Monthly Archives: January 2012

Brown ale tasting: Temp controlled Plain vs no temp plain vs Rye cask vs Blantons cask


Brown ale tasting

This is a tasting for the first brew that me and a buddy of mine brewed together.  Its a nice big Brown Ale that really has alot of character.  The batches were split between our apartments, so my friend kept his at a set temperature (if I recall correctly, I think he said 66 F).  On his beer, he also added some coffee and vanilla to the secondary. For my 5 gallons, I left the beer to ferment at room temp and then through the beer into two casks (not before bottling 2 oakless beers). here are all of the beers tasted next to each other.  The cask beer were not bottled and were tasted directly from the cask.

Plain (no temp control)
Appearance: dark brown/ black
Nose: roasty maltly, some cocoa, a slight sulfur aspect with an orange essence
Taste:malt upfront followed by a dry quick finish. A light chocolate essence throughout
Mouthfeel: low carbonation

Everything Butt British Brown Ale (temp controlled, with addition of coffee and vanilla)
Appearance: very black, probably due to coffee addition
Nose:black coffee, roasty, but smooth malt in the background
Taste: light coffee upfront followed by a quick blast of vanilla, then dry finish
Mouthfeel: a nice roasty bitterness, the a quick dry finish
Overall: 7.5/10

Rye cask: straight from cask
Appearance: full dark brown
Nose: maple syrup, caramel, rye but more oak
Taste: dry, mild wood, no significant sweetness
Mouthfeel: dry and a bit tart
Overall:8/10, needs age

Blanton’s cask
Appearance: light brown, clear
Nose: big oak maple syrup, with a slight citrus tinge
Taste: the oak is big, but a tawny, winey aspect is there too, significant bourbon flavor
Mouthfeel: a quick start and a long finish
Overall:7.7/10 must age,

My Dad’s Kolsch


For the vast majority of my life, my father has always abstained from consuming alcohol. It wasn’t that my father never drank, it was just tremendously rare.  Not even during the holidays.  Fortunately, through persistent encouragement, my father has finally found a beer that he enjoys. A smooth Kolsch.

A german hybrid ale with lager characteristics, but my dad likes REALLY smooth, crisp beer, so basically, I’m shooting for the lightest ale I can make, short of shitty piss beer. I have been playing with german beers since the beginning of my brewing lifetime, and for many years, made bad to really bad lagers, due to lack of accurate temp control, my less admirable personality traits, and lack of worthwhile brewing practices.

In the last 2 years, I made a big turn in my product, making beers that were much closer to my intended flavor profiles, but I still have a way to go to hit homeruns everytime.  This Kolsch is going to be my next major attempt at nailing a style.

here is version 1.0



Appearance: A straw yellow, clear beer.  Light head that doesn’t stick around for long.

Nose: a mainly lemon/ hop scent, with some earthy backbone

Taste: a very clean start mouth that amps up into a lemon hop character. a malt finish comes finished behind the lingering lemon profile which is a bit too bitter. pretty good though

Mouthfeel: easy drinking beer. carb is low, just like it should be

Overall: the bitterness has a great bounce to dry up the finish. no lingering sweetness or creaminess.  This is a very good place to start from. 7.3 /10

Dad liked this too, just a bit less lemon, and clear it out.

Oaked vs Unoaked 15 min boil Sorachi Ace IPA


Oaked up front, unoaked in the back

15 min sorachi ace IPA
Oak vs unoaked

on a busy work day I decided to make a quick IPA, only a 15 min boil with 2 ounces of Sorachi Ace. I put half into a cask, the other half i kept plain.

Appearance: clear, amber brown with yellowish hue
Nose: sweet vanilla oak with very little hop character
Taste:tannin flavor that bends into an orange cream sickle. Orange grapefruit bitterness
Mouthfeel: low carb, but a quick dry finish
Overall: 7.9/10. Weird flavor, but delicious

Appearance: more cloudy than the oaked, but I have found that common when using carb tabs
Nose: hoppy citrus a plenty, in the great sorachi ace lemon/grapefruit flavors
Taste: a balanced bittering, but nothing on the end.  Some more malt flavor would help, a light grapefruit finish
Mouthfeel: good carb, nice balance, good mouthfeel
Overall: good lingering hop flavor, pretty nice IPA

Homegrown hop pale ale tasting


This last summer was my first attempt at growing hops.  I planted 3 hop plants in the spring, but only my magnum gave me any harvest. And the yield at that was pretty miserable, giving only 3.5 oz wet, which once dried, would be around than 1 oz.
Instead of worrying about drying so few hops, I thought it was time for my first wet hopped beer.  The end product turned out better than expected.

Bottled 9/23
Appearance: A light amber brown with hints of orange
Nose: citrusy upfront with hints of melon undertones, a nice malt background balances the citrus well
Mouthfeel: good carbonation light upfront with smooth lager characteristics
Flavor: great balance between the melon/hop flavor and the malt profile
Overall: one of the nicest pale ales I have ever tasted! Can’t wait for next harvest