All Centennial IPA (Beer three); Triple Cock(-up) IPA (Beer four); Orange Coriander and Nutmeg Whispering Wheat (Beer two)

All Centennial IPA (Beer three); Triple Cock(-up) IPA (Beer four); Orange Coriander and Nutmeg Whispering Wheat (Beer two)

That’s how I felt at the weekend: all dressed up with nowhere to go. Over 200 bottles ready to be filled, ingredients for Beer five delivered, yet all three beers still seem to be fermenting away. Since I’m putting these into bottles, I don’t want to risk bottling too early in case I get bottle bombs.

Both IPAs are currently around 1016. The extract (Beer three; All Centennial IPA) is bubbling about 3-4 times per minute, the kit (Beer four; Triple Cock(-up) IPA) about twice a minute.

Tasting the hydrometer sample difference between these two IPAs was like night and day. All Centennial IPA had aroma and taste – it’s perhaps a little more bitter and a little less citrusy than I would have liked, but it still has to mature. In comparison, Triple Cock(-up) IPA had only a little bitterness, but almost no aroma and citrus taste – quite disappointing given that I added grain and hops. Drinkable, but left me feeling kind of empty compared to All Centennial.

So I decided to dry hop Triple Cock(-up) IPA with 15g centennial leaf hops. I had wanted to keep the beer as cascade only but since the flavour isn’t coming through and the only cascade I have access to is the same ineffectual pack I used for the boil, I went with centennial instead.

Dry hopping with centennial. The floating bags are the cascade hops from the boil.

Dry hopping with centennial. The floating bags are the cascade hops from the boil.

I considered to dry hop All Centennial IPA also, but I’ve had enough IPAs which are “too hoppy” and I’ve never dry hopped with hops before so I decided to leave it alone in case I push the taste too far. It’s still nice as it is.

Beer two (Whispering Wheat kit with wheat spraymalt, dry hopped with orange peel, coriander, and nutmeg) is now at 1010, that’s 2 points less than when I bottled some before dry hopping the rest! I guess that adding the sugar not only brought the yeast to life (remember there is two packs in there with enzyme), but gave it enough “energy” to break down some more of the harder sugars. I certainly hope it doesn’t mean the 10 bottles I have of the pre-dry-hopped are going to explode!

The taste after dry hopping for a few days is pretty good. There’s a subtle but refreshing orange taste with just a hint of coriander and nutmeg at the end. I hope a few more days, until activity stops, will bring out the tastes further. I think this will end up disappearing very fast once it’s ready! It’s already tasting good.

So the bottles sit there, empty. The grain, hops, and malt for Beer five sit there waiting. Hopefully by Tuesday or Wednesday I’ll be able to bottle at least one so that I can start Beer five, then finish the rest at the weekend.

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