January 5, 2013

Slutty Pumpkin II Tasting

Ok, I know, tasting posts aren't that interesting except I think it's useful (at least for my own purposes) to put up an honest evaluation of a recipe. Slutty Pumpkin II is the name for my pumpkin dunkelweizen which is really just my dunkelweizen plus pumpkin pie spices. I don't have a picture for the beer (and honestly, how bad do you really want to see more of my shitty phone pics?) but I have words and they are neat, too.

This recipe was a few firsts: it was my first real beer run with WLP300 from my yeast experiment (prior weizen beers used WY 3068, essentially the same yeast) and it was the first use of my new two gallon mash tun; it was the first weizen beer to ferment in my fermentation chamber; it was also the first beer I turned out in three weeks total. Overall I think the beer turned out pretty well although I need to tweak a bit with my two gallon mash tun. It produced a slightly different beer than the dunkelweizen on the stove top I had made before but it's just adjusting to new equipment.

Appearance - Beer has a nice dark caramel color typical for a dunkelweizen. Decent amount of head and lacing to produce a good bed for the aroma to release.

Smell - Smell is typical dunkelweizen: slight banana, lots of clove, caramel, wheat and a hint of spice. The pumpkin pie spices don't come through strongly in the aroma.

Taste - Also pretty typical for a dunkelweizen. I fermented this beer slightly cooler than normal so it came through with a lot of clove and little banana which actually works well for the spices. The spices at first let you know there's something unusual here but primarily come through in the aftertaste. Up front I get mostly a standard dunkelweizen but the aftertaste is like a pumpkin pie with a lot of crust flavor. I think the beer could do with more spices, maybe even as much as twice the spicing. I don't want to go overboard with spices but I would like it to come through some in the initial flavor.

Mouthfeel - This is where the beer sort of fell off. It's a little thin which I appropriate to the new equipment and needing to spend less time at 148F in the decoction mash. The spices also add a lot of tannins which can contribute to a thinner mouthfeel in a fuller beer (but in a very thin beer like sours can add the impression of body). Initially the aftertaste was loaded with a lot of rough tannins that made the beer sort of awkward to drink but a couple days later the tannins mellowed out and the rough tannic bite went away. In the future I would add more wheat and/or spend more time in the mash at 158F to get a fuller mouthfeel out of the beer.

Drinkability - The beer is an easy drinker. It's complex enough to drink slowly but smooth enough to be an easy drinking beer if one prefers. It's substantially different from the Lakewood Punkel I took inspiration from but I think that's mostly because their version is an American wheat beer with a lot of chocolate malt and a lot of spice. I'm happy with the way my German weizen version came through minus the mouthfeel issues attributable to learning new equipment.


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