Original Post: Single Hop IPA #4: Galaxy Brew Day
Style: 14B. American IPA
Brew Date: May 20, 2014
Tasting Date: June 17, 2014
Now… THIS smells like an IPA. I have to admit, I’m pretty relieved. This is the first I’ve drank of these and after the issues with the Saaz batch, I was nervous. The OG was slightly lower, the FG was (very) slightly higher and as a result, the ABV .4% lower, but I think these Galaxy hops are just a lot more potent.
Okay, first sip… yep. This IS an IPA! I would have bumped the hopping up if I had known the gravity was going to end up this high, but they still come through as the dominant characteristic of this beer. There is some alcohol and some malt, but it’s mostly stone fruit and pine. The bitterness is lower than I’d like, but the flavor and aroma are beautiful.
I smell peach. When it first hits my tongue, I get some pine. Keeping the beer in my mouth, I get a bit of maltiness and alcohol along with plenty of citrus and some pith. As I swallow I get some sweeter tropical fruit flavors. Finally, in the aftertaste, I get some of that pineapple I remember from commercial Galaxy hopped IPAs. These hops are phenomenal. It is amazing that this is a single hop beer. There is so much complexity and diversity and just a depth of flavor in this that the fact it’s all from a single variety of hop blows my mind.
I still wish the alcohol was a bit lower so that the hops could shine even more. I almost want to brew another beer and make it a SMASH, with only Pilsner Malt along with the single hop to give the Galaxy more room to work.
My first impression reminded me of Weyerbacher’s Double Simcoe IPA. There are definitely some similarities between Galaxy and Simcoe, but I think Galaxy is a whole lot fruitier. I don’t remember so much pine flavor in the Tröegs beer that introduced me to Galaxy hops, but I definitely feel it in my own beer. The stone fruit and pineapple are a bigger component in Galaxy, though.
Overall, this beer is a success. It’s much better than the Saaz batch and probably better than any other IPA I’ve brewed. I still think I need to rework my malt bill before proceeding to batches five and six in my Single Hop IPA series, but I may also need to play with Galaxy hops some more before I get to those.