 7 days.

Rich’s Coffee Pale Ale 2.0(WLP023) Tasting Notes:

Appearance: Pours a deep orange with shades of brown.  A one finger slightly off white head dissipates slowly leaving the glass rimmed with lacing. (No discernible visual difference between this and the regular Rich’s Pale Ale.)

Smell: Mild cocoa, fresh flowers, orange and lemon notes are complimented by a sweet malt and fruit.

Taste: Smooth clean sweetness  serves as a basis for the coffee notes which cut right through immediately as the beer hits the palate.  Mild and restrained, but definitely noticeable the flavors work wonderfully with the fruitiness of the Burton Ale Yeast.  Much less bitter than the SafeAle-05 batch which allows the interplay between the citrus and floral hop aromatics and the coffee to take center stage.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated, nice interplay of hop aromatics and malt sweetness with a slight edge towards the hops.

Drinkability & Notes: This beer is absolutely fantastic, and has to be one of my favorite beers brewed ever!  Im having a hard time believing that something as simple as adding a few grams of coffee to a dry hop could have such an amazing impact on the final beer.  The coffee flavors meld beautifully with the malt sweetness and the subtle citrus and floral hop aromatics.  The fruitiness of the Burton Ale yeast puts this beer over the top for me as pulls all the flavors together into one absolutely delicious sip.  I will definitely be experimenting with additional coffee bean dry hops in the future, and am considering brewing 10 gallons of the Coffee Pale Ale for my wedding as I believe that the flavors of this beer will be enjoyed by a wide audience, not just the beer connoisseurs.

Coffee Pale Ale

Rich’s Pale Ale 2.0 Tasting Notes

May 20, 2013 at 8:36 pm


Rich’s Pale Ale 2.0(US-05) Tasting Notes:

Appearance: Pours a deep orange with shades of brown.  A one finger slightly off white head dissipates slowly leaving the glass rimmed with lacing.

Smell: Strong orange and grapefruit, piney and resinous, subtle floral notes accompany a slight malt sweetness.

Taste: Smooth clean sweetness with a mild hop bite on the initial sip, complemented nicely by a moderate hop medley of citrus and pine.  Finishes with a hint of herbs and orange, a lingering bitterness and hints of carmel round out the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated, feels somewhat thin, nice interplay of hop aromatics and malt sweetness with a slight edge towards the hops.

Drinkability & Notes: This being the second version of my pale ale I was able to tweak the recipe, specifically in the addition of a touch more crystal malt in hopes of achieving a better balance.  This version is definitely more balanced than the first and the hop aromas align closer to those found in some of the popular commercial examples of the style.  In the first recipe I used CTZ and Summit which were a bit too aggressive in both bitterness and aroma and pushed the beer towards the upper limits of the Pale Ale range. These tasting notes are from the SafeAle-05 fermented batch, which is evident by the extremely clean fermentation. There are no noticeable yeast flavors, however upon tasting the gravity samples there was a noticeable difference in the bitterness between the US-05 and the Burton Ale WLP23 versions, with the US-05 being much more bitter.  I will provide tasting notes for the WLP23 fermented batch in the near future, which I suspect will be a bit more complex.

Unfortunately, I had brew day problems that forced me to completely drain my mash tun mid mash (never switch dip tubes in a rush) and subsequently caused my mash temperature to drop into the 130 degree range.  As a result this beer finished slightly higher in alcohol than anticipated as well as slightly thinner.  The additional 2-4 gravity points that would have resulted from a proper mash temperature would have really set this beer off, as I prefer my Pale Ale’s to have a slightly maltier mouthfeel.  With that being said I believe this recipe is much more balanced than the first, with a great blend of malt and citrus/pine hops aromatics, and based on the reactions from my friends and family will be a contender for first kegs to kick at my wedding later this year. 


Rich’s Pale Ale Tasting Notes

June 7, 2012 at 12:29 am

Appearance: Burnt orange to light brown with a quickly dissipating white head.

Smell: Subdued citrus hop aroma, slight carmel notes.

Taste: Moderate maltiness, Classic American hop profile finishes bitter with residual sweetness on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated, Semi sweet with the balance focused more towards the hop bitterness

Drinkability & Notes: Overall an enjoyable beer, finished lighter than what I would have wanted and slightly hoppier. Next time I would increase the amount of crystal malt slightly to give it a fuller flavor profile while decreasing the late addition of Summit hops to strike a better balance.

Rich’s Pale Ale

April 28, 2012 at 2:06 am

Batch Size: 11 Gallons
Estimated Original Gravity: 1.051
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.012
IBU: 41.4
Color: 7.8
Boil Time: 60 Min

76.85% (16 lbs) Pale Malt 2-Row
18.6% (3lbs 14.1 oz) Vienna Malt
2.4% (8 oz) Crystal 120
2.2% (7.2 oz)Crystal 40

.5 Oz Summit (15.90 AA) @ 60 min 14.1 IBU
.5 Oz Columbus (12.8 AA) @ 30 min 8.7 IBU
1 Oz Chinook (11.8 AA) @ 15 min 10.4 IBU
1 Oz Columbus (12.8 AA) @ 5 min 4.5 IBU
.75 Oz Citra (13.4 AA) @ 5 min 3.6 IBU
1 Oz Summit (15.9 AA) @ 0 min

White Labs 090 San Diego Super Yeast

Mash @ 152 Degrees for 60 minutes mashout at 165 degrees