One type of beer I have developed a taste for since I started to home brew is IPA's. I can honestly say, I hated most of them before and I'm a little ashamed to admit that Alexander Keith's Hop series served as the gateway into the wonderful world of hops. The more I am exposed to the individual ingredients and as my knowledge of what they do in beer has grown so too, has my appreciation for them. Hops were, by and large, something I didn't know much about and didn't care to! Personally, I love smooth beers that have a lot of flavour. Typically they are Irish or Scottish Ales and have nice body, colour, and don't leave a bitter taste. I had to put my tongue through hell and back, or at least thats how it felt at the time, for me to like IPA's. They are typically bold in flavour, spicy, bitter, and leave a strong after taste in the mouth.
As I have continued to learn the brewing process I have been pretty adamant about trying as many different beer types as I can. My local brew shop, Brewers Pantry, has some really great recipes you can use and follow. I've been working through what they have to offer and this one was the next one on the list. Go and get yourself a starter kit, this recipe and make it. I haven't been disappointed with them and I'm confident that you will enjoy this.
Since I've switched to all grain brews I've consistently had issues with my beers not being full bodied. This doesn't mean that they taste bad, I personally think they taste great, but tend to taste watery. I think that during the mash I'm not extracting as much flavour as I could from the grains themselves. I may be having issues with fluctuating temperatures or I could just suck at sparging, I don't know. Its been something that I've been trying to fix for sometime but haven't found a solution for yet. With the next batch I brew, which is a cream ale, I will be way more attentive to my mash and sparging and hopefully I'll end up with a brew that I'm not ashamed of taking to my next home brewing club.
A part of me wishes that it was really easy to make a quality beer. The process is simple enough; boil grains, add hops, yeast, wait for a bit, bottle, and drink, but as I've learned through my early 20's, life is freaking hard, why would I expect perfecting brews would be any different? Home brews, like good friends can be a trust worthy companion and a lot of fun through life or they can be watery and not mean much. They are just there, for that season of life. This beer seems to be in the latter category. I'll learn my lesson and move on. Mash, better, bigger, badder, stronger beers!
Oh the joys of home-brewing! Until next time, I'll drink this IPA (or pass it onto friends) and wonder how I could have made it better.