Searching for the line between "hobby" and "obsession"

CUJO vs. CUJO, a dog fight!

During a recent wet hopped pale ale brew day, buddy Dave and I cracked open the very first bottle of CUJO SPICE pumpkin rye ale v2.1 as well as a bottle of v2.0 for comparison (checkout all my pumpkin ale-related posts here). Hey, if Michael Vick had been there, he might have insisted we place bets on the winner and then smash one of the bottles after it was empty. Asshole.

Each of the pumpkin rye beers I made for fall has their positives and negatives, but currently I think we decided v2.1 was slightly better than 2.0. This was also consistent with feedback received when my band taste tested 2.0 and 2.1 at practice earlier this week.

Beyond the basic malt bill that was the same for both recipes, 2.0 has half the pumpkin spice as 2.1 but also lacks 2 cups of brown sugar and 15 oz. of canned pumpkin that I included in 2.1. Also, 2.0 is fermented with WLP001 California Ale yeast while 2.1 employed WLP004 Irish Ale yeast. Hop profiles are nearly the same, though 2.0 has Argentinean Cascade hops (lower AA%) used for the aroma addition while 2.1 has U.S. Cascades (higher AA%) for it’s aroma addition.

2.0 on left, 2.1 on right

2.1, roughly 10 days younger in the bottle and 7 days younger since brew day, is much creamier and frankly still much sweeter than 2.0 (in time, I firmly believe it will dry out as more of the bottling sugar is fermented to create carbonation). 2.1 is honestly a bit more like pumpkin pie whereas 2.0 is a rye beer that hits you with nutmeg and cinnamon. 2.0 attenuated and flocculated VERY well. 2.1 is also doing a good job with flocculation considering the addition of actual pumpkin to the boil.

I’m really excited to see how each of these beers ages through the fall.

2.0 on left, 2.1 on right

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