The Mosaic Is Complete
It's definitely carbonated. An affirmative, “pssst” escaped from under the crown upon opening the bottle. Phew, I passed that hurdle.
I would have preferred the color to be a bit brighter orange. I wouldn't mind a bit more clarity but it's got a solid head of foam and overall it looks respectable in the glass.
The Mosaic hop aroma is … there. It's not exactly leaping out of the glass as I would have hoped (not to mention, as I designed) but it makes its presence known with a distinctive berry smell, almost like fresh blueberry jam.
The body is solid. It's appropriate for an IPA but could perhaps be a bit thicker.
I could probably tease out some minor off-notes here and there, which are likely the result of oxidation but none are at an unacceptable level, at least for my home brew.
Yet the beer lacks umph. It's not bitter enough. I don't want a hop bomb, by any means. Nor am I ever interested in brewing a bitter tongue-scraper but the bitterness on the finish isn't nearly up to even mid-range IPA standards.
It's a shame because the beer would be acceptable (or the flaws would be less apparent) with a greater hop profile.
I'll try another one tonight to make sure it's not just a bum bottle (and then maybe another). But, assuming they all taste the same, I think I can learn at least one lesson from my first one-gallon batch. Hopping a beer on a small scale is tricky business. My hop weights were so teensy that they may just have been too small. In the case of this IPA, all that's really missing in order to have made a decent beer is hop aroma and back-end bite.
So how to improve the recipe? To start, I will probably go with a more traditional bittering hop. I used Mosaic throughout the brew. Mosaic has a respectable amount of alpha acid but there are varieties out there with plenty more. If I get the amount right that should take care of the lack of the right level of bitterness.
Still it's the aroma that I am really missing. So, I'll amp up the amount of late addition and dry hops, especially. In general, I'm thinking I should be less conservative with my hop schedule the next time around.
I need to fix some things process-wise as well. Speaking of dry-hopping, I'm not sure my hops ever got fully saturated, and therefore I'm not certain the beer got a good amount of contact with those green guys. I'll need to figure out a way to soak them in the short space of time it takes to transfer a gallon of beer on top of them.
Also, and as previously mentioned, my sparge is going to be a whole different animal with a cloth filter substituting in for my grain bed. That ought to be interesting, to say the least.
I'm looking to try to get this IPA right. I think this could (and should) be a really enjoyable drink.
I also need to get working on my Gratzer ... I'd love to do a lager in small batch form … got to plan some cooler weather brews for the fall….
Yikes, I'd better get brewing.Last modified on