« on: August 22, 2011, 08:25:54 AM »
Okay friends and brewers, I need some help. I just got back my score sheets from the Michigan Beer Cup this year and once again my IPA received high honors (41.5 this year) but lacked one quality, balance. I hear this time and time again with my beers, IPAs especially. I need some hints, tips, tricks, or ideas on how to take my beer to next level.
What I hear from judges who blindly taste my beer in comps and from people who know me and are willing to give me honest feedback is that I have a clean tasting beer with no off-flavors and tastes great. There's just one thing missing, the malt. I hear many comments about the hoppiness is great and the flavors and aromas are good-great for and IPA but there isn't any malt to balance the beer.
A little background on my setup. I batch sparge using a cooler (bluish-grey color since that matters) and I do single infusion mashes. I usually boil everything for 90 minutes and will routinely do a 2 hour boil if necessary. I like to add 5-10% Munich malt in my IPAs to try and achieve that "maltiness" I am looking for but never really seem to get there. I have tried mashing anywhere from 149-156 degrees to vary my final gravity. I usually reach 1.008 to 1.014 for a final gravity on my IPAs.
If you need any more info before you'd like to critique my process or recipes just let me know. Thanks for all the help!!