In the header image above you can see my cloned version (left) and the commercial version (right).
Recipe for this post can be found here.
The ABV is the biggest difference here. I came way under my target of 6.7% vs the homebrew coming in at 5.8%, almost a full percentage lower. Since brewing this beer I’ve determined where in my process my brewhouse efficiency was being detrimented. I have higher hopes for the next iteration.
The color is near perfect. A very pale straw. On the clarity side it’s very close. The homebrewed version has just a touch less clarity then the commercial version. The carbonation bubbles look near identical as well. The longer this beer has been in the keg the clearer it’s become, so after about 4-6 weeks the beers look identical.
The homebrew version still has a touch of pilsner malt in the nose. The mosaic dry hops shine here with a touch of dank simcoe. The nose on the commercial version is more pronounced and seems more mosaic / berry heavy. Going back to the homebrewed version after smelling the commercial the pilsner malt in the homebrewed version becomes more apparent. As with the appearance after about 4-6 weeks the pilsner malt aroma is no longer present.
Homebrewed version is on the dry side and light and crisp. The commercial version is pretty similar, not detecting much difference in the mouthfeel. Commercial version has a berry like finish that lingers. The homebrew version has that same berry finish, just slightly more muted. Both have a diesel start. Honestly, the taste is pretty darn close. I don’t taste as much of the pilsner in the hombrew version that I got from the aroma. It seems like the commercial version may be slightly more mosaic heavy in the hop department.
Changes for next time
Now the question is what could I change on the next batch to make it closer to the commercial version? The most obvious first thing would be to be able to hit my target gravity. Since I’ve figured out what was causing my lack of efficiency I don’t think this will be an issue on the next batch.
I did an even mix of simcoe/mosaic in the boil. I think I may want to do just a little bit more of mosaic (1oz) as a late hop addition. Additionally, I think I will add an extra 1 oz of mosaic to the dry hop. It seems this beer is just a tad more mosaic heavy.
Since brewing this beer the owner of Grains of Wrath has graciously shared a homebrew recipe of one of their other west coast IPAs. The recipe shared is for “Crypt Keeper” which is a single hop Citra IPA. I find the malt bill very similar between this beer and their other west coast IPAs, so I think I may adapt the grain bill and formulation based on the posted recipe.
As expected, Pilsner is indeed the dominant malt. He also uses some pale wheat malt and some Munich malt. The posted mash temperature is 4F higher then what I used (148F vs 152F). He also recommends a 4:1 ratio of calcium sulfate to calcium chloride for the water profile.
Tags: American IPA