Tasting Iterations 5 & 7

Going into this tasting, I wondered how much of a difference there would be outside of the hop character of these red IPAs. Aside from the age of Iteration 5, I knew that the only difference in the grain bill was 3 oz. of C120. Certainly these beers would be more similar than the beers last tasting I did with Iterations 4 & 7. With a 17 point difference in OG, and the resultant 2% difference in ABV, these beers were quite different in a way that I probably should have expected but didn’t.

 

Recap

The recipes for each beer are as follows:

Iteration 5

  • Mashed at 150⁰ F for 1.25 hrs.
    • 10 lbs. 2-Row
    • 1 lb. Crystal 120
    • 1 lb. Vienna
  • Boiled for 1 hr.
    • 0.5 oz. Simcoe (60 min) at 12.2%  AA
    • 0.5 oz. Simcoe (30 min) at 12.2% AA
    • 0.5 oz. Cascade (15 min) at 5.0% AA
    • 0.5 oz. Centennial (5 min) at 9.7% AA
  • Pitched US-O5
  • OG: 1.056
  • FG:  1.008
  • ABV: 6.3%
  • Dry hopped 0.5 oz. Cascade and 0.5 oz. Centennial for 4 days.
  • Bottled and primed with 4 oz. of priming sugar.

 

 

Iteration 7

  • Mashed at 150⁰ F for 1.25 hrs.
    • 10 lbs. 2-Row
    • 1.2 lbs. Crystal 120
    • 1 lb. Vienna
  • Boiled for 1 hr.
    • 0.5 oz. Magnum (60 min) at 14.7%  AA
    • 0.5 oz. Magnum (30 min) at 14.7%  AA
    • 0.5 oz. Cascade (15 min) at 5% AA
    • 0.5 oz. Centennial (5 min) at 9.7% AA
    • 0.5 oz. Amarillo (0 min) at 12.9% AA
  • Pitched US-O5
  • OG: 1.073
  • FG: 1.010
  • ABV: 8.3%
  • Dry hopped 0.5 oz. Cascade, 0.5 oz. Centennial, and 0.5 oz. Amarillo for 5 days.
  • Bottled and primed with 4 oz. of priming sugar.

 

Appearance

Iteration 5 poured with a moderate white head that dissipated rapidly. It had an orange/amber hue. Iteration 7 poured with a decent off-white/tan head that had moderate retention and was distinctly redder in color than the other beer.

5&7

 

Aroma

Iteration 5 had an aroma of orange, floral and plum. Iteration 7 smelled of cherry, plum, apricot/pear, and a hint of orange. The aroma of this beer was much richer and had more depth than Iteration 5, despite the grain bill being the exact same, except for an additional 3 oz. of C120 in Iteration 7.

 

Flavor

Iteration 5 tasted of cherry with a hint of cracker and floral notes as well. Iteration 7 was, again, richer in depth with notes of plum, black cherry, orange rind, and apricot.

 

Final Thoughts

Iteration 5’s malt flavors were comparatively lacking next to Iteration 7. This cannot be accounted for in the additional 3 oz. of C120 alone; certainly, the difference in OG played a large role in how different these beers are. Although the richness of Iteration 7 is absolutely delightful, I have to imagine it’s covering up the hop aroma and flavor some. I could combat that by adding more hops; however, I do not believe that the intensity of these flavors would ever be complimented by the greater hop aroma and flavors I desire. I’ve mentioned before that I intend to lower the OG (and subsequently, the ABV) closer to what it was in Iteration 6 (1.066 and 7.3%, respectively). Not only should this return this beer to a standard-strength IPA instead of a double, but it should mitigate the manner in which the malt character is overpowering the hop character.

If you haven’t already, check out the plans for next year and let me know what you think using the survey. 

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2 thoughts on “Tasting Iterations 5 & 7

    • The 17 point gravity difference was due to a few factors—not just those few ounces of C120. One factor was that due to inconsistent efficiency (which is narrowed down to an inconsistent mill from my LHBS), I started having my grain double milled. That got me where I wanted to be with ability to be consistent in conversion efficiency and in my target OG. The other factor was that in Iteration 7, I gathered less pre-boil wort than intended because I misremembered and failed to consult my notes. That resulted in a more concentrated pre-boil gravity which, in retrospect, I should have diluted in the boil.

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