The Final Brew
My Jubelale clone is complete.
Just look at that color! Pretty darn spot-on, I'd say. Obviously, I'm thrilled with that. But the real test comes later, of course, when I smell and taste it.
Our unseasonably warm, no let's call it what it is, freakishly warm fall and winter has meant that I didn't bother turning on the heat in my house until around the time I needed to ferment this brew. Finally, however, it got cold enough on the outside my house to merit heating the inside. The weird weather changed just in time to allow me to dial in the temperature I needed for fermentation. I fermented this brew up above 70 degrees Farenheit in an attempt to bring out some estery qualities in the yeast. Jubelale can be pretty fruity (in a dark fruit kind of way) and I was hoping to tease some of that out of the yeast.
Fermentation was less than dramatic but it was productive, nonetheless. And quick, too. This baby was done fermenting in about four days.
I racked to secondary, mainly to get the brew away from a serious krausen ring and to, hopefully, get the beer to clarify a bit.
A week or so in my basement at the cooler temperature of approximately 57°F accomplished that. Bottling went smoothly and then it was time to taste.
There's a good looking head to go with the aforementioned deep, garnet color - see top photo.
Aroma is … okay….
It's got some fruitiness to it but not a ton of hoppiness. The real deal Jubel gives you both at all times – aroma, flavor, finish.
Mine tastes solidly fruity and malty. Good news! But there is only a brief - and faint at that - “hello” from the hops. This clone is veering a bit much toward too malty. I need a larger hop kick on the finish. What hops are there are not providing enough balance. I guess I will have to up the bittering hops next time.
I'm finding, in general, that brewing one gallon at a time is proving a real challenge when it comes to proper hopping. The correct hop character has been missing from each beer I've brewed on a smaller scale. It's no surprise, I suppose, considering the miniscule amounts of hops I'm adding to each wee batch.
But I wonder if there's some sort of economy of scale with regard to Bittering Units. That is to say, do you need to use a minimum of hops, regardless of the size of your brew, to impart hop character (be it bitterness, aroma or flavor). So even though I'm brewing a gallon, I wonder if I want to hop as though I was brewing a larger amount – two gallons, say – in order to get the right amount of hoppiness in the finished beer. As I type that I realize that it doesn't seem logical so clearly I'll have to look into that further as I continue my brewing adventures.
Alas, I'll be pursuing that question (and doubtless many more) without the outlet of this blog. As previously stated, this is my last blog post for BYO. It's been a ball all the way through and I thank you all for reading and wish you, in addition to a happy new year, many more successful home brews.
Keep on brewing!
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