Pints for Prostates

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tasting Free IPA

I've been drinking my Free IPA for over a week now. I'm really happy with it. All the research and changes to my brewing process definitely improved the resulting beer.
Free IPA
The beer is not as clear as I would like, despite the Whirlfloc tablet and cold crash period. I plan to use gelatin finings next time. The color is spot on.

When I first kegged the beer it had a brilliant grapefruit aroma. After a week of force carbonation with CO2, that aroma is more subdued, but still present. 

Does it taste like the inspiration beer (i.e., 21st Amendment's Brew Free or Die IPA)? I didn't do a taste test, but I can say that it is close. The beer has lots of hop flavor and little bitterness. 
Corny Keg and CO2 tank
Apart from the water chemistry changes, the other big change was the use of a Cornelius keg. I bought a keg from a friend, purchased and assembled all the hardware, and got a 15 pound CO2 tank. And, yes, I also bought a used refrigerator to put it all in. At some point I may drill holes and turn it into a proper kegerator.

I'm sure there will be a learning process for using and cleaning the keg. In general, racking the beer to a keg and force carbonating the beer is much easier than bottling.

Because the beer is cooled to 45 to 47 degrees Fahrenheit, I force carbonate at 14 psi.

I found the Crockett Brewing pages on Easy Force Carbonation and Balancing your Keg System to be helpful. 


  1. Nice post and good looking recipe! Hopefully that beer clears after a week or two in the keg (but that's just appearance, and as long as it tastes good haze never hurt anyone!)

    Question for you: How strong is the summit dry hop? Do you get a lot of tangerine or orange notes along with the grapefruit??

    1. Thanks TheHopyard!

      The beer tastes fine as is. I just have a goal of having the beer appear as clear as possible.

      I don't think the Summit imparted a strong aroma or taste. The grapefruit smell early on was probably from the Cascade. The clone recipe calls for Amarillo and Simcoe, but I couldn't find any.

      I did make my Late Summit Brown ale with Summit. I don't care for the onion/garlic edge it caused. I don't plan to use Summit again. I used it for the IPA because it was cheap and has a high Alpha Acid rating.