Sunday, November 28, 2010

Here's to surprises!

I'm seldom surprised anymore. So, today when I racked over a batch of IPA into a secondary fermenter and discovered the moderate aroma and flavor of spice I was a bit surprised. I am obsessive about cleanliness and sanitation in my brewing and cider making, but today I was reminded sanitation doesn't take care of residual aromatics and flavor compounds left over from previous batches. What was to be a hoppy India Pale Ale may now be my first inadvertent attempt at a Christmas Ale, due to carry-over spice flavor in my plastic fermenter from my last cider. It will be a few more weeks before I know for sure how nicely the infused phantom spice either complements or dominates my IPA, and I am somewhat hopeful the Amarillo and Chinook dry-hop addition will bring my end product back to this side of spicy. But, if it doesn't, the spice just might serve as a nice winter warmer that will be ready to drink just about the time Christmas rolls around!

Cheers to the holidays!