Posted on 05.07.08 8:55PM under Brewing, Tasting, Yeast

Just a quick note on Mindbreaker. I sampled one a few days ago, and it was not ready yet. It was still too hot and boozy, in that very young beer way.

I had one tonight, and it has come a long way. I think it’s about conditioned, maybe just another few days for the final warm settling action to take place. Then I’ll put most of them in the fridge. They’ll get a bit of chill haze (guess I haven’t solved that problem!) and I want to give them time to settle as clear as they can.

I just had a Great Divide Hercules Double IPA last night, so I’ve got that impression fresh in my mind. I could not help but compare Mindbreaker to Hercules. Hercules has a harsh (in a good way) hop edge to it that hits you right away, and lasts nicely. In contrast, Mindbreaker starts with a sweetness, which eventually gives way to a deep hop bitterness. Mindbreaker is a bit on the subtle side for an IIPA, which wasn’t exactly what I was going for, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy drinking them. Funny how nearly a half pound of hops in a five gallon batch could ever be called subtle.

There is one issue that I have with Mindbreaker, and I think I know how to fix it. It is the sweetness. This sweetness is not so much underattenuation (although that’s part of it). It is more of an estery sweetness. This has combined with a ton of Willamette at flameout and a week of Centennial dry hopping to add a lot of sweet flowery flavor to the beer. This aids initial drinkability, but can work its way towards cloying by the end of the glass. I believe that this is the result of underpitching yeast to the beer. I used one pack of US-05. A few days later, I was on Jamil’s yeast pitching calculator, and found that I should have used more like 1.5 packs of yeast.

Lesson learned. Next time, check Jamil’s calculator first, and pitch the right amount of yeast. I probably would have had better luck with two packs than I did with one. I could have even tried to split a pack, since the Mindbender really only needed a half a pack of yeast.

The more I think about it, the more I think that perhaps underpitching is responsible for a wide array of homebrewing problems.

Brew on!

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