Saturday, February 06, 2010

Mic Check

QC'd the Milds the middle of last week. The beer is drawing a bit clearer. Volume of CO2 is juuust a bit too high, made a correction for that & we're real close to a nice creamy pint already so it didn't take much. I think there's just a bit too much Sulfate showing too, low gravity beers finishing relatively dry leaves a bit of space in the flavor profile so water quality stands out. We'll see how they hold up to "judging".

One thing I'd failed to post earlier is getting 10 gals. of cider from Fox Island Farms last October. So, got the goods at the end of last October, pitched some Safbrew s-33 (looks like this is turning into the house dried yeast), and just let it go. The 10 gals. went into two 5 gal. carboys with one getting a fair amount of apple gunk. Thiefed a bit of each to taste and I'm well pleased with the result. One carboy was showing a bit more sulfur than the other, not sure if it's the apple gunk or not, but in any case the sulfur will clear during conditioning. Really nice, dry and tart cider. I had thought to bottle condition and try for a very tight effervescence but I believe I'll keg it, maybe push the CO2 to the high side, and just serve it on draft. It really needs to get to drinking.

Thiefed a bit of the McChief too. Oh man! This is sooo good! Malty sweet, big dark dried fruit flavors and sweet warming alcohol. This one will need to go under corks and cages, I'm thinking I'll prime with some fresh yeast only and let it go. I'd rather have this without enough gas than with too much gas. I'm looking forward to deep goblets of this one.

Update: So I put this post up and then spent the rest of my evening having a few of the Milds. There's been some nice changes going on in the last week or so since the initial sampling. The all-malt Mild still seems to show too much Sulfate, but both adjunct versions are tasting better balanced. The AK in particular is very nice; toasted malt flavors, very fine fruity esters, and finishes with a lingering nuttiness that ends crisply. A very nicely drinking beer. The Dark Mild seems a bit rough still, maybe a bit more time will help the flavors round out better; lots of bitter cold coffee and dark chocolate, nice but a little at odds with the water quality. The Ruby is quite a bit brighter than the other two and is tasting cleaner for it; very light "juicy" malt flavors, moderately strong dark dried fruit flavors compliments a subtle fruity yeast character. That pound of Crystal 120 really stands out. The finish is just a bit tooth coating and slightly over bitter, which I'd attribute the calcium sulfate levels that I've been complaining about. Still pretty nice but not quite that amazing soft pint either.

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