Found a bottle deep in the cellar this weekend. A White Juniper Ale I brewed as a pilot batch for a beer brewed in Spain by Cerveses La Gardènia. The commercial release was Rosita White IPA. This pilot beer is pretty damn nice. In fact, the commercial release was awarded a Silver Medal at the 2015 Dublin Craft Beer Cup.
However, this recipe can be tuned to the American beer palate (more hops, more juniper, more herbal and floral aromatics), brewed cleaner and crisper with American grains instead of German grains, be kissed with a bit of wildflower honey, and be reborn as a White Juniper Ale with Gin like aromatics. I think a good name would be "Giniper White".
I like this idea so much I may put in two brew days this weekend and crank out Sexy Mexican and Giniper White.
Second beer in the fermenter. Robin's Red, a Red Irish Ale with Rye. And I say, if you're going to make a Red Ale, make it RED. This beer also has a little something that will probably reduce the gluten below 20ppm. That's the baseline rule to call something "Gluten Free". But we don't want to trigger any labeling law problems so we won't call it that.
From one to five on a five point scale, “It’ll do for sure!” Sure, there are issues with clarity of the beer, but they’ll fix themselves in a few days. Altogether, I’m pleased with tapping the first keg from BCT Brewing Project, Double White IPA. It certainly smells and tastes like a DIPA, and it expresses the old world wheat and Belgian characters that I was expecting. And given a week the yeast will drop out of suspension and it should pull together to a crisp and dry focus with sweet malt base balanced by alcohol.
Yes, I said “balanced by alcohol”. That’s something you will often find in big Belgian beers. A lingering sweetness from unfermentable complex sugars, balanced by a clean alcohol presence. So for this beer, targeting a Belgian grain and yeast profile, a DIPA hop profile, and over 9% ABV alcohol, it makes sense to use the clean alcohol presence as a contribution to the complexity of the beer. It’s there, so why fight it?
So the beer was quite good, though it will be even better in a week. A nice gathering of family plus beer and brewing related friends came out to support me and have a pour, though I was still finishing a batch of Robin’s Red and cleaning up.
So Big Love to those who came out and indulged in a glass. When I weigh the first tapping of a BCT keg in my mind, I’m quite pleased – it’ll do for sure!