Rye IPA Tasting

Forever ago (well, mid December), we brewed a Rye IPA with 61% pale malt, 18% rye malt, 14% Crystal 60L, and 7% Thomas Fawcett Amber, with CTZ for bittering and Citra for the finish.  It was supposed to be a double IPA, but ended up with 7% ABV, so not quite.  But it’s maturing well.

Appearance: since it’s still recently dry-hopped, there’s still a few bits of pellet hops floating around, and there’s a haze from the rye.  In our experience, Biofine Clear (which we always add to secondary) takes a while to do it’s thing, especially at the 45F that our kegerator is set to.  Color is dark gold, almost amber but without any red; still within the bounds of IPA.  The head falls back slowly, has great lacing, and sticks to the glass.

Smell: not as much hop aroma as expected; the malt dominates.  The Thomas Fawcett Amber causes the rye to recede to the background enough that it’s hard to pick out, and this was supposed to be a rye-forward beer.  The dry-hopping with Citra and Cascade didn’t do as much for the aroma as we thought it would, but you can still detect fruity notes that pair well enough with the Amber malt.

Taste: can we say Thomas Fawcett Amber?  We had some to use up, but it’s very easy to pick out, and next time we’ll use less of it.  In any case, the taste is pleasantly bitter, and the dry-hops contributed more flavor than we thought they would: 1/2oz Citra for 7 days, and 1oz Cascade for 2 days.

Mouthfeel: very smooth and heavier on the body, though it finished at 1.016 SG.  It’s not as carbonated as we’d like, but that’s OK.

Next time: we’d use less Fawcett Amber malt since its character dominates and this was supposed to be a rye beer.  We’d also up the bittering hop additions and reduce the Crystal 60, as the beer was a bit too sweet for our tastes before adding the dry-hops.  Even so, this is still a good beer, just not what we were expecting.  We’ll still have a great time drinking 10 gallons of it.

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