Thursday 1 March 2012

Code Name: Clifford

After taking a weekend off, Earl and I were back in the condo brewery and ready to get started on a new beer. As we recently undertook an experiment in crowd sourcing ideas for our next beer on our Facebook page, we knew it was going to be a red.  Only now am I realizing that we didn't put an end date on our poll... oh well, the beer has been brewed so I guess that means the poll is closed. Thanks to those who participated!

As we were riding high from our last two batches turning out well, we figured we'd kick it up a notch. Why not make a big red? Earl and I both love hoppy beers and also really enjoyed Garrison's Black IPA, so agreeing on a Red IPA called Clifford took no time at all. But, a plain IPA didn't seem big enough to fit the Clifford moniker... only an Imperial Red IPA would fit that bill!

Knowing we could use the help as we waded into new territory, we invited our first guest brewer to the condo for this batch. Nate is an extremely knowledgeable home brewer, and all around nice guy; his name also easily fits the four letter naming convention we have going on around here. As soon as I heard he keeps a bucket of sanitizing solution in the kitchen with beer bottles in it ready to go for bottling on short notice, I knew we had found the right guy to help with Clifford.

With the team assembled and an idea in mind, we sat down with Beersmith to craft a recipe. The result was a glorious theoretical 7.7% ABV Red with over 160 IBUs, using Nugget, Simcoe and Cascade hops in hefty amounts. The brew day went very well, and hopefully we are on target to make Clifford a reality. If everything works out as planned, it will be kegged on St. Patrick's Day. Perfect timing, if you ask me.

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