I have finally popped the strange cru! After weeks of waiting and trepidation, I can finally taste my first non-prepackaged brew. And how is it, you ask? Well, I think it’s pretty good! I think it is my best batch of the four I’ve done so far. However, I am quite perplexed, because it is still very similar in taste and body to the previous three, even though I used completely different ingredients and brands that I have before. More on that later.
This beer has a slight hints of citrus in the aroma. It smells kind of sweet. It’s not a hoppy beer, so there is little flower in the aroma. The color is quite a deep amber, which seems a little strange. I used extra light malt extract and honey, so I expected it to be more of a golden color. Maybe it’s because it was Muntons malt extract, and they are Brittish…
The flavor is quite light and has twists of orange citrus. Adding a wedge of orange really enhances the citrus flavor, much like it does in a Blue Moon. The aftertaste is actually a little sour. I did use sour dried orange peel in the wort, so perhaps that’s where that flavor came from. It does have different twists from my previous batches, but its malty character and finish still closely resembles the other batches I’ve made previously.
One other interesting tidbit about this batch is that it has a lot less head than my previous batches. It is still quite carbonated, so I think the conditioning is pretty good. I just miss the head :)
Overall, I think this is quite a solid effort. I got very good reviews from my friends at Bratfest 2007 in North Charleston over the weekend. That is very encouraging, but I am still quite perplexed about why it still has such a similar taste and body to the previous three batches. Is it the equipment I’m using? Does the plastic fermentation bucket have flavors ingrained into it after a few batches? Am I not sanitising the equipment well enough and the beer is getting contaminated? Is this how all malt extracts taste? Many questions, few answers. I need to seek expert opinions. Time to call on Uncle Wendell.
However, stay tuned, I have picked my next summer brew: Blueberry Ale.