So the original recipe should have got me around 7.2% alcohol, and with the added sugar from my maple sap, I was shooting for around 7.8%. That would have been a little much, but survivable. Due to low efficiency in my mash tun stage, My final product is only about 6.5%, which while I'm happy with, is not what the goal was. Definitely I think low efficiency came from using a bazooka screen instead of false bottom in my mash tun, and using a lab thermometer rather than instant read, so it was hard to get exact values for temperatures. Otherwise whole brew day was uneventful, so the recipe would get you very close to my final result.
The aroma is incredibly tropical. It honestly smells like some pineapple based fruit punch. I'm just blown away, and can't stop smelling it.
The taste on the other hand isn't 100% what I was hoping for. I think the maple sap added a little more body than my intention, so while there is no malt to the body (so I would not describe this as anywhere near an imperial red ale) there is definitely body, so it is not as dry as many other traditional IPA's I have come across. I generally like a drier IPA so this wasn't an effect that I was going for, but I think a lot of people would enjoy it. I'll let you know as I give a few growlers out to my friends in the next couple weeks.
The hop bitterness is a little heavy on the front end. While I love a good hop explosion, I would prefer a slightly "danker" hop aroma, and slightly more neutral hop profile. I may move my hop timing for the next brew, I'm just worried I'll affect the perfect tropical aroma. Maybe if I'm lucky I'll call the next brew Pineapple Express if I can properly mix a dank/tropical aroma'd beer.
I'm huge fan of hazy beer, or at least I don't care if it's clear or not, I prefer function over form. I'll take an "ugly" beer that tastes good anyday. As you can see by the pictures, this is a particularly dense brew. I completely neglected irish moss, so that probably contributed, and I'm happy I did. I've got a lot of compliments so far just from the pictures from my brewing friends, so sometimes accidents work in your favor. I'm honestly considering avoiding irish moss completely in the future for my IPA's.
If you have any questions on recipe, brewing setup, taste, or just want to call me a terrible brewmaster, throw a comment in below, I am guaranteed to reply. I love negative feedback as much as positive, or any suggestions on what to try/improve/ruin my beer with next time!