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Old 01-01-2007, 10:30 PM   #11
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After only two days, there is so much yeast kicking around in suspension that the flavor isn't going to be anything like the final result. I'm sure it'll work out over the next few weeks.



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Old 01-02-2007, 06:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torchiest
After only two days, there is so much yeast kicking around in suspension that the flavor isn't going to be anything like the final result. I'm sure it'll work out over the next few weeks.
But it's still fun to taste test, isn't it?

I only expect it to get better over time and I have no doubt that there's some funkiness that's going to work its way out of suspension over time, but isn't it reassuring to know that it is borderline drinkable after only two days.


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Old 01-02-2007, 06:41 AM   #13
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What yeast did you use? If it's an ESB strain, be careful, as they tend to just drop out and quit working. They'll definitely benefit from an occaisonal rousing.

As an aside, I'm probably one of the few brewers that really doesn't like tasting during fermentation. First, there are so many funky flavors that crop up that it makes me paranoid. Second, I'm lazy. I usually give mine a test when racking to secondary, and another at bottling/kegging.

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Old 01-02-2007, 06:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwAMi75
What yeast did you use? If it's an ESB strain, be careful, as they tend to just drop out and quit working. They'll definitely benefit from an occaisonal rousing.

As an aside, I'm probably one of the few brewers that really doesn't like tasting during fermentation. First, there are so many funky flavors that crop up that it makes me paranoid. Second, I'm lazy. I usually give mine a test when racking to secondary, and another at bottling/kegging.
I used White Labs' London Ale yeast. Yes, I wish I could've gotten my hands on some Wyeast ESB yeast because I love that bit of complex residual sweetness, but I had to make do... No biggie.

Personally, I dig the funky flavors. This is my first homebrew, but I actually like the taste of yeast and stuff. For me, at this point in my brewing career, it's educational.
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Old 01-03-2007, 04:50 PM   #15
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First off, I apologize for my behaviour the past few days. Between a wrecked sports car, an IRS audit, a broken(?) finger without health insurance, and a lousy new year, and a 60% paycut to get back into the workforce... well... it's just been one of those weeks, I suppose... and when I start to get tired, I get cranky. I've been tweaking the lobuck rules. Should have them ready tomorrow. And I could really use a homebrew. So....

I took a reading and a sample. I'm down to 1.018 in 5 days. That's 4.35%ABV and it's still bubbling. There's a lot of trub though. I mean, a LOT... so I'm really looking forward to racking off. (I gotta add that to the "things that sound dirty" thread...)

Then I tasted it... As a beer drinker, I must say it was AWESOME. Just plain awesome and very much in the style of an American ESB. But now... as a critic who samples a lot of beer, being more objective, here are my thoughts...

Hrmmm... how to describe it... The initial bitterness is not "citrusy" enough. It has a really spicy bite. I used Target (.75oz of 10%AA) as my bittering hop. Then, the finish, has a bit too much citrus and the aroma is definitely too citrusy and not quite bitter enough. I used an ounce of Cascade as my aroma hop. I should've stuck with something more true to the style (maybe Fuggles or Kent Goldings. Anybody have an opinion on which is better?). At 30 minutes, I used an ounce of Willamette and I think that was exactly right. I'm really surprised by how grapefruity the Cascade smells.

Then again, I still have some residual sugar left in there. Maybe as it ferments away, the "grapefruity-ness" will become less pronounced.

But overall, it's drinkable, but man does my siphon technique need work. Lots of trub.

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Old 01-03-2007, 04:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwAMi75
As an aside, I'm probably one of the few brewers that really doesn't like tasting during fermentation. First, there are so many funky flavors that crop up that it makes me paranoid. Second, I'm lazy. I usually give mine a test when racking to secondary, and another at bottling/kegging.
I'm the same way. Taste it on boil day, taste it at racking, taste is at bottle/kegging. Everything else takes away from naptime.
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Old 01-03-2007, 05:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiery Sword
I'm the same way. Taste it on boil day, taste it at racking, taste is at bottle/kegging. Everything else takes away from naptime.
Meh... Who knows... maybe the novelty will wear off for me at some point.

