If you haven’t been following my IPA experiment, I took my IPA recipe and broke it into 4 smaller batches – each with a different yeast. I bottled batches 1 & 2 back on March 3rd and batches 3 & 4 just last weekend (so they’re not ready yet). However, this means only one thing – head-to-head taste test between 1 & 2!
Both have a good light amber color. A little hazy, but not in a bad “we have floaters” way. Any both had a really good, white head – which by the way retained a lot longer than most of my other batches. So that was a nice surprise.
Smells really hoppy, but when I tried it the bitterness really overpowered any hoppy flavor. I like hops, but this was even a little too bitter for me. There really wasn’t a good flavor or balance with the hops. It’s drinkable (and I will) but probably not the best to bring to a party. Even though the bitterness was a bit harsh, but it mellowed a little towards the end of the sip. It was very crisp and dry overall. If I wanted to, I think I could adjust my hops addition to add more flavor and less bittering for more balance. I did like the crispness of this one, so it might not be 100% off the table yet.
This one had a more vegetable smell than hoppy. Definitely more balanced than 1. Less bitter and more hoppy flavors with hints of citrus. Maybe even a little sweetness in the finish. Not nearly as dry as 1 but still pretty refreshing. I’d almost say this (minus its color) would be closer classified as just a Pale Ale instead of an IPA. I did like it a lot though. If I can make the aroma more hoppy and less vegetable, it might move more into the IPA arena again. But honestly, this is my favorite of the two.
3 & 4 should be ready for a sampling in a few weeks. Going to pit those together first than either compare the winners of each or do all 4 side-by-side-by-side-by-side. Let me know if you have any thoughts on corrections or anything and stay tuned to Round 2 of The Great IPA Experiment.