It seems like whenever I brew something that comes out exactly how I wanted, or is at least pretty close to how I wanted, the beer is gone in a day. This was what happened when Andy and I brewed the first batch of Pa’s Video Board Lager. The extended Chalifour family kicked the five gallon keg in less than a day. This was also the case with my three gallon batch of Broken Fist IPA.
I brewed exactly three gallons, just enough to fill one of my three gallon kegs. Without the ability to chill and force carbonate, I added some priming sugar to the keg and carbonated the beer naturally. Even when keg-conditioning I typically like to purge the kegs with CO2 to help the beer maintain as much freshness and eliminate as much oxygen in the keg as I can. Sure enough, my CO2 tank ran out of gas on packaging day. All I could do was fill it up, prime, and hope for the best.
On Memorial Day weekend I picked up ingredients for my next collaboration with Andy, and swapped out my tank to serve Broken Fist and the Wisconsin Belgian Red clone on Sunday. When I tapped those kegs it was the first time I had tasted the finished product of either beer. I was scared that something went wrong during conditioning and the beers could be infected. I made sure to bring a case of Newburyport beer as backup.
After the first foamy solo cup, the beer had a nice carbonation and hop aroma. I couldn’t escape the feeling that the hop aroma would have been more pronounced if I had purged the keg. The beer wasn’t too bitter, and had a nice balanced mouthfeel. If anything, the beer could have used a touch more hop bitterness. The hop flavor was citrusy, while the malt provided enough balance. The fermentation character was nice and clean. The hops were the star, and the beer did have a “West Coast IPA” feel.
I grabbed a tasting glass so I could see the beer before it was all gone. The color was on point. The clarity was disappointing. I think I need to start using gelatin, or biofine as Jennie doesn’t eat red meat. I disassembled my jockey box, and soaked all the lines in a hot cleaning solution. Ideally I would have run the solution through the lines. That might have also caused haze in the beer as well. The beer tasted fine. The appearance is just something the perfectionist in me wants to improve.
Adam loved the beer. Andy stopped by later on and enjoyed the beer too. My future cousin Corey filled up his red solo cup multiple times. The consensus was this beer is a keeper. I might increase the hop rates a little bit, but the bones of a new house beer are definitely there.
Give me a hell yeah!
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