Sunday, April 17, 2011

Brown Ale Tasting

I was hoping to get out on the river today for some fly fishing, though Mother Nature has once again conspired against my fishing efforts. It has been raining off and on again for the past few days and the rivers and streams in the area are nearly flooding their banks. Muddy, brown water and white caps on the creek are not conducive to good fishing. Oh well. I guess I'll have a few pints and find a game to watch. I brewed this beer on 14 March and kegged it on the 28th. It's been nearly three weeks on the gas - I figure it was about time to give it a proper review.

Point Q : American Brown Ale

Appearance – Pours a dark, almost black color that glows a lovely ruby red when held to the light. Has a sturdy off white head with decent retention. The color is probably is a bit too dark, though I do remember throwing in a bit more chocolate malt. 

Smell – Aroma is pretty nice. Lots of biscuit, caramel, chocolate, and typical Munich malt aromas. The yeast character comes through too, with a characteristically
sweet, candy aroma. The hops make an appearance with an earthy/citrus aroma right at the end. Not enough hop presence to really call this one an American brown, smells more like a brown porter.

Taste – Pretty soft flavors, again some biscuit, nutty chocolate, and dark crystal. The Munich malt makes more of a presence here, providing some melanoidins and bready flavors. It is pretty apparent this beer is not made with Maris Otter as the (base) malt profile is a bit linear and lacks some of the richness that MO provides. The hops are pretty much non-existent with only a touch of citrusy hop flavor at the end. Bitterness level is medium, enough to balance the malt. Nothing off or bad here, but not exactly what I was looking for. I think the Munich malt detracts from the beer a bit.

Mouthfeel – Very low carbonation, probably too low. (I dropped my C02 tank with the regulator attached down the stairs the other day by accident and ended up breaking the regulator. It is not maintaining a set PSI and I'll have to buy another one - I was just glad the 20lb C02 tank didn't explode!). With the low carbonation, the mouthfeel is pretty creamy and the beer finishes a bit dry.

Drinkability & Notes – Again, nothing bad about this one, but nothing that great either. Pretty much a "meh" beer for me, though it got good reviews from my beer snob friends. Next time I brew this I'll drop the Munich malt and go with an all out assault of citrusy American hops. I probably could have used a different yeast too - as much as I love WY1318, I don't think this is the beer for it. Lastly, it turns out the name fits, "Point Q" is about as far off the mark as anything else. I'll probably give the keg away for someone else to finish. 

O.G: 1.054, F.G: 1.010, 5.7% ABV, 30 IBU, Wyeast 1318 London Ale III


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