September 17, 2012

A couple tastings over the weekend

Over the weekend I popped open a couple of my newer homebrews to see how they were doing. Unfortunately it was not as pleasant of an experience as I had hoped.

First was the perry I brewed a few months ago. I knew it would be light on flavor since I really watered it down but it is a lot lighter than I expected. There is very little pear flavor, it is a very gentle flavor but because of how thin it is there is a lot of unpleasant cidery flavor that comes across like an off flavor. I guess I shouldn't have watered it down at all. It is more cidery at cool temperatures but at room temperature more of the pear comes out and it's not too bad. Definitely not worth the price of pear juice in my opinion. I've made better cider (not that it was great) using just fermented store-brand apple juice and considerably better using frozen apple juice concentrate and tea bags (adds some tannins and complexity). Since I got the juice on sale at a very good price it was worth the experiment.

Second came the third rendition of dogtails, this time as a sour mashed version. The sourness is fantastic. It is tart and cleanly sour. That's great. The problem is right after the sourness comes a horrible garbage/sewage flavor that reminds me of when I tasted the first attempt at that brett saison after only three months. What's odd about it is this beer has already sat for nine months, which is the same amount of time I let the second version ferment and it didn't have any of that terrible flavor. Like the first batch, time cured the problem but it took a lot of time. Almost two years. So I guess I will commit the remaining 21 bottles to a very long storage. I will look at bringing this beer back out around May, at which time it will be 17 months old. If it still sucks, more time. I have decided this will be my last go with this particular culture. I don't feel like the flavor is so special that it deserves two years to reach a drinkable place. I could easily make a brett saison with a commercial brett strain and drink it 3-6 months after brewing. 

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