Freshie Freebie IPA (feat. Deschutes Brewery)

I’ll be 100 percent honest here — I forgot to take notes on my first brew (a nice, citrusy pale ale). So my blogged first beer is going to actually be my second brew. I hope you don’t judge me.

If you saw this, you would have hopped in the car too, no?
If you saw this, you would have hopped in the car too, no?

This one started kind of funny. I decided to randomly go onto Twitter during my lunch hour to see that Deschutes Brewery was offering free hops to the first 30 homebrewers who walked through their door. So, of course, I briskly walked to my car and raced over to Deschutes’ brewery.

The smell all of the fresh hops nearly overwhelmed me as I pulled in. As it turns out, they were brewing their Chasin’ Freshies IPA when I came in. If it tastes anything like it smells, we’re in for a good winter.

I expected to get a 2 oz, baggie of hops and walk out with some good bittering hops for the night’s brew. Sure enough, they dig in the back of the refrigerator and pull out a three pound bag of fresh crystal (finishing) hops. I was amazed. And pumped. But mostly amazed.

Would you expect to get this many hops? I didn't think so.
Would you expect to get this many hops? I didn’t think so.

I ran to the local Brew Shop coming back from work to grab the rest of the ingredients, and got to brewing. Here are the ingredients and recipe:

Freebie IPA

You will notice how I messed up with the grain. Remember, this is my second batch. Therefore, I didn’t deem it necessary, for some reason, to mill the grain.

After 13 days of bottle conditioning, there’s a nice head on top. It’s crystal clear, thanks to the moss. The wet hopping really pulled out the rich flavor of crystal hops. I think the combo of hops really provide a bitter taste and a hell of a bitter finish (lack of milled grains hurts the balance). But, it finishes clean. There is a nice, grassy/vegetal taste to the middle of it with some very light maltiness to balance a little bit. It’s crisp as hell and compliments anything that needs a refreshing beverage. Pretty light ABV (just about 4%, by my calculations). Next time, I’ll mill the grain. This time, it was a valiant effort.

For those who don’t want to potentially waste a batch of beer, I’ve got 24 of these guys ready for sharing.

It's quite the purdy beer. Considering it could be a disaster, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.
It’s quite the purdy beer. Considering it could be a disaster, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

*UPDATE*

Two of my new Freshie Freebie IPAs later, I had a revelation: I think I just accidentally made a session IPA.

The thing has all the kick and hop notes of an IPA, but doesn’t have the alcohol content. The only thing I can think to relate to it is 10 barrel’s ISA, but more sessionable. My IPA comes in at around 4 percent…I just drank two of them and I’m feeling just fine.

And that’s coming from a beer blogger.

I’m going to take it to the monthly meeting of the Central Oregon Homebrewers and ask them what they think. That’s one thing I love about beer — I messed my last recipe up royally, but yet it still came together to make something that could be really cool.

I’ll update as things go along.

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