6% ABV, 187 IBU, Experimental NEIPA.
First pouring this beer, the pouring liquid seems a light pale blue, with a very pale gray blue head of foam.
However, as we shined every light we could through the glass, it really shows a more reddish purple hue, with a dense haze.
As we looked closer and closer, it turned into an experiment of light diffusion. Shining a light directly underneath or above the glass reveals of very bright pale blue color nearest the light, shifting to the bright pinkish purple away from the light. Unfortunately the camera eye isn’t the greatest at picking this up.
While the beer was sitting and getting some natural sunshine, there were noticeable shades of pale blue on the side of the glass with the sunlight.
So why did it end up this color? The short answer is: the pH dropped too much. I was hoping it would turn out a nice royal shade of blue, but it turned out a healthy mix of weird colors. Here’s some information I copy/pasted into my own recipe records that I found here.
From pH 8 to pH 4, the tea is a regal shade of blue.
It quickly shifts into deep purple terrain at pH 3,
and finally bursts into carnation pink territory at pH 2.
What was the pH exactly? Luckily the homebrew shop has a pH meter now. We did a quick calibration, and flushed in some samples of the beer: 4.42.
A 4.42 reading should have left the beer more blue according to the quoted information above, but who knows. Maybe a pH reading of just about 4.5 is why the beer had a lot of both blue and purple in it?
When I got home, I brewed up some blue pea blossom tea, and divided the tea between two glasses. I left one glass as is, poured lemon juice into the other glass to drop the acidity and change the color, and then compared the colors to my beer.
From right to left in the following photo: Regular blue tea, my weird colored beer, blue tea with lemon juice to change the acidity.
It smells pleasant, which is good. I get a lot of sweet fruit aromas on the nose initially, but there’s a light hop spiciness on the nose too. I can’t say the aroma was fantastic, but it did have a familiar pleasant NEIPA smell.
Before telling anyone what this beer was, I had them drink it and guess what it was. They all said it was definitely really hoppy. I was also told consistently that there was a mild to harsh hop bitterness, which I’m perceiving as a hop spiciness, but I do agree that it is more bitter than I wanted it to be.
It’s hard to tell, but I think I’m getting some of the Mosaic poking through the strong hop bitterness. That flavor could also be some of the sweet stone fruit flavors of the EXP hops. It’s honestly hard to tell because I have no familiarity with EXP Stone Fruit hops, but it could also be the residual sweetness of the lactose shining through. It’s hard to distinguish the flavors other than hoppiness at this point.
The beer definitely has a lot of carbonation, great head retention, and great lacing, all three of which I typically don’t achieve with my beers. Interesting.
Would I brew this beer again? Probably not. Clarifying: I probably won’t ever use pea blossoms again, I just don’t see the point. The only point of this beer was to brew a NEIPA with a fun gimmick. And a fun gimmick was achieved. I don’t have a ton of great things to say about this beer on the first day the bottles were ready, but I think there’s potential for this in the coming week or two if the hop harshness mellows out a bit. If the hoppiness does mellow, I’m hoping it will lay way to sweet stone fruit flavors paired with the sweet berry flavors of mosaic.