Evening of brewing and beer tasting

Last Friday me and a group of friends joined together to brew a stove-top BIAB English Pale Ale hopped with East Kent Goldings and drink lots of good beer. We ended up making some minor improvised adjustments to the recipe in the last minute, as the hop pellets contained only 4.1% alpha acids (recipe calculated for 5% AA, so 60, 15 and 5 minute additions changed to 33 grams each) and the pots we had were 21L and 15L (meaning we mashed a little thinner than first calculated). Otherwise the brewday went quite smoothly and we hit exactly the estimated gravity when we topped up with boiled water to a total volume of 15 liters in the fermenter (we got 13.5 liters of 1.063 wort after the boil). Hopefully this turns out good! Only slight fear I have is that it will end up a little estery and have noticeable fusel alcohols, as the beer was fermented at an ambient temperature of around 22 degrees C. I didn’t take all too many pictures during the brewday, but I’ve attached the ones I did below.

Didn’t have time to take any tasting notes either, but the real gems of the day were, in the order we tried them, my Brett IPA (massive tropical fruity nose, with a nice dry and bitter finish), Port Brewing Mongo IPA (fantastic hop tones in a balanced package), Mikkeller Red/White Christmas (skeptical at first, but as the beer warmed up the combination of fruity spiciness and resiny hoppiness worked well), Three Floyds Amon Amarth (a smokey and complex imperial porter/stout), Sad Robot Tyrion (my friend Ingo’s fantastic Imperial Stout, that was packed with roasty tones in a perfect balance), my Imperial Porter (a great package of vanilla, chocolate and coffee tones, but unfortunately a little boozy on the nose) and Alesmith Old Numbskull (great combination of sweet maltiness and resiny and citrusy hoppiness). My homebrewed Belgian Blond was quite well received, while the Belgian Strong Dark Ale was still a bit boozy, hot and overly estery (hopefully this one improves with a couple of months of aging). The Black Lodge Imperial Stout was quite well received as well, but I think it could use a bit more aging. The coffee tones and roasted malts were dominating together with a resiny hoppiness, but there was a slight warming in the finish which I assume is from the chili. The disappointments of the day were Alesmith IPA (although a tasty IPA, it was nothing spectacular), Mikkeller/Cigar City Swinging Harry Tropical Quad (way too sweet), and De Molen Hel & Verdoemenis 666 (a very good beer, but had hoped for more from this as I found the base beer so great). Overall though, a group of very good beers and a fantastic night!


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