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Recharge Friday: Bikes and Beer

April 14, 2007

I took yesterday off to recharge my batteries by doing a couple of my favorite things: riding bikes (motorcycle this time) and brewing beer. The ride consisted of about 100 miles through the Santa Cruz mountains, including Stage Rd, pictured above. Thats it cutting every which way through the hills- fun stuff. Every time I ride through this area on a weekday, I always vow to give it up on weekends- there was almost zero traffic. And there weren’t any lame weekend tourists that can’t manage driving the speed limit on twisty roads or use a turn out lane- it was wonderful without them.

When I got home, I got cracking on brewing a cascade IPA. Just like most beers, you haven’t had an IPA until you’ve tried a fresh one. All of the delicate and subtle flavors fade with time, and all thats left is the bitterness. Blech.

I’ve brewed this simple recipe once before as a dry hopped beer, but thought I’d try a slight variant this time: pitching the last ounce of hops into the kettle once about 1/2 way into the cooling cycle, and leaving them there overnight before racking. The fermentation might “scrub” away and flavors it contributed, but if nothing else, the loose hops helped filter the trub. I’ll know how it turned out in about a month or so.

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From → Brewing

2 Comments
  1. Isn’t fresh IPA a contradiction? The origin of IPA (Indian Pale Ale) is a strong bitter beer that could be left in a cask for a long time while it was exported to the four corners of the (former) British Empire, including India. It was brewed for its longevity, not for its freshness.
    b.t.w. What bike do you ride?

  2. Thats correct, IPAs were designed to not spoil on long journeys- but that doesn’t mean its not better when its fresh. There are volatile flavors that deteriorate with time. (And I ride a Suzuki SV650.)

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