John hasn’t brewed in a number of years, BK (Before Kids). Now that his kids are human enough he decided he wanted to get back into brewing. John’s a chemist and structural biologist, so that makes him pretty well suited for his day job discovering new cancer treatments at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center. But for today’s exercise, he is importantly a beer lover from Timaru, New Zealand with a desire to capture the spirit of hop fields in the Tasman region at the top of the South Island of New Zealand.
So how does one piece together a recipe and capture the unique taste of New Zealand IPA? He started with a basic IPA recipe from My Old Kentucky Home Brew for the grains and California yeast. Available New Zealand hops started to customize this recipe to the flavor he remembered from home. Pacific Gem, Green Bullet and Pacifica brought both bitter and floral flavor to this beer.
The key ingredient is the Motueka hop (8.6%). Grown near the town of Motueka from which it gets its name, this hop captures a truly unique flavor from the passion fruit that also grows in the area. So it gives the beer’s aroma a little sweeter and fruitier note. We are not talking Fruitcake, Fall Ale, and Spiced Winter Ale; where can I dump this fruity sweet stuff? We are talking…WOW! That is different…really good…light…hint of fruit flower; and I will have another of these quality beverages. Please.
Since John hadn’t brewed in several years, he had to search the basement for the old brew pales; check the seals; and ultimately head to the My Old Kentucky Home Brew for more toys – I mean supplies.
Since this was a mini mash brew the family kitchen became central brewing operations. The downstairs bathroom tub was a perfect temperature controlled fermentation room.
A growler of New Albanian Brewing Company Hoptimas Imperial IPA filled at Party Mart on the way to John’s house started us down the IPA brewing process. We would later release a few Flying Dogs to sustain the momentum.
For those of you, who are not chemists, let it be known chemists are clean freaks. John was even armed with a sanitizer spray bottle and washed down every spill I made. I was somewhat afraid I was going to have to put on a hazardous material suit to complete the brew, but John was easily distracted with beer.
Some young Louisville friends recently traveled to New Zealand. Their initial impression was that it was a whole lot like Louisville, but nicer. I guess they haven’t seen the snow covered mountains, ocean, tropical rain forest or millions of sheep that roam the island nation. Or maybe I just don’t get out enough and am missing some really cool parts of Louisville.
John chose this brew, which he appropriately named Remembrance IPA, because he remembers traveling through the hop fields near Motueka every summer as a young lad growing up in New Zealand. He remembers the smells. He remembers the mountains out his bedroom window. He remembers the freedom of camping on the beaches. But mostly John wanted a great beer, so he made one.