Author Topic: Drink IPA's Fresh!  (Read 8887 times)

Offline liquidbrewing

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Drink IPA's Fresh!
« on: November 26, 2012, 04:20:54 PM »
I just wanted to briefly post this.  To anyone that thinks you can age IPA's.  I recently purchased some Two Hearted Ale, that was bottled in July.  It did not taste like the Two Hearted I know.  I know all about drinking IPA's fresh, this info is mainly for newer brewers and whoever else would like to know...

At a club function recently a friend and fellow brewer brought a bottle of Hopslam that he had left.  Nothing like the Hopslam I had in January.

Plus, the last 120 Minute I had was so cloyingly sweet, I vowed never to pay the $10 / bottle again for this reason.  I assume this was not a bottle from this year.

Lastly, this sounds like sacrilege, another friend invited us over for dinner and had a bottle of Pliny, that had been bottled about 9-10 months prior.  Honestly, nothing if not terrible, knowing how it should taste, that is.

The main reason I wanted to share this with everyone is to spread the word, Drink your IPA's fresh!  I consider all the above beers in my favorite IPA's category, but time is only detrimental to them and other IPA's.
Justin
Liquid Brewing, Co.
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Offline euge

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Re: Drink IPA's Fresh!
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2012, 04:39:09 PM »
I agree!

There is a notion that one must age their "IPA's" to mimic the "conditions" faced on a long voyage to India... If so slosh your beers constantly for a couple months too.

Hops and higher levels of alcohol definitely have an antiseptic effect on beer however one is gonna lose that particular hop quality over time. In fact I think it is inversely proportional like so many other things in this universe. Age for two months and your beer is 1/4 as hoppy as it was at one month. At the very least it has lost 1/2 of it's hoppy character. Extrapolate this over the course of a year and beyond.

I like fresh unpasteurized beer. IMO the hop quality reveals itself magnificently as early as 2 weeks and most certainly at one month.

On the flipside beers with a darkly roasted malt character seem to benefit from some extended conditioning. So balancing the two is idiosyncratic but this is part of the art of brewing and cellaring.
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Offline udubdawg

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Re: Drink IPA's Fresh!
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2012, 05:23:49 PM »
I love IPA like few other things in this world.  However I don't brew it as often as this level of passion would indicate.  I simply hate losing my hop aroma when the batch is half gone.

made an exception this year, and brewed 4 IPAs at once.  Entered best two in FOAM Cup; each took Silver in 14B and 14C.  Now I'm just frantically drinking them before they fade.  woe is me.   ;D

cheers--
--Michael
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 05:27:47 PM by udubdawg »

Offline In The Sand

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Drink IPA's Fresh!
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2012, 06:23:13 PM »
I love IPA like few other things in this world.  However I don't brew it as often as this level of passion would indicate.  I simply hate losing my hop aroma when the batch is half gone.

made an exception this year, and brewed 4 IPAs at once.  Entered best two in FOAM Cup; each took Silver in 14B and 14C.  Now I'm just frantically drinking them before they fade.  woe is me.   ;D

cheers--
--Michael

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Re: Drink IPA's Fresh!
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2012, 06:49:23 PM »
I agree that American IPAs need to be consumed fresh.

If you brew a British IPA with a large charge of EKG (at least a pound for 10 gallons), Maris Otter, highly sulfate water, and British Ale yeast, it is harsh and unpleasant when young. Let it sit in the cellar for 6 to 10 months and it becomes a thing of beauty. You can then dry hop to get the fresh hop aroma. It has become something I do every year now.


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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Drink IPA's Fresh!
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2012, 05:39:47 AM »
I agree that American IPAs need to be consumed fresh.

If you brew a British IPA with a large charge of EKG (at least a pound for 10 gallons), Maris Otter, highly sulfate water, and British Ale yeast, it is harsh and unpleasant when young. Let it sit in the cellar for 6 to 10 months and it becomes a thing of beauty. You can then dry hop to get the fresh hop aroma. It has become something I do every year now.

+1
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Drink IPA's Fresh!
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2012, 06:05:55 AM »
I agree that American IPAs need to be consumed fresh.

If you brew a British IPA with a large charge of EKG (at least a pound for 10 gallons), Maris Otter, highly sulfate water, and British Ale yeast, it is harsh and unpleasant when young. Let it sit in the cellar for 6 to 10 months and it becomes a thing of beauty. You can then dry hop to get the fresh hop aroma. It has become something I do every year now.

