Fruit Spectrum IPA Tasting Notes

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Original Post: Fruit Spectrum Brew Day
Style: American IPA
Brew Date: August 5, 2014
Tasting Date: September 30, 2014
ABV: 6.9%
IBUs: 70

I want to start by saying that this batch already almost gone. I am greatly enjoying it. I wanted to start with that because I feel like this may sound more critical than some of my other tasting notes. While I would still love to get some formal training, I think that continuing to write these tasting notes has improved my beer tasting tremendously. So just by the fact that I’ve been drinking a lot of this beer, I already have pretty good idea of how these tasting notes will go. Okay, time to open the beer.

There was a good carbonation pop and I immediately got whiff of tropical fruit aroma. The aroma wafted by even more as I poured the beer and the color was revealed. This is definitely lighter than most IPAs, but knowing the grain bill consisting exclusively of Pilsner and Pale Malts, that is to be expected. It was planned that way and I really like the way it worked out. Atop the yellow beer is a fluffy white head.

Taking a purposeful whiff, the tropical fruit becomes more distinct. Pineapple is the first fruit to come out, then there is some mango and papaya. Taking an even deeper breath, though and some harsher fermentation character comes out.

This beer definitely has some rough edges. The fermentation appears to have been much too warm. Harsh esters and harsher fusel alcohol comes out in the middle of the sip. The general harshness in mid sip is probably related to the fermentation temperature, or possibly from under pitching the yeast. There is an upside, though. There is some banana flavor that comes through at the end which adds to the general hop fruitiness and is actually pretty pleasant.
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So there is the problem with this beer. The net result is that it just isn’t as easy drinking as cleaner IPAs, but the hop flavor is still fantastic. The pineapple, mango and papaya from the aroma stick around in the flavor, withe stone fruits taking lead now. There is some minor pine flavor as well. Citrusy flavors come out in the aftertaste, but I’m surprised to say that it is more orange than grapefruit, though there are notes of both.
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The bitterness is firm, but I’d like it to be higher. Maybe without the fermentation character the bitterness would stand out more. It has no competition from the malt, certainly. I considered adding sugar but didn’t have to. I don’t think there would be any reason for it, either.

I think this is a fantastic recipe that I did a decent job of brewing but temperature control during fermentation is clearly a step that I need to take to get my beer to the next level and in this beer, which should be very clean, it is more evident than ever.

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