Originally Posted by te-wa
crjpilot, did you get a FG sample tasting yet?
no rush over here, just wanted to see if you've nailed it.. guess i'll have to wait until it carbs, huh..
Good timing. Actually, it is kegged and carbed now, so I did just do a taste test. Fortunately, with this year's batch of Red Chair just hitting the shelves, I was able to compare it to a fresh one. I have my girlfriend test along with me because I think her palate is slightly different, so it's good to get some comparison. Here are my latest notes:
Appearance - I had a little chill haze, so it appears slightly darker, but it's pretty close still. Close enough that I wouldn't tweak anything.
Aroma - Again, very close. I sense just slightly more Cascade in the actual Red Chair, but it's very slight. My girlfriend swears they're identical. The amount of aroma seems equal.
Taste - This is always the tough one. Overall taste is quite similar. I would say mine has a slightly higher perceived bitterness, but I think this might be accounted for more in water profile than actual recipe design. The bitterness seems to linger more in the finish more so than actually be more bitter. Hop flavor seems to be the same. Sweetness seems to be the same. I think the combination of Crystal malts helped round out the malt profile.
Mouthfeel - Here's where I noticed the most difference. The fresh Red Chair just seemed softer, smoother, and more well-blended where I still felt mine was a little bit heavier and kind of muddled. I felt like mine just sort of landed on my tongue with more of an impact where the Red Chair seemed to wash over with a better layering of flavors and feeling.
So, my first inclination is to up the Pilsner Malt a fair amount and drop the 2-Row down to try to get a softer mouthfeel. Second, I might tweak the water a bit to bring down the perceived bitterness. Third, I might still consider some tweaks to the C40/C90/Carastan combination to up the C40 more and drop the C90 just a bit. This might make the flavor profile a little "cleaner" in that there's slightly more sweetness and not so much of the darker flavors.
All in all, it's really close and very drinkable, but I'm still going to keep working at it!