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Ser Stein

Still not satisfied with my IPA

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I put together an IPA recipe using the following ingredients...

Diablo IPA HME
1.3 cups of Kona coffee blossom honey
2 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger

I wish I didn't add honey.

After almost week 5 of conditioning I still think it has some strange (not necessarily bad) taste. Some comments I've gotten...

"This is is an IPA? Tastes more like nut brown ale."

"ABV is high but tastes watery." (I'm blaming the honey on that)

"Tastes like the ingredients haven't come together."

The color is more brown looking that bronze like I'm used to seeing in IPA's. This one I tried around week 5 had a pretty generous head to it compared to the prior ones I've opened.

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Most Borg members recommend not changing the original recipe (i.e. Diablo IPA) until you know how it comes out. Then you can determine what you want to change and try it and compare.

Honey will a)increase the ABV and B) dry out the beer. It won't usually give any honey taste (honey malt can do that). I don't know what Kona coffee blossom honey is, but if you also have Kona coffee in there, that's going to impact the taste also.

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I wonder if maybe you simply have too much going on in there. An IPA is usually just a hopped up, semi-malt brew. What you added to a hoppy malt is, in my opinion, a conflict. I'm all for experimenting to meet ones taste but what does the Kona honey taste like? Just plain honey or does it have a coffee or strong flavor?

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Well the first thing I notice is a lack of dry hopping. IMHO this is essential to every IPA, it adds so much hop character to the taste and aroma. It really makes a huge difference!

The second thing I stop on is the lack of hop boiling. I realize HMEs are already hopped, but hop aroma and flavor fade quick, so if you got extract shipped from Australia who knows how old it is.

You can't boil HMEs, but you can boil UME, and learning to do a hop boil would significantly increase your hop profile.

The third thing I notice, but am mostly just guessing, is the ginger seems to be in direct competition with hops. Ginger is really strong and gives a super crisp taste to your beer, seems like that's the same space hop profiles would show up.

Easiest solution? Dry hopping.

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I agree with Jive. If you're a hop head who wants a strong hop flavor, you need to do a boil a least. A dry hop would be beneficial too. I'm not an IPA person by any means so I'm no the one to consult. But when I think IPA I definitely thing BIG hop flavor.

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I've just bottled a batch of straight up Diablo and the sample taste was pretty good in my opinion. But I've got another Diablo on the shelf and thought about hopping it up a little, I have some hops here, but I don't have any malt.

Would I be doing an effective hop boil if I used a half cup of molasses in like a quart of water and do my hop boil in that to add to the LBK + Diablo?

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