Thursday, January 7, 2010

Nuts to you.

That's right time for the review of my first nut brown ale. First I'll say that I learned something with this beer. Maybe it should have been more obvious to me in the past. But recently I haven't been letting my beers age for nearly long enough. After having it finish in the primary fermenter I kegged it right away and naturally carbonated it using 3/4 of corn sugar. Well after a week I was ready to crack that keg open and wow. The flavors were way overbearing the hops were too intense, and the mouth feel really just wasn't that great. After letting it age for another 2-3 weeks (month total) it's a whole different story.

The nut brown created was good. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being brewery-worthy, and 1 being a dump, I give it a 6. It's a decent beer overall, but for what I was aiming for it didn't really hit the mark. The bear has a nice hoppy aroma to it, which I appreciate. As you can see it has a very dark brown color, almost black, but not quite. Head retention is pretty poor. It drinks very smooth and has a very dry character to it. It has a pretty distinct hop flavor to it. Not as strong as one of Stone's Arrogant Ales, not by a long shot. However I was really going for a much more nutty, mild brown ale. The hops really just overpowered what I was going for. A great beer, definitely, but not quite the target I was trying to hit.

On a side note, Christmas and the wife was very good to me. I now have a stack of brewing books to read through, including "Clone Brews," "The Brewmasters Bible," "Brew Chem 101," and "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing." As I finish these books I'll let you know what I think about them. I'm halfway through Brew Chem 101, and I can tell you it's definitely a fun read. But I'll let you know more when I'm done...

Did you know what really distinguishes Ale and Lager yeast? Raffinose. Ale yeast doesn't break down the sugar Raffinose completely, where Lager yeast does. That's why Lagers tend to be such crisp clean beers. Thanks "Brew Chem"!

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