What with being away over Christmas and then having to look for a flat, I havent had a chance to taste my homebrews in a while. And, to be honest, I wasn’t completely looking forward to cracking any open – I just didn’t know if I could handle the disappointment of a bad beer. Thankfully, and rather surprisingly, I was pretty pleased with the brews. I think it helped a lot that I had significantly lowered my expectations this time…and the extra time in the bottles. I should have taken pics but I was too distracted by the fact that the beers were drinkable, to be honest.
The cascade hopped pale ale (from a Coopers APA kit) still had a slight sickly malty aftertase but it had mellowed a lot and made it much more drinkable. It poured a clear, light amber, the citrus/floral nose hitting you as you lift the glass to drink. And that’s the first taste too, gently sliding to a biscuity middle with a bitter finish. I had a few of these and enjoyed them all.
Next I tried the “witbier” (made from a Coopers Wheat kit with some orange and coriander additions) which I had the lowest hopes for. The OG was too low before we pitched the yeast and, novices that we are, we didn’t try to fix it. I tried this before Christmas and the overwhelming taste to me was “watery”. Still, ice cold from the garage it poured a slightly hazy golden colour, with a decent head. Yes it’s low in alcohol (a smidge over 3%) but as a session beer on a hot day (when those rarities do happen over here) it would actually be pretty decent. Very light in flavour, it was more like a light wit lager. There was a hint of banana from the yeast and a tangeriney tang from the oranges. Very pleasant and refreshing, so said all who tried it.
Finally, the porter. Although at 6.5%, it’s probably more of a stout. Who knows. My first taste of this at bottling was overwhelmingly boozy, and very sherry-like. This made me worry that it might have been ruined by poor cooling techniques. However, the alcohol was well hidden in this dark, roasted, slightly chocolatey and brownie tinged brew. I was very pleased. Very pleased indeed. Not much in the way of tasting notes as I had already had quite a few beers by the time I plucked up the courage to open one of these, but good and drinkable. A little thin on mouthfeel, I remember, and a very slight sour aftertaste. That’s just coming back to me now so not sure how accurate that actually is. Alan (that’s my father-in-law), that gives you the all clear to have your bottle. Put it in the fridge for a couple of hours to chill a bit and it should be lovely. Perfect for that “winter” weather over in Thailand.
Quite a novelty for me to get drunk on home made alcohol. I look forward to doing it again soon. What I have learned from this is firstly, read a book on brewing before you start brewing. Every page I turn in How To Brew, I curse myslef for not having read it before I started. That said, these are all better than I thought they’d be, so just leave it in the bottle for another few weeks and it’ll probably taste better.
So that’s the latest formn Evans & Sons Brewing Co. Before we do another batch, I think we need a boiler to do full wort boils, and a wort chiller. So, no more homebrews for a month or so…by which time we’ll probably be nearly out of these three. As long as we have a few to drink while we brew then next batch, it’ll be fine.