Archive for February, 2012

Tasting notes #12: Brugge Tour 2012 Ale

My first attempt at a Belgian style ale packs 6.4% ABV  and while fermenting with Fermentis T-58 yeast the delicious rotten banana aroma was wafting around the house.

Appearance: slightly hazy orange colour with a huge head in the beginning that quickly disappears. Loads of carbonation bubbles.



Aroma: peppery, spicy, fruity.

Mouthfeel: soft and round with a fair amount of carbonation.

Taste: aroma is intensified in the taste and the hops play second fiddle. No alcohol to speak of.

Conclusion: It’s all in the yeast. Although T-58 could be taken for a beginner’s Belgian yeast, Struise apparently uses it in its beers (Pannepot…).  I believe a very good effort although there is too much roundness and softness, I would have preferred tightness instead. Hops are correctly in the background and the colour is bang on. The beer scaled down could be a saison with a different yeast.

Categories: Tasting my brew

Tasting a guest homebrew #2: Bergsta Porter Duo

First of the last two Bergsta beers is Belgo Porter at 7.5% ABV. Based on the name I would assume a Belgian yeast strain is used.

Appearance: almost black, some ruby colour against sunlight. Head as in the picture below, mocha-coloured, leaving lacing.



Aroma: some alcohol and fruity Belgian yeastiness. Roasted notes.

Mouthfeel: soft light to medium. Crystallised sugar?

Taste: first hit is quite candy-like, sweet, one can almost feel the sugar in its crystallised form in the mouth. Then, roastiness, bitterness, some spice too. After having poured the yeasty dregs in to the glass the sweetness seems to disappear somewhat. The aroma seems to capture the Belgian character better.

Conclusion: a bit too sweet for my taste and the Belgian input is clearly more present in the aroma than the taste where the roast notes dominate. Technically, very solid (except the crystallised sugar) and would go very nicely with a fruit cake at the end of a meal.

The second porter is Via Baltica Baltic Porter at 8.5% ABV. Without further ado:

Appearance: jet-black with a mocha-coloured (again) head, sticky lacing and foam being almost a froth. This beer even feels heavy in the glass…



Aroma: not nearly as fruity or yeasty as the previous one but more subdued. Less alcohol on the nose, quite neutral actually.

Mouthfeel: medium to heavy, viscous quality to it, oily, very tight. Tingling in the mouth.

Taste: dry, burned, dark coffee, very robust. Packs a punch. Some sourness. Nice balance with the hops, they must be there as the beer is dry and there’s the tingling.

Conclusion: I especially like the dry quality of this big porter. Technically without a fault whatsoever, very balanced and very comforting. Haven’t drank that many of imperial/Baltic/stout porters and certainly can’t remember a better one. This recipe is definitely a keeper and one to brew again. Olutsieppo, please put me down for a six-pack for Christmas, thank you.

Brew #14: IPA Single Hop Chinook

February 14, 2012 Comments off
name IPA Single Hop Chinook
“style” American IPA
IBU 55
EBC 29
OG 1056
brewing date 14-Feb-12
yeast Safale S-04 (rehydrated)
fermentables grain kg %
grain 1 Pale Ale 4.60 83.6%
grain 2 Crystal 150EBC (76L) 0.35 6.4%
grain 3 Wheat malt 0.10 1.8%
grain 4 Black malt 0.05 0.9%
adjunct 1 Invert sugar 0.40 7.3%
total 5.50 100%
hops hop gram minutes
bittering Chinook 13.59% 20 60
flavour Chinook 13.59% 20 15
aroma Chinook 13.59% 25 10
aroma Chinook 13.59% 35 5
total 100
mash schedule minutes degrees c
step 1 mash in 40
step 2 70 67
Protafloc tablet
Categories: Brewing

Tasting a guest homebrew #1: Bergsta IPA

February 12, 2012 1 comment

This is the first of three tasting notes on a fellow home brewer Olutsieppo’s beers. A professional looking label mentions 6.9% ABV and Simcoe, Centennial and Columbus hops. Let’s crack it open!

Appearance: there is a noise of gas escaping when the bottle is opened and the beer pours a hazy orangey with one-finger head which later on leaves an even coating of lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma: citrusy, piney resin, fresh and fruity, with the slightest whiff of alcohol. Clearly hops are present.



Mouthfeel: soft, medium mouthfeel to it. Actually, quite surprisingly soft feel to it considering the resiny aroma.

Taste: good round and soft maltiness with resiny and citrusy hops. 6.9% ABV is nicely hidden and the pine and resin dominates the citrus in the aftertaste.  Some sweetness too but the hop presence is clearly evident from the tingling of the tongue.

Conclusion: technically, only problem I can see is that some bits of hop cones are floating around which in some circumstances could be undesirable. My personal preference would be to have some more hop bitterness (early hop addition) to reduce the softness and slight sweetness but this is splitting hairs.  I suspect dry-hopping was extensive as the aroma is so strong and clear on the nose. I would happily order a six-pack of this beer – a very solid IPA indeed.

(if I was able to locate the correct beer searching the internet, the beer had around 64 IBU’s, Vienna malts were used and of the total hop bill only 20% was for bittering. The yeast was Wyeast 1272 – American Ale II)

Brew #13: Pale Ale

name Pale Ale
“style” Pale Ale, Bitter
IBU 35
EBC 30
OG 1047
brewing date 9-Feb-12
yeast Nottingham (rehydrated)
fermentables grain kg %
grain 1 Pale Ale 4.00 88.9%
grain 2 Crystal 150EBC (76L) 0.45 10.0%
grain 3 Black malt 0.05 1.1%
total 4.50 100%
hops hop gram minutes
bittering Challenger 7.8% 30 60
flavour Challenger 7.8% 20 15
aroma Northdown 9.27% 20 5
total 70
mash schedule minutes degrees c
step 1 mash in 40
step 2 70 67
Protafloc tablet
Categories: Brewing