Monday, April 9, 2012

Irish Red All Grain Tasting #1

I brewed my first all-grain beer about a month ago, an Irish Red  that I missed my expected efficiency, and hence my OG, pretty badly.  

Appearance: A light brown/medium red color, pretty good for the style really.  A small head on top fades quickly but leaves a small layer that persists. Fairly clear, might have the best clarity of any of my brews though some small defects (proteins or grain particulate) are present, carbonation bubbles climb slowly to the surface.

Smell: At first there is a sherry character I assumed to be oxidation but this quickly recedes to light toast and caramel, minerals, and a subtle hint of licorice and fruit (strawberry).  Surprisingly strong and complex.

Taste/Mouthfeel: This is where the beer really shows that it missed the target.  Very thin and a bit watery, with light carbonation that is just a touch too low for it to be creamy.  The flavors aren't bad but are low with minerally yeast character and a light woody hop sensation being the most predominant in a mix that also includes tiny hints of walnuts, toast, fruit and a mild sourness.

Overall/Drinkability: This beer goes down very easily and I could see light beer drinkers enjoying its mild flavor, low alcohol content and low caloric intake.  I'm very happy with the color and complexity of the nose on this one but the flavor and mouthfeel are very lacking. The low carbonation level, though it keeps it an easy drinker, doesn't help the light flavors. The fuggle hop flavor that was somewhat strong when I first tasted this a month ago has already faded to barely perceptible.  I don't know if I would change the recipe much next time (though I would use British Roasted Barley) but I would definitely need to get a better efficiency.

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