Monday, January 27, 2014

Northern Brewer Honey Kolsch, extract kit

It's true, what they say about the best beer from any batch of homebrew is the last one. I bottled this Kolsch on Oct. 20th and in the subsequent three months all the homebrew funk has settled out.  My original notes described a vinous smell with plenty of carbonation and head retention. The initial flavor was malty with hops and cider following.

I drank one of these about a month ago and it was still too heavy, malty and hoppy, to be distinguished as a Kolsch. At that time, and all previous samplings, this brew would have qualified as an ale or pale ale style. My notes graded it as a 2 or 2.5 out of 5.

Here's the update: I smelled this before pouring it, there was some vinegar smell and I noticed some hops residue inside the bottle neck. (As for the smell, I've been smelling sour liquids all afternoon.) The pour is clear gold with good head retention.

The first sip is very light but with enough body to distinguish it from an American Pils. (Just like a Kolsch!) The hops are very subtle, becoming more assertive in the body of the beer. The finish is a bit more hoppy. The mouthfeel is light and effervescent.

I still can not grade this beer very highly. I'm not ready to self-promote my brews, but I can give it a grade of 3.5. This was not the last bottle of the Kolsch, I will be able to share some with friends and get unbiased opinions. The boss, Sally, has already said that this is my best brew in years. Let's see if time has improved my Oatmeal Stout?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Fanatical Recycling Social Networking Analysis

Our Research Dept had determined that Facebook is a bit lacking in the Social Networking dept.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Great Divide, Old Ruffian, Barleywine

On New Year's Eve I enjoyed a four year old bomber of Great Divide Old Ruffian Barleywine, it was heavenly. The carbonation was low with the thinnest layer of bubbles. The color was toasty golden brown, like a cup of hot tea.

The first sip revealed the malt body with no overwhelming hop flavors. The hop presence has mellowed over the years, now more traditional British Bitter or Pale Ale flavors are present. Up to this point I had only had fresh barleywines. There are none of the overpowering hops with which I am accustomed.

Surprisingly, the finish is very mellow. The mouthfeel is light but with a gritty, pale ale weight. This is the perfect beer for celebrating the New Year. I must buy more barleywines!

Grade: 5 of 5 possible pints.