Weeks have passed, the fridge is jammed, the bottles are chilled, and the daughter wants to know when “we” get to taste the beer. The father does, too, by the way.
Today’s the day. Hooray hooray.
My bottles are typical for a homebrewer. They’re an odds and sods collection of empties that once contained commercial beers or prior home brews – well cleaned, of course. They come in all different sizes. Some still bear the original label, most are plain brown.
I select my personal favorite for the style, a former Schneider-Weisse bottle with the label removed. The 500 mL container with the elongated, tapered neck is a graceful looking vessel. Will the beer inside match its sophistication? We’ll see.
Wrenching the crown off the bottle emitted a definite “pssst”. We have carbonation. So far so good.
I like yeast in my glass; it increase the cloudy look of the beer and adds to the overall appeal. So I swirled the bottle a bit to reintegrate the sediment.
The beer pours nicely down the side with a substantial, foamy head.
The color is off. It’s too dark for what I was going for – more chestnut brown than orange-amber – but we knew that, didn’t we?
Really good looking head, inch and a half high at the top of my hefeweizen glass. But for the color, I’m really happy with the look of this brew.
It smells of banana and very faintly of cloves. Not bad. Would’ve liked more clove but at least I got something from all that fermentation.
And the taste?
It starts out kind of uninteresting, frankly. There’s a hint of roasted barley, likely from the overdose of Carafa III. But soon the banana asserts itself. The balance of banana and clove I was going for (and that Schneider achieves to perfection, to my mind) is not here. There is only a whiff of clove but the banana does its part to increase the complexity of what I feared was going to be a complete failure. Phew!
Still, it ain’t perfect. It could be smoother and fuller bodied. And at the finish, there’s what I call, “that homebrew flavor.” I can’t quite place it, but the beer doesn’t taste as fresh as it should.
I wonder if it’s my water. I don’t recall my brews producing this flavor before I moved into my current home. I’m not crazy about our tap water (it’s got a fairly strong chlorine taste) and I am now starting to think (belatedly) that maybe that’s the problem – not me, of course.
I think I’ll buy me some bottled water for my next batch.
Speaking of my next brew, I’m going to try this one again. My hefeweizen is still not where I want it. It’s not yet the go-to refresher I’m excited to drink. And I am really determined to get it right.
But, I’ve recently been eating a certain, somewhat uncommon fruit and I want to see if I can incorporate it into another style I’m crazy about. Got to do some research first but I hope to have details in my next post.
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