I have liked all of my brews thus far – and certainly there is an element of bias, but who cares? As a friend once replied when told all those vitamins he took only made him THINK he felt better, “What’s the difference?” I do, however, get positive feedback from many who have tasted them and that is the second best thing about brewing beer. The best thing is the very first statement: I have liked all my brews thus far.
To be specific, my favorite beer I have brewed so far and possibly my favorite beer of all time is Brew 009, Take-A-Bongo Red IPA. I knew I had to have another keg of it ready to go on tap by the time the first one kicked, so I brewed this batch.
The reason it is version 2.0 is that I made a few tweaks to the recipe. I reduced the darker malts and bumped up the Munich malts in addition to a couple other adjustments. The goal was to make it a bit lighter in color, a bit lower in ABV, and a bit maltier. That was a noble intent, but I did have an equipment malfunction. My brewing controller was supposed to maintain 152 degrees for the duration of the mash, but it apparently decided to jump to 100% power and I didn’t catch it till it had reached 170 degrees. This can have a detrimental effect on the outcome, but I proceeded nonetheless.
In spite of the debacle, this brew is very tasty. It turned out darker, browner, and hazier than the original, yet it is very citrusy in aroma and flavor. I still like version 1.0 much better, but I will seriously enjoy this one.
Here is my review of Brew 013 – Take-A-Bongo Red IPA version 2.0.
May 11,2017 UPDATE: OK, the very hazy example in the review above was premature. Here we are a few days later and look at what pulls from the tap now 🙂 Clear as a bell and still quite tasty!
June 11, 2017 – UPDATE: I have created the third iteration of this brew (Brew 017) and tagged it version 1.1 since I went back closer to the original recipe. I went a little lighter on the Crystal malts and it did make a difference – the color was less brown and more dark amber. The aroma and flavor is quite nice…closer to he original.