Time for a beer

Due to moving, working, and other stuff, this homebrew blog has died a bit of a death.

To kick things back off, I’ve got some yeast going for a couple of pale ales and IPAs, and kilogrammes of various 2010 hops including Chinook, Cascade, Citra, Simcoe, Nelson Sauvin and Magnum. I want to try and brew some seriously good hoppy beers, which is something I have had trouble with in the past, in no small part due to lack of patience. Every homebrewer has been in this scenario, especially those who keg their beer. You brew something with a tonne of hops in it, ferment it out and stick it in the keg. Impatience gets the better of you so you hook up the CO2 and shake a little gas into it. Unsurprisingly, the beer tastes like grapefruit juice and pine resin. Even so, half pints slip away here and there while you “educate your¬†palate” about how beer develops and changes over time. A couple of weeks later, the beer tastes O.K. so you draw off progressively larger measures until there is only one pint left. Which happens to be the best tasting pint in the world. How on earth did you let that happen again!

I am determined to not fall into this trap again, which I think is the missing link in my hoppy beers. In an earlier post I made an all Columbus IPA which tasted fairly rough around the edges. I held a couple of bottles back and the best beers were the ones I tried a couple of weeks ago. The hop character was still powerful, but had much less sharpness and much more nuance.

The next challenge is to work out how to brew in a much smaller space. I have had the luxury of brewing in a garage which has allowed me to set up a 3 vessel stainless system which isn’t easily¬†storable, and there is no way I could get away with leaving it permanently set up in the kitchen. So I want to try and get a brew in a bag style set up going in the next couple of months. I am used to using a fridge for temperature control which I don’t have in this flat so something similarly low-tech will have to be dreamt up.

Lastly, after watching a demonstration of yeast culturing at the homebrew club I am tempted to plate a few of the strains I use regularly, and at the very least, start making starters in an erlenmeyer style flask rather than boiling them up in a saucepan. I will treat this as a longer term thing, however I should be able to track down a decent sized borosilicate flask.

For now, I have got California ale yeast going on the stir plate for some hoppy, Cascade-y goodness in the next couple of days.


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6 Responses to Time for a beer

  1. pdtnc says:

    You need to Keg some easy drinkers and bottle the Hoppy numbers, I usually try do a few 330ml so I can check on progress without actually wasting a full 500ml only to tip it down the sink (like I just did tonight with a far too young beer).

  2. Geoff says:

    Good to hear that from a commercial perspective, mate.

    I have a beer brewed with Bobek which tastes, quite franky, rank. It is around 3 weeks old and tastes like grapefruit juice. I know the beer will get better but perhaps this is just a hop I don’t like.

  3. pdtnc says:

    Oh, that wasn’t commercial, just garage brewing! :)

    I find Bobek a bit overpowering, single hop I did is still pretty pungent months after!

  4. Gary says:

    Yep, -1 to Bobek too. Gave up on them a while back!

  5. bosium says:

    Planning any hoppy lagers for summer?

  6. Matt says:

    Brew some nice running ales and lagers for your kegs. That should help you stay out of the bottles!

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