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Old 08-03-2007, 01:48 PM   #1
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Default Beerswap 2007: Beerrific's Brews

They arrived yesterday afternoon, and I immediately put 'em in the fridge. I had a party to go to, but when I got home, I capped the night off with a Kolsch:

Uncapping / Pouring / Aesthetics: The fill on all the bottles is a little low for me, but I'm suspecting that I fill mine too high. Who knows? Who cares? A pleasant hiss at uncapping, nothing out of the ordinary here. Nice 1/4" head upon dispensing, stuck around for a minute or so, which is enough in my book. Nice, tight bubble matrix. The color is interesting. Pretty cloudy beer, with a pale rusty orange/pinkish color. I've never brewed Kolsch and don't drink commercial examples too often, but if I remember correctly, Kolsch is supposed to be pretty clear, almost like a pilsner. Perhaps it just got shaken up in transit? BJCP says Kolsch should be pale to light gold, and "authentic" versions are crystal clear---but this is homebrew, so...I'm not too worried. I'm sure it wouldn't have tasted as good if you'd filtered it. I do wonder if the non-shipped versions are clearer? I have one more bottle, so maybe I'll let it chill in the fridge for a week and check it out.

Aroma: Nicely balanced with a subtle fruity nose (can't put my finger on the fruit, maybe some pear and nectarine?), with very little hop aroma (perfect for the style). As it warmed up, it exhibited more lush characteristics, even seeming a bit tropical at times, but always balanced with a nice light maltiness, as if a touch of Biscuit malt was used. Also a slight hint of yeast on the nose, which is nicely integrated. Overall, the nose is subdued, which is appropriate for the style, but my personal tastes like a more aggressive aroma profile. I guess that's why I don't drink too much Kolsch

Palate: Again, balanced very nicely. Not too much bitterness or hop flavor, and absolutely no "homebrew twang". Smooth, lush mouthfeel, but not so lush as to not be refreshing. Nice subtle peach hints. The finish isn't too long, but why would it be?

Proximity to the Style: The color and cloudiness make it look like a hefe, but I'm not yet convinced that that's not from the shipping journey. We'll see when I open my second bottle next week. The rest of it seems to be spot-on, according to the BJCP guidelines.

Overall Impression: Like I said, I'm not really a Kolsch guy, but I could definitely toss back a sixer of these on a hot summer day. Very refreshing, like a hefe, but not. Not the most complex or character-rich beer I've ever had, but very well made, very close to the style guidelines, very refreshing, and very enjoyable to drink.

Thanks for the excellent brew, Beerrific. More reviews to follow!

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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 08-03-2007, 01:52 PM   #2
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Nice review. This is a good template for feedback for the swaps. I'll use it. Thanks.

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Old 08-03-2007, 02:33 PM   #3
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Hey, thanks for the review! Great to hear comments from someone other than my friends that don't care how it tastes as long as it isn't BMC and is free.

Don't expect the other to clear in the fridge I can't decide if this is from non flocculating yeast or chill haze. I have let one warm up to very close to room temp and it gets clearer. I will probably use gelatin next time.

On the fill, I just fill until the liquid level is to the top with the bottling wand in the bottle. The APA maybe low, my wand broke and had to bottle those by eye (that sucked!).

This was my first and only mini mash (on to all grain now).



EDIT: I just opened a bottle that was at room temp (75F) and it is crystal clear so we will call this one chill haze. I think it might be a result of not getting a good cold break (?). I did not have a chiller for this one, chilled in the bath tub, and did not leave any break material in the kettle. And now I am drinking a beer at 10:45 in the morning, great way to start the day!

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Old 08-05-2007, 06:00 PM   #4
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Default Hefeweizen

Okay, time for number 2: Hefeweizen

Uncapping / Pouring / Aesthetics: The fill again looks a little low to me. The hiss was not quite right, and the initial head was spotty, not uniform. Some really large bubble, some tiny. The head dissipated pretty quickly. Color and cloudiness are both perfect as far as I can tell.

Aroma: Very subdued, even compared to the Kolsch. Not sure if it just needs more hops? But subdued doesn't mean bad. The nose is quite clean and crisp, and very hefe-like (slightly sour, hints of lemons, cloves, bananas). Yum.

Palate: Not really what I was expecting. At first, when it was cold, it was really refreshing and inviting. It was missing some lushness and roundness that I like in my hefe's, but I figured that it was just because it was too cold. As it warmed up, it did get more expressive, with slight banana esters punching through. Unfortunately, it also exposed a very subtle band-aid/med-cabinet taste in the far rear of the palate, continuing slightly into the finish. It was subtle enough that it didn't distract too much from the rest of the beer, but in the interest of honest critique, I can't deny that it was there. Not sure what might've cause it. Lastly, the beer was flat before I could finish it. I've had this happen to my brews before...kind of annoying. I didn't take my sweet old time drinking it, so it should have lasted longer.

Proximity to the Style: Color and aroma are close to the style, though the nose is, as I said, a little closed down. The palate is missing the roundness and fullness that the wheat malt often gives a hefe, and there's that band-aidy taste in the back of the palate. I think the recipe could use a bit more hops and a bit of carapils, just to make it rounder and more expressive.

