Suregork Loves Beer

Beer Reviews, Homebrew, Rambling

Tasting some homebrews


This evening I thought I’d taste through a pair of homebrews I’ve acquired through trades. One is a mystery beer from my homebrewing neighbor Juhani, and the other is a Tripel from my colleague Ilkka. This should be interesting!

  • Brewery: Juhani’s Homebrewery
  • Country: Finland
  • Style: ?
  • ABV: ?
  • Size: 330 ml
  • Bought from: –
  • Not on Beer Advocate
  • Not on RateBeer


First up is the mystery beer from Juhani. I have no information at all on this brew, as Juhani wanted me to guess what it has been brewed with. The cap has the number 49 on it, so this should be his 49th batch. This should be interesting!

Juhani's #49
The beer pours with a slightly hazy deep amber-copper color, and a cream-colored head is formed that quickly collapses.
The aroma features tones of bready malt, sweet fruits, slight yeasty phenolics, and a slight presence of coffee. There are some alcohol tones present as well.
The beer features tones of bready and toasted malt, some caramel, dark fruits and red berries, some yeast tones, and the slightest roastiness. Not much hoppiness in this. The finish is quite dry, slightly watery, and with practically no bitterness at all. A slight warming sensation on the tongue after the beer has been swallowed, not sure if from alcohol or some ingredient.
The body is quite light and carbonation level is medium-low. The beer is quite easy to drink, but feels a little watery.
An interesting beer without any major flaws. Not completely to my liking, but this is just my own taste preferences. I'm having a hard time guessing what is in this, but assume it could contain some of the following: caramel malt, dark candi syrup/sugar, a slight amount of heavily roasted malt (e.g. chocolate malt), low amount of hops, and Belgian-style yeast. I'm also having a hard time deciding whether I'm just imagining the slightly warming sensation in the after-taste or if it's really there. If I'm not imagining, it could maybe be from an addition of chili or similar. It will be interesting to hear what was in this!

  • Brewery: Ilkka’s Homebrewery
  • Country: Finland
  • Style: Tripel
  • ABV: 7.5%
  • Size: 500 ml
  • Bought from: –
  • Not on Beer Advocate
  • Not on RateBeer


Next up is Ilkka’s Tripel (Note: He hasn’t removed the old label from the bottle in the picture). This I have some more information on, and it has been brewed with pilsner, rye and wheat malt, as well as oat flakes and cane sugar. The original gravity of the brew was 1.070 and the final gravity 1.014, giving it an ABV of 7.5%. It has been hopped with Bravo, Mt Hood and Saaz to an IBU of 33, and fermented with WLP550 (the Chouffe strain; same as used in my own Tripel). He warned me that it might be a little sweet, as he hoped for higher attenuation, and that carbonation might be off, as he has experienced both flat bottles and gushers, which indicates that the priming sugar wasn’t thoroughly mixed into the beer. Let’s see how it tastes!

Ilkka's Tripel
The beer pours with a hazy golden-orange color, and a fluffy off-white head is formed, that collapses leaving lacing along the glass. There seems to be sufficient carbonation in this bottle!
The aroma is spicy and phenolic, and features some typical Belgian yeast tones. Behind the yeast tones, there is a slight sweetness coupled with a slight citrusy fruitiness. Very style-typical aroma, without any flaws.
The flavor is similar to the aroma, with yeasty phenolics dominating. I get some tones of spices, grass, citrus fruits, biscuits and a slight amount of alcohol. The finish is quite sweet, with a slight bitterness and a minor harshness. The flavor is also style-typical, but slightly one-dimensional and with a minor harshness in the finish.
The beer has a medium body and carbonation level. Could be a bit drier, but otherwise very drinkable.
Overall a really nice Tripel, that I enjoyed drinking, even though I'm not a major fan of the style. The beer was mostly flawless, and you couldn't tell you were drinking a homebrew. The aroma and flavor featured some really nice yeast tones, that could have benefited slightly from a drier finish and a more interesting malt backbone or hop profile. Looking forward to trying more of your beers in the future!

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