For months, I shared my home with the most beautiful carboy I’ve ever created, a work of art in red. Hop’s End Belgian IPA was meant to be an experience of the fruitier-grapier end of the hops spectrum, featuring Nelson Sauvin, Calypso, and a touch of Cascade and “Magic Hop Dust” from Austin Homebrew Supply for backbone (full recipe here).
It went through a true secondary and an additional racking into tertiary, where it dry hopped on yet more Nelson Sauvin, and there it sat for the winter.
Unfortunately, on bottling day, a heavy sulphury aroma greeted us. I’d noticed it in earlier manipulations, but kept hoping it would dissipate. It seems to be DMS, dimethylsulfate, which can hang around if you don’t have a rolling boil happening during the brewing (though I’ve never experienced it before). Fortunately, it seems to be dissipating as the beer bottle conditions, though unevenly.
At its best, this beer has a wonderful, clean bite, with a rounded fruityness and a white grape note that lingers in the aftertaste. It’s a great marriage of the mango-y flavor of Calypso, the clove-banana spectrum of Belgian yeasts, and Nelson’s forthright grape tones. The DMS issue may or may not fully clear, but we were aiming for a big IBU beer – it came in around 100 IBUs – that wouldn’t be bitter, and we hit that mark dead on.
Calypso and Nelson Sauvin are two great hops that taste great together, and I can’t wait to play around with them again.