Brew 019 – JP Porter

On my birthday this past June, I visited a brewery in Sanford, FL called Wops Hops (read/watch this experience here). One of the beers in the flight I enjoyed was a German Rauchbier, a style which originated in the town of Bamberg in the 1500s.  The barley was dried over an open wood fire and an intense smoke aroma and flavor was imparted to the ale made from it.

I was intrigued by this aroma and flavor and decided to brew some form of a smoked beer myself. I decided on a Smoked Porter as that seemed to be a popular choice.  I followed a well-regarded recipe and chose a cherry wood smoked malt for 21% of the grain bill.

It came out very nice.  A bit lighter than medium body with the smoky aroma and flavor more subtle than in the rauchbier that inspired it, it is extremely drinkable, even in the hot Florida summer. Cheers to my friend, James, a stout and porter lover from whose initials this brew gains its name.

Here is my description of this ale.

Brew 018 – Wry Smile Rye IPA

I do love the dry spiciness that a little rye malt adds to an American IPA.

This popular recipe by Denny Conn was fairly straightforward, but I couldn’t resist adding my own twist to it.  I did follow the recipe right down to using Wyeast #1450 yeast, also known as Denny’s Favorite (yes, he has his own signature yeast).  My twist was in the water profile.  Instead of adjusting my water to have a high sulfate to chloride ratio (which you would do to enhance the hop bitterness) I reversed it to have a higher chloride to sulfate ratio.  This is what most New England IPA recipes call for to mute the hop bitterness and soften the mouthfeel.

The results are quite nice and I have had very positive comments from those who have tasted it.  Here is my review of this brew: