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?


  1. I should start brewing again. I did it for a little while back when the interwebs was young. I bought a copy of Papazian and gave it a try. I made several 5 gallon extract batches of bad beer and threw in the towel. I didn't think to try 1 gallon batches.

  2. I usually brew five gallon batches but did split the Norther Brewer Oatmeal Stout batch in half and made two 2.5 gallon batches. The first batch was pretty good but over carbonated, the second batched, bottled on April 20, is delisious but has marginal carbonation. I'm also brewing my through the Complete Joy of Home Brewing. I made the Ordinary Bitter from page 176 (I think) and it was just right.