Sunday, 6 July 2014

India Pale Ale (IPA)

Booze Blog
Raja's Reward IPA
July 2014

I think that this brew had the shortest shelf life on record. Apart from a sample pint, the keg went from full (40 pints) to empty in less than two hours.

Now before you go thinking that my ability to drink beer has sky rocketed I think this needs a bit of explanation. You will recall from my recent posts that we included a launch event for the Jam Butty during the Birmingham Floating Market and, as is traditional, we felt it appropriate to whet the boat with a dash of ale.

Now I gave my selection quite a bit of thought as I perused the board of fayre offered by Barry on The Homebrew Boat and settled on an IPA which offers a light, bright taste which seemed appropriate for a summer evening. What is more IPA originated at the Burton on Trent breweries for export to the far East because it travelled well. We may not be travelling far but the brew was certainly going by water so all in all it seems appropriate.

The actual kit was Raja's Reward which I part fermented in a vat for five days and then transferred the still active brew to a bottom draining keg for the rest of the fermentation and settling. As a result I avoided all contact with oxygen and the problems that causes, but also removed the bulk of the yeast sediment.

As I transferred the brew to the keg I added the hop "Tea bag" which I suspended from the filler cap with a bit of thread which added a further tang of hop to the taste. The keg then had natural pressure which created a good head when the beer was released. In fact this head can be a bit excessive and my approach is to drain the beer off into a jug and then pour into glasses leaving the excess head behind - which then settles off and is included in the next pint poured.

Montgomery supporting a barrel of Raja's Reward

As for the brew, it was excellent. Light, tangy with more than a little frutiness for good measure. It was a little more cloudy than some brews but this is probably due to the bottom drain tap pulling is a bit of sediment.

I really enjoyed the two pints I consumed and was rather looking forward to drinking a few more in the days after the event. However, this wasn't to be as the guests found the brew to be equally acceptable and many return trips were made to the barrel on the roof of Montgomery and even the last dregs were expertly removed! You cant get a better endorsement than a bunch of the real ale quaffing boaters!

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