Or....... maybe I just wanted an excuse to have a little "nip" at 11:30 in the morning.
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Toot
First off, I apologize for my behaviour the past few days. Between a wrecked sports car, an IRS audit, a broken(?) finger without health insurance, and a lousy new year, and a 60% paycut to get back into the workforce... well... it's just been one of those weeks, I suppose... and when I start to get tired, I get cranky. I've been tweaking the lobuck rules. Should have them ready tomorrow. And I could really use a homebrew. So....

I took a reading and a sample. I'm down to 1.018 in 5 days. That's 4.35%ABV and it's still bubbling. There's a lot of trub though. I mean, a LOT... so I'm really looking forward to racking off. (I gotta add that to the "things that sound dirty" thread...)

Then I tasted it... As a beer drinker, I must say it was AWESOME. Just plain awesome and very much in the style of an American ESB. But now... as a critic who samples a lot of beer, being more objective, here are my thoughts...

Hrmmm... how to describe it... The initial bitterness is not "citrusy" enough. It has a really spicy bite. I used Target (.75oz of 10%AA) as my bittering hop. Then, the finish, has a bit too much citrus and the aroma is definitely too citrusy and not quite bitter enough. I used an ounce of Cascade as my aroma hop. I should've stuck with something more true to the style (maybe Fuggles or Kent Goldings. Anybody have an opinion on which is better?). At 30 minutes, I used an ounce of Willamette and I think that was exactly right. I'm really surprised by how grapefruity the Cascade smells.

Then again, I still have some residual sugar left in there. Maybe as it ferments away, the "grapefruity-ness" will become less pronounced.

But overall, it's drinkable, but man does my siphon technique need work. Lots of trub.
Wow- it sounds pretty good. I'm not real good with hops advice- but first, I believe that the grapefuity-ness will mellow after bottling and aging. Target is a fine bittering hop, but next time if you want a citrusy bitterness, try a hope like Centennial. It's not as harsh (to me) as say, chinook, and it should leave a little of that citrusy bitterness you'll looking for. In my ESBs, I've used Tettnanger and Willamette together for bittering, and I've used Fuggle (again, for bittering), all with excellent results. Of course, they are not citrus-y, so that may not be what you are looking for.

On the other hand, you seem to not want the citrus-y ness in the aroma/finishing. In my case, I've used Kent Golding in the past and Tettnanger also for aroma/finishing. I personally think those are perfect for the ESB style (although perhaps more traditionally British?).

Lots of trub is no problem- except you might only have 4 1/2 gallons of beer when you're done! That almost makes me cry to think about it.

Still, I think that you'll be amazed at the difference after 3 weeks in the bottle. This could really be an amazingly well balanced, good tasting beer.

Lorena

PS- It takes a big man to apologize. I now have the utmost respect for you. I'm glad you're here to share your knowledge with us.
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:44 PM   #19
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Thanks, Lorena.

I'm shooting for an "Americanized" ESB. That means it should have a bit more malt character and residual sweetness, almost fruit-like. The American ESB's I've really liked were sort of a cross between an IPA (the bitterness), a belgian (the complex malt character, but not too much...), and a hefe (the slight citrusy taste).

I want some citrus notes throughout, but I don't want it over-powering at any stage. Right now, the initial taste was not citrusy enough and the aftertaste was too citrusy. The sweetness was borderline too sweet, but there's still fermentation to be done, so I can't say for sure. I guess it's the "hop balance" that seems a tad out of whack.

Again, as a beer drinker, I wouldn't complain one bit... just as an anal-retentive recipe junky, I think it can be improved.

Of course, this is all speculation. We'll see how things are in a few more weeks. Just thought I'd share my excitement.

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Old 01-04-2007, 05:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toot
Thanks, Lorena.

The sweetness was borderline too sweet, but there's still fermentation to be done, so I can't say for sure.
I'm in the midst of an ESB orgy myself. Years ago I was on the road and had a fresh Fullers ESB on Tap in a bar in Milwaukee and it was love at first taste (by the way not to be confused with Fullers ESB in the bottle which is great but doesn't touch the fresh stuff on tap). Anyway, I think my latest attempt tends to be just a little wee bit too much on the side of residual sweetness after a week or so which I think will mellow out as the stuff conditions. Way too early I know.


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