Overall Impression: A refreshing brew, not without flaws, but the flaws aren't really problems unless you're looking really hard (like I was). In all honesty, it's a great hefe, but the band-aid taste is annoying. I still don't know what causes that...especially because it's so subtle here...but either way, what can you do? As I said above, some more hops and some carapils...and maybe some more priming sugar too. Otherwise, nice beer. I like the Kolsch more, but I'm still happy to drink this one.

As an aside, how long ago did you bottle this? I'm not entirely sure, but you could be leaving a little too much headspace in your bottles, which means less co2 is dissolved into solution, which could explain the relatively short carbonation time.

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MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 08-05-2007, 06:33 PM   #5
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Bottled 6-20-07. This was my first all grain.

I noticed too that the fizzy was very vigorous at first and then dies. This is strange since I primed with well over the 'normal' 4 oz.

Again, strange about the head space in the bottle, I just fill up to the top leaving the volume of the bottling wand when I pull it out. It was an old wand, I have since replaced it.

I agree with the body of the beer, it is not what I wanted. I tried to do a step mash and hit the protein rest temp perfectly, missed the conversion a lot. So I think that killed the body of the beer. Some carapils would have helped that for sure, but (being critical of myself) I should not need it with all that wheat. I think a lot of the carbonation problem go to this too, just can't hold the bubbles. I made another a few days ago, just did single infusion, hope that fix that problem.

Do you think the band aid flavor is from just normal hefe yeast? I can't say I have tasted this, and can't think of its source.

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Old 08-05-2007, 07:38 PM   #6
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I think I read somewhere that band-aidy medicinal tastes are the result of wild yeast mixing with your wort. Could it be that the tubing/spigot were not sinitized well enough? Also, it could be from too much chlorine in your water. Its what I read anyway. I wouldnt know firsthand.

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Old 08-05-2007, 08:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerrific
Bottled 6-20-07. This was my first all grain.

I noticed too that the fizzy was very vigorous at first and then dies. This is strange since I primed with well over the 'normal' 4 oz.

Again, strange about the head space in the bottle, I just fill up to the top leaving the volume of the bottling wand when I pull it out. It was an old wand, I have since replaced it.

I agree with the body of the beer, it is not what I wanted. I tried to do a step mash and hit the protein rest temp perfectly, missed the conversion a lot. So I think that killed the body of the beer. Some carapils would have helped that for sure, but (being critical of myself) I should not need it with all that wheat. I think a lot of the carbonation problem go to this too, just can't hold the bubbles. I made another a few days ago, just did single infusion, hope that fix that problem.

Do you think the band aid flavor is from just normal hefe yeast? I can't say I have tasted this, and can't think of its source.
Not sure...might be, but I doubt it. This is the first time I've tasted the bandaid in a hefe. Like I said, it's VERY subtle, but it's there. Don't sweat it, tho...I'm probably one of the more overcritical testers that Bird could have pulled from the hat for you. Working in the retail wine & beer business has a way of tuning your palate to the smallest imperfections. It might be nothing, though...send me a sixer and I'll figure it out for sure
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MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 08-05-2007, 08:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan!
Not sure...might be, but I doubt it. This is the first time I've tasted the bandaid in a hefe. Like I said, it's VERY subtle, but it's there. Don't sweat it, tho...I'm probably one of the more overcritical testers that Bird could have pulled from the hat for you. Working in the retail wine & beer business has a way of tuning your palate to the smallest imperfections. It might be nothing, though...send me a sixer and I'll figure it out for sure
No it is great, I am glad you are critical. I haven't noticed it but I will be looking for next time I have one.
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Old 08-16-2007, 02:33 PM   #9
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Okay, last but not least: APA:

Uncapping / Pouring / Aesthetics: Standard fill and hiss; nice head that dissipates quickly, but the bubble matrix is tight and the head is a beautiful creamy white. Fluffy like a cloud, I say! The beer color is pinkish-orange, standard issue for a pale ale, but a little cloudy like the Kolsch.

Aroma: I believe the correct terminology is...balanced . Not too bitter-smelling, not too sweet-smelling. I do get a punch of doughy malt and yeast mid-palate, but it's not overpowering. This is really inviting and clean,

Palate: I don't know if it's the style, or a common recipe, but most of the APA's I get in swaps taste very similar. I don't know if I'd be able to distinguish between yours, cnbudz's, and the_bird's. Regardless...nice clean profile, a slight note of citrus fruit followed by a pretty substantial wave of doughy/yeasty character. Maybe I'm just a hophead, but what all the APA's I've tried seem to be missing is hop flavor. The bitterness here is perfect, and the balance with the malt is superb...I just find myself wanting more hop flavor. Otherwise, very tasty and refreshing.

Proximity to the Style: Fairly spot-on as far as I can tell...could use some more clarity...and more hop flavor.

Overall Impression: A damn fine brew. Like I said above, it'd be more enjoyable (and add depth and character) if there was more hop flavor. This could easily be accomplished via a couple weeks of dryhopping with an expressive variety like Cascade. Otherwise, I love the doughy malt flavor...almost like bread...but still very crisp and refreshing. No extract twang at all, as far as I could perceive. Well-made, clean, enjoyable brew.

Thanks for the opportunity to taste your brews, Beerriffic!

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MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 08-16-2007, 02:34 PM   #10
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Oh, I had the second bottle of Kolsch last night. It's definitely my favorite of the three. Well done, chief!

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MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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