Bunnicula's Brew Carrot IPA


Based on the 10 year old recipe for 24 Carrot IPA from Brew Your Own magazine, I wanted to go the extract route simply because I hadn't in well over a year. Finding extract in Korea was just about as easy as finding a properly cooked and tasty hamburger... it just wasn't going to happen. So, with a little bit of trial and a hefty amount of error, I started using the Brew In A Bag method last year. I definitely could have gone that route for Bunnicula's Brew, but wanted the shorter brew day of roughly 4 hours instead of the 6 required for BIAB and was quite curious what flavor profiles would or wouldn't show up with extract being used from an all grain recipe. 

With the help of the fine folks at Brew Camp, I was able to easily adapt the all grain recipe to a 5 gallon extract based IPA with 9.9 pounds of LME Muntons Maris Otter doing the heavy lifting. In honesty, this is where I think I went wrong. While that amount of LME certainly helped up the abv above 7%, it's also responsible for the much too sweet and syrupy aftertaste. While this is what most (or all) all-grain purists will tell you happens to every extract brew, I've had quite a bit of success hiding that syrup flavor with most beers I've made (the Getcha By The Gotchas Double IPA being my best example). However present that unwanted sweetness was in this batch, it was still a solid overall IPA with the hops coming through in their lovingly strong way. There were very few complaints from the fine guinea pigs folks who tried it out for me. 


There was zero carrot flavor.

The original recipe said to add peeled and pureed organic carrots to the primary fermenter, but after discussing it with Brew Camp staff we decided doing this in the secondary would be fine. Mistake. I pureed half of the carrots (about 1.25 pounds) and chopped the rest and added em to the secondary after 7 days. While this made the beer a lovely orange color, it really had no noticeable effects on the flavor.

If I were doing this recipe again I would certainly go the BIAB route, but would also do a few things differently with the carrots to have them come through more. I would follow BYO's advice and add them in the primary fermenter, but more importantly than that I would roast them first. When I roasted pumpkin for the Rough Patch Pumpkin Ale a few years back it really helped bring pumpkin notes to the forefront and added a more hearty flavor as well. Because let's face it, few folks enjoy raw vegetables anyway, so why put em in a beer? Roasting the carrots would help caramelize them, getting those heavenly natural sugars out, and would make them much easier to mash up before adding. Hindsight's 20/20 and all that. C'est la vie.

The full recipe for this beer can be found here. Should you try it out, please comment below and let me know how it went and if you were able to get the carrot flavor in there a little more.




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