Saturday, October 20, 2012

Red Giant Flanders Red and Zythos IPA

I brewed last weekend for the first time since mid-July.  It's the longest I've gone without making a beer in recent memory.  I was able to get two beers done, but it took all day:

Red Giant Flanders Red

Red Giant

After blending Flanders Red Ales with Lewy a few weeks back, we poured all of the remaining yeast cakes into a single carboy.  The huge cake comprised multiple pitches of Roselaire and innumerable dregs batches.  Seeking to continue some of the success we had, I brewed a new Flanders Red recipe and pitched it directly onto the cake after chilling.  The new recipe focused on Vienna as a base grain with some significant wheat for mouthfeel and crystal for color.  I had planned to use Special B but couldn't get my hands on any prior to brewing.  The brew session was sort of a mess.  I spilled a bunch of first runnings through a faulty seal in a bucket.  My SRM, gravity, and volume were all off.  My garden hose broke right when I needed to start chilling post boil.  It'll probably be the best beer I've ever made.

Zythos IPA

I bought a pound of hops from Hop Union that approached hops in a completely different way.  Traditionally, hops are always sold as harvested varietals, with the brewer deciding if and how to combine desirable flavors.  Hop Union created its Zythos blend of hops specifically as a multi-use hop for IPAs and other American-style hop-forward brews.  The idea of creating a proprietary blend of hop varietals and selling it under a single name is pretty interesting and Zythos is supposed to have many of the most desirable characteristics of favorites like Amarillo and Sorachi Ace.  I wanted to use Maris Otter in quantity for this beer and added a little bit of color and head retention properties with some non-fermentables.  A full 8 ounces of hops go into the recipe, and it's the first beer I can remember making that uses a single hop for bittering, flavor, and aroma.  WLP051 CA Ale V should impart some fruit notes to compliment Zythos' supposed tangerine, lemon, grapefruit and pine flavors and aromatics.

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