2014 June Troubleshooter's Corner Notes
These notes are a little scattered today as we didn't have a lot of time for Troubleshooter's and I forgot my notebook - so these are from memory. Brewers if I missed you - let me know and I'll be able to fill in my memory. The theme of today's tasting seemed to be "I'm not sure about what I made" which is different than "My beer sucks - help!"
Extra Special Bitter? - Dark coppery colored brew with a big toasty malt nose and a bare hint of hops with a strong English fruity nose. Some herbal hop flavor over a well rounded, but still flat bodied beer. (i.e. the malt was one note and didn't transition.) Final character was a sharp bitter hop bite accentuated by a dry mineral presence. Turns out the brewer suffered a mishap and ran out of propane 15 minutes from the end of boil. He chucked the hops into the kettle and let them steep at just off the boil for an extended period of time. Upshot was quite a bit more bitterness without the hop aroma or flavor you'd expect. Brewer was advised - don't do that! :) Actual advice was to keep the same hop schedule going and just let the hops steep in contact with the wort as indicated in the recipe. In this case - burner fails with 15 minutes left, let the beer stand for 15 minutes, add your knock out hops and proceed to whirlpool and chill as normal. More practically, keep a second propane tank on hand! The brewer was also advised that they were on the right track and go enjoy a few Fuller's ESBs for future study.
Young DIPA - This was another "am I ok?" beers. In this case, a brewer eagerly getting back into the hobby had bottled his DIPA for the meeting, but it had only been in the bottle for one week. The beer was a little sweet from the priming sugar, but there was already a light "fizz" with a good solid back bone of hops and definite Columbus induced "dankness". Brewer was advised to wait a week or two and try again. Brewer should have also been advised to brew immediately to build the beer pipeline to give future beers time to develop. Bad GH!
Imperial Pilsner that Isn't - Next beer was a beer that poured dark amber brown in the glass and had been intended to be an Imperial Pilsner. The beer had also stalled out sweet stopping well shy of attenuation from the peak of 1.090. Brewer didn't have notes on where it stalled at. Brewer was advised that that knowledge is very useful. Brewer was also advised that the beer wasn't a lost cause. The flavors are good, but are masked by the sweetness. Oh and it's not an Imperial Pilsner. It's something entirely else at this point. So, brewer was advised to stop thinking Imperial Pilsner and instead grab some US-05, rehydrate it properly and ferment the remaining beer all the way down. At that point, give it a taste and decide if dry hops would be a good thing and then call it a pale barleywine! (Who needs style when the beer tastes awesome?)
Candied Double IPA - Same brewer, different beer. Brewer thought the beer was too sweet. It was, but just barely. Brewer was advised to remember that starters are good for yeast.