Archive for July, 2012

Tasting notes #23: Farmhouse Mild

July 27, 2012 Comments off

The Mild has had 12 days to mature which should be plenty for this kind of a beer for quick and fast summer drinking. One can even see the carbonation bubbles in the glass:

The dark rye malt and German smoked malt (I believe it was Weyermann) are a match made in heaven, slightly sweet and bready with a hint of smoke, a nice combination. I am getting some more information on the hops now too, I’d estimate the IBU’s to be slightly more than in a typical Hefeweizen, say around 15, which would make the AA% to be somewhere in the region of 4.5 (instead of the 3% used in the recipe).

This one is the draft (cask) version:


A bit dryer with less carbonation. That smoky rye dominates and the hops are very Hefeweizen-like. This beer makes me want to flour some pork chops with thyme and sage, fry them in the butter and roast them in an oven until very tender then smother the chops with a mushroom cream dijon sauce.  Mental note, brew this in the winter as 1055-60 OG. Life is good.

Categories: Tasting my brew

Tasting a guest homebrew: oh6gdx’s mixed bag of goodies – part 3

Next one up is “Dark Tranquillity vol 2 ABV: 3,8%”. Loose head which disappears quickly. Huge carbonation. Aroma is fruity toffee and cherries, taste dryish coffee, some smoke and roastiness.

Tart and sour, like a blend of Rodenbach and porter, light on the porter. I love sour beers and when in Belgium I practically brush my teeth with Rodenbach. But I can’t define this beer. Same malty characteristics as in one of the previous beers but not any malt I have ever used, could be Melanoidin or something. I burbed and definitely got some lactose. I like this beer a lot, whatever it is. It is a bit thin understandably and would benefit from 5-5.5% ABV.

“Something Wicked This Way Comes ABV: 5,0 %”. No head, no carbonation. Dark ruby red. Fruit on the nose, perhaps dark cherries. Taste is bitter, banana.

The lack of any carbonation makes this really difficult but there is some smoke under the nose. When the beer gets a bit warmer the malty backbone emerges, with smoother bitterness,  and those dark cherries are still there.

“Profane Porter ABV: 6,0%” is dark brown with no carbonation whatsoever, loose tiny head.

Aroma is chocolate, espresso with some roasted notes, dark fruits. Oily mouthfeel, soft, round, slightly sweet. Again, shame about the condition.

“Amon Amumme ABV: 7,6%” on the other hand has good carbonation but no head. Slightly murky reddish brown colour. Aroma is Gueuze or Lambic, sour with some fruit. Aroma is very close to Rodenbach and the fruit might actually be cherries for real, or some other fruit like mango or pineapple (could be the yeast too). Taste is cinnamon first followed by sour fruit. Some tingling in the mouth. A sour fruit beer but perhaps a bit too aggressive hopping.

To recap. What we have here is a case of a brewer who clearly is totally mad and follows no beer styles or boundaries but instead wants to brew outside the box. Was there really a single beer that I was able to say what style it was? Not really. There were some technical problems with carbonation and with condition in particular. But if one is able to see past that (and I think I can) the beers are complex, interesting and unique. They defy categorisation and each bottle was truly an unexpected treat, a surprise. Perhaps we’re beyond “beer” here already.

Brew #26: Faux Bruin

July 26, 2012 Comments off

As long as the colour is about right for a Belgian Bruin/Dubbel, never mind the grain bill. Using two packets of T-58 dry yeast as I’m aiming at the maximum ABV% and towards that goal I interrupted the mash schedule three times and stirred the grain in a hope to increase efficiency. Rinsed with only 3 litres instead of the usual 6. The bottling will be mostly into Orval bottles and then some into 0.75L ones – for Autumnal consumption…

All that effort and only ended up with 67% mash efficiency (66% efficiency into the FV). Never mind all that but also missed the target OG, went for 1070 and got 1066.

