My try at an IIPA with CaraAroma. The Chinook hops are from home vines.
Mashing at 158 - want a higher FG with this beer to provide backbone for all the hops.
Objective - bitter as hell, but makes you want more. Smells like beer heaven. Best drank from a snifter. Coats the teeth with hops resin. Pairs well with a cigar. A universe of complexity and enjoyment.
First try with the new BRY-97 yeast. Should be fun to see how this new Chico strain performs. Could only get one 11g pack, so I will make a starter.
Expecting lower than normal efficiency due to the relatively high OG for me, and my thin walled mash tun. Going to mash for 90 minutes to try to mitigate this, stir well, and keep the temp as consistent as I can.
1/7/2013 - Results! This is a very respectable and drinkable IIPA, a lot better than many that I've had at the popular Green Dragon bar here in town!
The flavor is very caramel and malt like, bit of a roasty herbal hop finish. It does coat my tongue, mostly with sweetness. It does give a very slight bitter burn at times. The back of my tongue is 'coated', but not my entire mouth, which I think makes this IIPA easier to drink than many which are too overpowering. I still want to find that delicate balance point. The extra gypsum paid off, and I do get a mineral flavor in the aftertaste, which fits nicely with the sweetness.
The Amarillo dry hop really completes it, do not skip that step! (this is based on the sample I tasted before dry hopping)
The aroma is sweet caramel, mild tropical fruit, and herbal hops. The original pineapple I was getting from the BRY-97 is mostly gone, and amazingly this beer tastes great after only a few days in the bottle.
Honestly, I was shooting for something more bitter, so I would go ahead and up it to 140 IBUs next time, even though that is technically outside the IIPA style guidelines - it is malty and it can handle more hops. In fact, I might shoot for 50% more hops at every step next time to really amp it up. Since I was using home grown Chinook hops, all bets are off in terms of the actual AA value - ymmv.