Breakpoint Brewery

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The Hop Report

Well, another Friday night. You know what that means – The Hop Report! But here’s some Requiem’s Rollercoaster with Citrus Ale Marinaded grilled chicken.

Tonight, I went with a little more major brewery beer – Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA. I still consider this a craft beer and am thankful for Sam Koch’s efforts in revolutionizing the beer scene. While Sam Adams has a considerable lineup of good beers and Latitude 48 IPA is definitely a good beer, there’s just too many better beers. I’m glad I tried it, but I’ll probably pass it up next time around. It has the hop profile of an English IPA, which is perfectly good, but not my cup of tea. I prefer the insanity of an American IPA, such as my Mooney Stars IPA.

This beer is insane. It’s got all of that resin-y hop goodness that I love in an IPA. While it has a considerable amount of bitterness, probably from the FWH, it basically kicks you in the face with citrus-y aroma. I’m hoping the carbonation improves over the next few weeks and hop debris clears from the beer, but right now this beer is awesome! I think the Simpsons Golden Promise creates an ideal malt backbone for something this hop forward.

Well, onto The Hop Report – they are all doing quite well. I have noticed a bit bug infestation as the leaves are eaten up a little bit, but I’d prefer to avoid using chemicals on them so I’m just going to keep a close eye on them. They’re all growing, but it appears that the Zeus and Cascades are having a little trouble climbing the wooden posts. It’s possible that I left a few too many sprouts climb and now they are weighing each other down.

Here they are:

Zeus

Cascade

Centennials

Magnums

Pride of Ringwoods

I’m still trying to figure out if the Pride of Ringwoods are Cascades and the Cascades are Pride of Ringwoods. They appear to have fairly distinct leaves, so I need to do some Google searching to discern which is which.

Well, I hope to get my Wye Oak CD this weekend, but it appears that Monday may be the earliest possible delivery. Based on what I have already heard and the fact that I’m considering an American Brown Ale, I should still be able to fit in a brew day next weekend for this “Mashing with Merge” beer.


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Requiem’s Stars

My goal in this blog is to track my brewing progress and make notes on past brews, so that when I brew them again I can tweak them until I’m happy with them to re-brew them.

Anyway, I’ve been drinking Requiem’s Rollercoaster for a few weeks now. The color on this beer came out great. Unfortunately, the sweat on the glass makes it look cloudy, but you’ll have to take my word that it is crystal clear. The aroma of this beer is quite unique. There’s this hint of the roast from the roasted barley, but it’s not overpowering. I would have to say that the roasted barley probably contributed to the excellent color, but I may cut back on it (possibly just 2 oz) or switch with some Carafa III to maintain the color while subdueing the roastiness. It’s not really the aroma of the roast that has me down on it, but the aftertaste that it leaves in – it’s almost like a rauchbier. There is a nice and subtle fruity hop aroma that comes wafts out of the glass with the roastiness. Overall, the flavor is a great balance of hops and malt with the caramel sweetness sitting at right about the level I wanted it. The hops are great and I would probably leave them mostly the same with potentially some increase in the FWH or finishing hops just to get a little more of that resin-y hoppiness that I love (though this may move it more from an AAA to an American Pale Ale).

Mooney Stars IPA is not at the drinking stage, yet (though, it should be and only isn’t because I was too lazy to clean the keg and keg it sooner), I did keg it this past weekend. I was siphoning it out of the bucket, but all the hops that I had to put in the fermenter got in the way and clogged up the autosiphon. Eventually, I was able to get about 4 gallons in the keg. I will let it chill and carb for a few weeks or so, then I’ll try it out. I have not pulled a final gravity reading on it, but I’ll do that with the first pull off the kegerator which is usually full of yeast anyway. Anyway, I think the next time I brew a monster IPA, then I’m gonna make sure that I either have an improved non-clog-able diptube or I’ll use hop pellets.

So far, the first two “Mashing with Merge” brews have gone well. I think this project has kept me creative with the recipe process keeping me on my toes with new ingredients and processes.