The new rubber seal goes around the top metal plate and keeps the wire mesh attached to it. It is quite a tight fit and the top part does not move up and down with the pump driving the wort but after three or so brews looks like it doesn’t have to.

name Faux Bruin
“style” Belgian Brown Ale
IBU 21
EBC 31
OG 1066
brewing date 26-Jul-12
yeast Safbrew T58 x2
fermentables grain kg %
grain 1 Pale Ale 4.60 68.6%
grain 2 Wheat 0.50 7.5%
grain 3 Crystal 150EBC (76L) 0.30 4.5%
grain 4 Black 0.10 1.5%
adjunct 1 Invert sugar 0.99 14.8%
adjunct 2 Demerara sugar 0.22 3.3%
total 6.71 100%
hops hop gram minutes
bittering Brewers Gold 7.3% 15 60
bittering Hallertau Mittelfr. 5.2% 12 60
flavour Saaz 3.6% 10 30
flavour Hallertau Mittelfr. 5.2% 5 30
aroma Hallertau Mittelfr. 5.2% 20 15
total 62
mash schedule minutes degrees c
step 1 mash in 48
step 2 70 65
Protafloc tablet
mash with 26 litres
sparge with 3 litres
into FV 21.5 litres

Recipe: Faux Bruin
“Style”: Belgian Dubbel
Brewed: 7/26/2012
Bottled: 8/14/2012
OG: 1.066 SG
FG: 1.011 SG
Alc%vol: 7.2 %
In FV: 21.5L
Bottled: 19L

Categories: Brewing

Tasting notes #21: Saison de Cassis

July 22, 2012 Comments off

Saison has a spicy peppery Belgian aroma to it. This WLP566 yeast is different from WLP565 and I prefer WLP565 because of its Dupont Moinette-like taste, this one is more neutral, bland almost.




It’s all about the yeast though and the 1/2 litre of black currant concentrate in the end of the boil has mellowed away and left only a slight harshness, more evident one or two weeks ago – the beer has matured and is now softer and more balanced but still dry.

Categories: Tasting my brew

Brew #25: Progress Pale Ale

July 17, 2012 Comments off


name Progress Pale Ale
“style” Golden Ale
IBU 37
OG 1039
brewing date 17-Jul-12
yeast Nottingham
fermentables grain kg %
grain 1 Pale Ale 3.90 100%
total 3.90 100%
hops hop gram minutes
bittering Progress 7.9% 25 60
flavour Progress 7.9% 20 15
aroma Progress 7.9% 25 10
aroma Progress 7.9% 30 5
total 100
mash schedule minutes degrees c
step 1 mash in 45
step 2 70 66
Protafloc tablet
mash with 26 litres
sparge with 5 litres
into FV 23.5 litres

Recipe: Progress Pale Ale
“Style”: Special/Best/Premium Bitter
Brewed: 7/17/2012
Bottled: 8/3/2012
OG: 1.039 SG
FG: 1.007 SG
Alc%vol: 4.2 %
In FV: 23.5L
Bottled: 21L

Categories: Brewing

Tasting a guest homebrew: oh6gdx’s mixed bag of goodies – part 2

Third one up is “Dark Wheat ABV: 5,2%”. Looks good first but then the head dissipates very quickly and does not leave any lacing.

Aroma is sweetish ripe banana and caramel and taste slightly roasted caramel.  The malt base is sweet and moreish liquid bread, but unfortunately the beer is flat i.e. has a low condition – a shame unless the aim was to brew a German Dunkel Kellerbier of which this beer reminds me. Anyway, the taste is deliciously refreshing as is.

Brew #24: Kitchen Sink Bitter

July 12, 2012 Comments off
name Kitchen Sink
“style” Bitter
IBU 35
EBC 26
OG 1035
brewing date 12-Jul-12
yeast Safale S-04
fermentables grain kg %
grain 1 Pale Ale 2.76 71.7%
grain 2 Munich 0.314 8.2%
grain 3 Vienna 0.326 8.5%
grain 4 Crystal 150EBC (76L) 0.15 3.9%
grain 5 Wheat 0.2 5.2%
grain 6 Black 0.1 2.6%
total 3.85 100%
hops hop gram minutes
bittering Target 10.7% 25 60
flavour Willamette 5.6% 20 20
aroma Liberty 3.6% 20 10
aroma Saaz 3.4% 20 5
total 85
mash schedule minutes degrees c
step 1 mash in 45
step 2 70 67
Protafloc tablet
mash with 26 litres
sparge with 5 litres
into FV 23.5 litres


Recipe: Kitchen Sink Bitter
“Style”: Standard/Ordinary Bitter
Brewed: 7/12/2012
Bottled: 7/23/2012
OG: 1.035 SG
FG: 1.010 SG
Alc%vol: 3.3 %
In FV: 23.50L
Bottled: 21.83L

Categories: Brewing