Friday, July 15, 2011

Kentucky Common ........Update

I had really high hopes for this beer when I first brewed it, and I still think that the style is something I would really like to master. However, as with all my other experiences in sour mashing or sour worting this one turned out terribly.

I'm starting to think that the storage and shipping of grain down to the desert significantly impacts the microflora available on the grains and not in a good way. No matter what Ive done beers where I use these techniques on always turn out, well, a bit like hot garbage and vomit stew.....

This one was really nasty when I drained the keg for boiling, and the smell coming off the boil were terrible. Still I filled the carboy up and pitched in a packet of Nottingham. Within hours the yeast began to take off and the airlock was happily bubbling away..... That is until I noticed the smell......

The burping airlock was purging some of the terrible vomit/garbage smells from the wort! This made me fairly optimistic, maybe most of the smell would dissipate with the CO2 coming from the fermentation? To keep everyone happy, and my dog from being too curious I had to stash the carboy in an old fridge in the garage, and remove everything else from it...

Fast forward a couple months, and I decide to taste the beer to see how its coming along. Pouring the sample into my glass and the color is beautiful, clarity is great, but then the smell hits me. Not as strong as before, but still terrible. I think, eh its not that bad, lets see how it tastes. Taking a sip it tastes wonderfully grainy, slightly sweetish with notes of corn and a really nice subtle twang of acidity, but just as I'm feeling good it hits me. The smell of baby vomit.

Its on my lips and I cant get rid of it. Its in the glass and is filling the room. I was both with soap, I scrub and scrub nothing works. So for the next hour or so I really begin to understand the saying "It's your upper lip"

Not being able to stand the looks of disgust as SWMBO comes near me after I drank the beer, and not enjoying needing to rub deodorant under my nose I decide to do something I haven't in a long time.


I wish it ended there, but unfortunately it just rubbed salt into the wound....My backyard stunk for 2 days like an old hobo

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Malt Cider - A Review

Appearance - A dark caramel color, with ruby highlights. Slightly hazy, no head formation at all, champagne-like bubbling

Aroma - Caramelly, hints of fermented apple juice with a slight yeasty aroma

Taste - Very dry, hints of caramel in the finish. Slightly yeasty flavor, and a bit tart. Apple flavor is very subdued, tastes more like beer than cider.

Mouthfeel - Light body with a low finishing gravity. Highly carbonated, after each sip it leaves a prickly feeling from the CO2 bite.

Drinkability - A decent drinker, I think the taste is a bit bland and I'm attributing that to the juice I used. For whatever reason I just grabbed the cheapest stuff I saw at the store. When Ive fermented the cheap juice by itself in the past its usually pretty low on apple flavor and kinda tart, just like this one is. To spruce it up a bit I ended up adding 2 cans of concentrate to boost the flavor and sweetness a bit and its great like that. I think in the future what I might do is brew up a really caramelly low gravity beer and add some apple juice concentrate to the keg for flavor and sweetness.

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