Just over two weeks ago, I brewed an ale of all the leftovers in my brewing ingredients storage. It was some LME, some DME, a few random specialty grains, and plenty of Magnum and Cascade hops. It ended up as an IPA, and I called it CornucopIPA, like Cornucopia IPA, since it was like harvesting my ingredients store.
I tasted it when I dry hopped it, and I was nervous. It seemed overly dry, and reminded me of my Maple Syrup Wine, which ended at gravity 1.000, and I might use to strip some paint off my mouldings. But I crossed my fingers and hoped it would mature a bit. A few days later, when I bottled it, I tasted it again. It was still pretty unsatisfying.
I bottled it on Wednesday. Now less than three days later (I actually put this one in the fridge this morning) it is nearly ready to drink. My barometer plastic bottle is getting very firm in my temperature controlled 70 degree fridge. When cold, the beer is barely carbed, but could be done if needed. I will let most of them condition for the full two weeks for the full effect.
The great news is that something about it has improved 100%! I don't know if it is the cold temperature. Or maybe it is the bit of fizz that's in there. Or maybe the dry hop Cascades had a chance to act in the bottle. But whatever it is, this is a really good IPA. Not to pat myself on the back, but it is reminding me of the Sierra Nevada Celebration 2007 Ale. Now I didn't really intend to make a Cascade grapefruit hop bomb (although if you looked at my recipe you might wonder why I wouldn't think that) but that's what it came out to be, and that's what American IPAs are these days.
So in the end I have made a quintessential American IPA that I'll be proud to share with everyone. I'll probably be so proud that it will be gone in a week, but it feels good to make a great beer, after so many challenges in some of my latest batches.