The Bitter has been on tap for about three weeks now and I am five gallons down. Here is a little post about it so far.
What I like:
- Excellent hopping level
- Turned out drinkable after the giant problems with the previous batches
Some problems, and their solutions:
- Cloudy – I stopped using Irish moss when I ran out, must go back to it
- The malt profile is simple – expected from a simple grain bill
- Had a very noticeable chlorine warmth – I de-gassed it twice and the problem is lessened
San Jose uses chloramine in its water and I did not filter my water prior to brewing. Chloramine is becoming preferable to chlorine because it does not dissipate in the system. It is that property that carries it through the brewing process.
Roger, who brewed along side me at the brew-in, had the same problem in his IPA and suggested that I de-gas the beer a few times. After the beer was carbonated, I opened the top vent until it stopped hissing, then allowed it to carbonate over a few days. Repeat as necessary. This will also carry out some of the flavor you want to keep, but it is a small price to pay for drinkable beer.
I have another five gallons still in carboy – interested to see if the off-flavors are still there.
Before I leave, I feel compelled to give you a little BJCP-style judging of it. The keg is nearly empty and I want to bring a half a gallon to a friend’s house tonight, so here is the evaluation from memory:
Aroma: No hop aroma, all malt and a hint of alcohol warmth.
Appearance: Amber, cloudy
Flavor: Full malt flavor with a residual bitterness level. Bitterness is low, skimming the bottom of the expected magnitude. There is a noticeable alcohol warmth and some off-flavor that my inexperienced palate can’t identify. Maybe it’s just the “homebrew flavor”.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, finishes pretty clean.
Overall: Drinkable, as evidenced by the short turn-around time on the keg. Not my best, but a welcome beer none-the-less.