When/if to blend
I brewed a kolsch 3 weeks ago, with the intention of making it a watermelon kolsch. I have to say, when I racked it to secondary on Friday, I tasted a sample and was blown away with how good it tasted right out of the fermenter. I almost didn't add the watermelon essence to the secondary. But, I had already committed to making this beer, so I did.
Just to hedge my bets, I decided to do another batch of the kolsch today. It also looks/tastes very good going into the fermenter. I brewed it so that just in case the watermelon overpowers the beer in the first batch, I can blend them and smooth it out.
We tasted the watermelon tonight after the new batch was in the buckets, and at this point, the essence does overpower the beer. Mind you, this is only day 3 in secondary, so I know it isn't close to done yet.
The good news is that I have time on my side, since I'm not bottling this until mid-March. How much will it mellow in the secondary by then?
I've never blended batches, so I don't know: how close to bottling should I do it? Day of? Just rack both into the bottling bucket and go for it? Or do it earlier and give them time to meld a bit before bottling?
I have 6.5 gallons of the watermelon, and I had 9 gallons of the new batch go into the fermenters to night.
There are too many different opinions of people with too many different taste buds and too many variations of changes in a conditioning beer to formulate a good reply to a question like this.
Personally, I would stick with the recipe and see what comes of it, otherwise you will never know how the batch would have turned out. You can make adjustments to the next batch after this one is properly conditioned, etc. I can't imagine anyone wanting to make ONE batch of watermelon beer, let alone two:D There goes the pesky opinion again. Use your own taste and brew what you like.:mug:
From my experience with flavor extracts, that watermelon extract will take about 6-8 weeks of conditioning to really mellow and meld with the beer, so just be patient with it. If you are not going to bottle until mid-March, and it'll take 2-3 weeks to carb up from there, the watermellon should mellow out nicely by the time you are carbed and chilled.
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