+1.  That makes a lot of sense.  I also like to drink my APA's within a few weeks.  There is definitely something about it.  But I like the aging of the British IPA's.  Making one shortly....

Dave
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Re: Drink IPA's Fresh!
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2012, 07:21:02 AM »
If you read through the Mitch Steele book IPA, one can find that the British IPAs were 6 months to a year old when they were put on the ship to India, then they went for another 6 months.

One thing though, British IPA that has been aged and then dry hopped (or not) will not be confused with a fresh American IPA when you drink it. I do like both styles.
Jeff Rankert
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Offline liquidbrewing

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Re: Drink IPA's Fresh!
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2012, 01:25:02 PM »
Thanks for all the comments.  I agree about dark malts tasting better with a little age.

I only brew American style IPA's, so I never use British yeast or hops in them.  But I do understand about the whole British IPA thing and how they were traditionally brewed and consumed.
Justin
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Offline goschman

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Re: Drink IPA's Fresh!
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2012, 01:30:18 PM »
What is everyone's definition of fresh?

I am just curious. I prefer slightly complex and maltier grain bills for my IPAs. It seems to take some time for the flavors to come together. Mine seems to be the best after a month in the keg or bottle although I would assume some of hop character get subdued.

Offline liquidbrewing

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Re: Drink IPA's Fresh!
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2012, 01:37:05 PM »
Well my IPA schedule usually goes like this.  Brew, leave in primary for 2 - 3 three weeks, dry hop for 7-10 days, cold crash for a day or two, then keg, usually carbed up nice in about 6 days.  So from brewing through dry hopping I'm drinking it in as little as 4 weeks.  But I've seen a few people on here that can get an IPA done in just two weeks, even with dry hopping.

This is just how I do it and is usually dependent on when I need the beer.

I mainly use a simple grain bill.  Usually 95% base and as little as 5% character malt.  I normally use caramel 40, 80, or munich.  I've been known to do all 2-row ipas and all maris otter.  They always turn out good.  One of the best IPA's I can remember making, I was drinking it after three weeks.  I noticed the aroma hops fading after one week in the keg.  I normally only brew IPA's and stouts, I drink the IPA's up and let the stouts age while I'm pounding IPA's.   8)
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 01:40:27 PM by liquidbrewing »
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Offline goschman

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Re: Drink IPA's Fresh!
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2012, 01:45:36 PM »
yeah I would say most of my beer including IPAs are best 6-7 week after brewing. I personally like that the bitterness mellows out a bit in my IPAs. I say this knowing that I probably prefer IPAs that are more balanced and have less bitterness than most. Because of this, the whole "freshness" notion may not apply as much.

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Drink IPA's Fresh!
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2012, 01:54:36 PM »
Funny, the wife and I were just talking about this last weekend.  It seems that aging beer is being pushed by some breweries/beer geeks and though it is fine for some - it is decidedly not good for IPA's. In some cases I think it has gone too far.
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Offline DrewG

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Re: Drink IPA's Fresh!
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2012, 07:06:17 AM »
Quote
Two Hearted Ale, that was bottled in July.  It did not taste like the Two Hearted I know.

Had one like that a month ago, totally agree. Which is why I love that both Founders and Bells date stamp their bottles. I won't buy any (IPA's) from either brewery that are more than 3 months past the bottling date.

Which brings me to the point: Why don't all breweries date stamp their bottles? Why would you want some nasty old oxidized beer out there? Anyone unfamiliar (or uneducated) with that beer is going think poorly of it. I think it's Goose Island that goes so far as to put an actual "best by" date on their bottles. As a consumer, I really appreciate that.
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Drink IPA's Fresh!
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2012, 07:23:34 AM »
Quote
Two Hearted Ale, that was bottled in July.  It did not taste like the Two Hearted I know.

Had one like that a month ago, totally agree. Which is why I love that both Founders and Bells date stamp their bottles. I won't buy any (IPA's) from either brewery that are more than 3 months past the bottling date.

Which brings me to the point: Why don't all breweries date stamp their bottles? Why would you want some nasty old oxidized beer out there? Anyone unfamiliar (or uneducated) with that beer is going think poorly of it. I think it's Goose Island that goes so far as to put an actual "best by" date on their bottles. As a consumer, I really appreciate that.

I've noticed this most with imports.  Almost always at least a hint of oxidation and sometimes it's so bad the beer is barely drinkable.
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