Our house is now officially at full storage capacity for beers. The fridge has a quarter of it full of beers all the time, and after bottling the Cranberry ale last week and bottling the higher gravity Black Ale (more below) this week, all the storage space is in full and the need for an extra fridge becomes vital – I hope to find one by next week, and then some more beer making ingredients.
The double batch with 2 gravity levels was bottled yesterday and yielded a 4.55% (ABV) Black Ale and a 4% (ABV) Black Ale to test the difference. This batch was also brewed using Goldings hops, unlike the usually used Fuggles hops, so I’m really looking forward to trying them. At first taste, pre-priming, the lower gravity has a much stronger barley flavour, and the higher gravity is more pungent and hoppy.
Also done this weekend – a glass to glass of the unsuccessful Black Ale from a couple of months ago (I’ve kept one bottle) with the latest Black Ale that is in the fridge. The difference is pretty amazing: First to notice is the fact that the well boiled Black Ale (let’s called the “right” ale”) had a very good solid head – creamy and well retained, unlike the “wrong” one that disappear quickly. The “right” ale had a much rounder flavour, stronger hop aromas and after taste; and felt all together much zestier. I’m glad I had a chance to “ruin” a beer to be able to learn more about what the boil does to the beer (besides knowing that it breaks the proteins etc). Every beer is a blessing when you can play with it at home.
I’ve also been reading about BIAB and partial worts (extract and grain steeping) as an option to get the Coffee Porter to be “fuller”, and I plan on trying that soon – after there is more room, off course (so off to drinking!).