Thursday, April 12, 2012

Homebrew Batch 2: Tasting


For our second batch of homebrew we used a Wheat Beer recipe kit and added an orange "tea" to the fermenter with the beer (which you can read about here). The goal was to add some citrus flavor and aroma to the beer and it was certainly a success.

This brew pours a rich amber-orange color with considerable haze. There is minimal head, which disappoints me a bit since our first batch had such thick, creamy head. With little to no head to speak of, lacing is poor to non-existent.

I mentioned in yesterday's post that we were blown away but the aroma when we opened the fermenter for the first time. When we opened our first bottles we were equally pleased. We achieved our goal of adding citrus aroma to the brew with the orange zest, yet it is not overwhelming. The malt is also prominent in the aroma, but there is little in the way of hops aroma.

This beer basically tastes like a poor-man's Hefeweizen, which is really what we were going for (considering we were brewing an all-extract rather than an all-grain beer). The citrus flavor is definitely prominent; the addition of the oranges really come through. It is sweet, but not too sweet for my liking. Also, this batch tasty much less yeasty than our first. Finally, there is little bit of bite from the hops on the finish which was lacking in our first batch. Body is light to medium and feels a bit watery.

Jason purchased a hydrometer, so we were able to test the gravity of our beer before and after fermentation in order to measure its alcohol content. The recipe, if followed exactly, states that the beer should be around 4.5-5% ABV. Assuming I did the calculation correctly this beer comes in at around 6.2% ABV, meaning the additional sugar from the oranges really did help.

Overall, this brew is a huge improvement on our first batch and I'm higly pleased. We've learned a lot have begun discussions some of our future projects. What excites me the most about this batch is that, although the recipe is not entirely our own, we had a vision of what we wanted to create and it turned out as well, if not better, than we could have hoped. Our next step will be to create a recipe that is our own without the use of kit.

Note Regarding Batch 1: Jason shared a few bottles of our first batch with some folks he works with, and one woman in particular happens to be a great cook. She liked the beer so much that she made a barbecue sauce using our beer as a base and used that to make barbecue wings. I was not fortunate enough to try them, but I hear they were amazing!

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