Piety and scholarship under Lupulos.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bruxelles Sprout: Week 3 conditioning tasting notes

  • Appearance: Pours copper with slight reddish hue. Reasonably clear. A 1/2 inch head from a vigorous pour. Head quickly dissipates.
  • Aroma: Deep dark fruit on the nose: raisins, dates, fig. Some green sour apple. No apparent hops.
  • Flavor: thinner than the nose with a dry, phenolic (i.e., clove) finish
  • Mouth: nicely carbonated but could be improved
  • Drinkability: low alcohol level (5-6%) and modest flavor make drinking a couple pretty easy
I suspected the "secret" origin of the yeast to be Rochefort's own and a website did confirm as such. (This was facilitated by Nilam and my splitting of a Rochefort 10 on Friday night.) This is an excellent yeast and is really pulling the flavor weight. I'd like to give it more fermentables to work on.

I am enjoying this beer more and more now that it's conditioning into its peak. The apple hint suggests more conditioning time is needed. I hope the flavor improves but I don't expect a dramatic change. On a future iteration, I would like to bridge the gap between the excellent aroma and nice finish. This will probably require retooling the grain bill and raising fermentability.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bruxelles Sprout results; IPA in primary

Hello Beerworld,

I have been enjoying Bruxelles Sprout for the last 10 days. Some thoughts:
  1. Significantly under-carbonated relative to previous brews. I'm looking at my notes and trying to identify the difference. I recall not using cane sugar but instead a more traditional, corn-based priming sugar, though recollection is fuzzy. Also, I did try to dial it down. Finally, where previous brews were bursting by 7 days, this one may well need the full 3 weeks of conditioning. However, carbonation is pretty important with taste so I think it's still a negative.
  2. I'm digging the esters/phenols from the abbey yeast.
  3. Overall the taste is a little thin. This was by scientific design: I want to learn Belgian yeast and therefore tried to isolate the variable as much as possible. I went for a simple malt profile, relatively low alcohol, and a light hoppiness, that, combined, would let the yeast profile shine. And wow, the yeast is really a beautiful thing. But, I am perhaps enjoying the beer pedagogically.
  4. The chill haze is oppressive in this beer. Look at a warm bottle and it's clear as water. Put it in the fridge for half a day and it's fog. Mostly cosmetic and equipment-related but I'd like to fix it eventually.
The next Belgian will be mashed for heavy attenuation. I don't want residual sweetness and the more the yeast gobbles up, the more of those delicious byproducts it will leave in the beer. I may try for more hops next time. I love the Belgian tradition, but damn, it breaks my heart to make a batch on an ounce of low alpha hops.

In the primary: a new IPA with a similar grain bill to P4P and a new hop. Looking forward to it.