From the HBD Archive
From: meyer@tcville.hac.com (Mike Meyer)
Subject: Some Belated Results
Date: 1989-01-10 02:29:37 GMT

Sorry I haven't gotten back to the list as I promised; our holiday brewing
activities left me and my roommate with an awful lot of bottling to do at
the last minute (last batch was bottled literally before driving my roomate
to the airport). Add my holiday travels, and I've already given you too many
excuses.

The Blueberry Lager we tried (taken from Zymurgy, the 'Jake and Elwood's
Blueberry Lager' recipe) turned out fairly well: The beer is quite light
in body, very dry -- no fruit sweetness whatsoever, and as was promised by
the recipe, a nice purple color. The Laaglander extract it is based on
seemed rather strongly hopped at brewing time, but there seems to be a good
balance between the tartness of the blueberries and the hops. The recipe
also used a pound of honey, and the honey flavor is noticeable. The honey
needs far more time to mellow out than this batch ended up getting before
it was gone -- the sheer novelty of it made it a popular item among our
friends and relatives. I do have a couple of bottles set aside for later,
however -- we'll see how it is in another month or two.

My batch of 'Slow Lori's Ginger Lager', another Zymurgy recipe, turned out
somewhat worse than I had hoped. It has a nasty 'bite' to it that some
tell me is due to the honey, and will age out; this batch has a really
nasty bacterial infection, though, and I suspect that I should have peeled
the ginger, which doesn't seem to dominate the flavor much so far. I'm
definitely going to give this a great deal more aging.

My other experiment, 'Black Lite' turned out to be a success of sorts. As
promised, the beer has a very light body, and somewhat of a licorice note
to it. Best at room temperature, it turns out: it has very little flavor
when chilled. I really like the Bierkeller Dark extract, but think I performed
a minor act of sacrilege in using it this way -- this extract would be
great as the basis for a Dopplebock or Bock. Still, I like the brew I got --
very nice head and head retention, a tasty beer when warm, more of a soft
drink when cold. Definitely in the 'Lawnmower Beer' class.

On the question of adding sugar to extract kits:
I guess it depends on the style you want to brew. I followed the directions
on the Telford's Pilsener Kit, although I may have fudged some and substituted
a bit of malt for sugar. I got good results. Once while making a batch of
Anarchy Ale (Telford's Amber, ale yeast, Fuggles Hops, Light Dried Extract),
I fell short of dried extract and was forced to substitute with corn sugar.
I ended up substituting about 1 2/3 cups of corn sugar. Curiously, this
substitution made no discernable difference in the color or body of the
final product, and beleive you me, I compared batches afterwards.

On the other end of the spectrum, my first batch used 2 lbs. of corn sugar,
and it took an extremely long time to age out that cidery taste, though
I recently tasted a 13-month-old bottle from the batch, and it tasted just like
Dos Equis :-). I can see putting a max of 2 cups of corn sugar into
the wort these days, under any circumstances. (tho' come to think of it, my
most cidery batches were made when I was simply pouring the hot wort onto the
corn sugar rather than boiling it in the wort...any correlation, folks?)

Enough out of me -- think I'll go home now and relax, etc.

Mike Meyer

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