Monday, 16 June 2014

Tasting : The Student (Societe Brewing The Pupil clone)

I'm a little late posting the tasting notes for this beer; I brewed it in late April and kegged it almost a month ago. Nothing extreme, by any means, but with it being an American IPA, I really wanted to get my impressions out there while the beer was extremely fresh. However, life can be busy, and I was a bit behind with some other posts, so for those of you who have been waiting to hear how this Societe Brewing The Pupil clone came out, I do apologize. On the bright side... it came out pretty great!

Everything seemed to go well with brewing this beer, from the brew day right down to the end of fermentation. The beer finished close to my target of 1.010 (final gravity was 1.011); Doug Constantiner, the brewer at Societe who gave me some very generous help constructing the recipe, listed the FG as 1.006, but I knew on my system I'd never get it that low with US-05 yeast. After posting the recipe I came up with, Doug suggested that if you can't get to 1.006, add some table sugar to the beer (in place of some of the 2-row base malt) to help get it down to his FG target. He felt that having this beer end up very dry was key.

Now that I've been drinking several pints, I definitely agree with his recommendation. The beer really did come out great; fantastic aroma and flavor of big, tropical fruit... the Nelson is definitely the dominant hop, but the Citra and Centennial work wonderfully to provide a background of citrus character. Mouthfeel is great - the beer is very smooth and creamy; very easy-drinking for its higher ABV. However, the beer could definitely be drier. It's not a sweet-finishing IPA, don't get me wrong (1.011 is hardly a high FG), but I remember The Pupil finishing very dry, but not with a bitterness that was astringent.

Whether you've had The Pupil or not, I recommend brewing this beer. If you're like me and have trouble reaching 1.006 in a beer that doesn't involve an addition of table sugar, take Doug's advice: drop some of the 2-row, and add some table sugar to compensate. Maybe start with 1/2 lb and go from there. That's what I'll be doing when (not if) I brew this beer again!

Appearance: Poured with a medium-sized, white creamy head. Pretty good retention, eventually settles to 1/2-finger size. Body is a light golden color, with pretty good clarity... a bit of haze.

Aroma: Wonderful aroma of tropical fruit; some citrus in there as well, but the gooseberry, tropical character of Nelson wins out. Not much in terms of malt character (a touch of sweetness in the background), but the beer doesn’t strike as harsh or unbalanced.

Taste: A very smooth-tasting IPA; while the tropical fruit character of the hops is what hits you first, the beer has a nice, balancing sweetness to it. Moderate bitterness in the finish at most, quite creamy. Could probably stand to finish a bit drier, but I like it.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Very approachable despite the calculated IBUs; an IPA I think non-IPA drinkers could really enjoy. If it was a bit drier in the finish, I think it would be near-perfect.

No comments:

Post a Comment