Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Home Brew Review - Gatekeeper

This is a beer I brewed back in November using some of my homegrown Target hops.

I probably over estimated the alpha acid content of the hops and will bear this in mind next time. It's not unbalanced in terms of bitterness, it's just I was expecting a little bit more judged on what Beersmith was predicting. Playing with the alpha content and looking at the bitterness ratio in the software, I'm guessing they were no more than 9%, rather than the 10% I originally estimated.

Anyhow, on to the beer. I split the 10 gallon batch into two 5 gallon fermenters and used a different yeast in each. Both were a dry yeasts, one Fermentis US-05, the other Brupaks English Ale Yeast.

The upshot is, I don't like either. The US-05 has an unpleasant nose on it and I'm not sure why, as I've had good results with this yeast in the past. The other is marginally more acceptable and while neither appears to be infected, it's not a beer I'm happy with.

It's the first time I've used delta hops too, so I didn't know what to expect from them. I guess I could brew this one again to see if it was anything in the process that went awry, but fankly, life's too short. My brew notes from the day don't indicate any problems, although I did change my usual water treatment with this one, but only following an alkalinity test of the brewing liquor, so if anything, it should have improved the beer.

I'll finish off the few bottles that remain, but it's certainly not a brew to share with friends.


  1. Hey Mark,
    too bad about the beer. I'm thinking that since you didn't like either batch that it wasn't the yeast.
    I use us-05 regularly for my pale ales, Ipa and Stout and get a lot of fruitiness from the yeast not to mention that it doesn't floculate as clear as I want it. The next few ales I brew will be with Whitelabs Eng. ale yeast (WLP002). The fruity qualities are minor and the beer really gets clear. Good luck with future brews and figuring out the culprit in this case. Cheers!

  2. Thanks Mark, sounds like Mexico is treating you well. I have tried WLP002 in the past, but I'm very lazy at making starters so might try a different dried yeast again next time. Since this brew I have done an English bitter with S-04 and an American brown ale with US-05 again. I'll let you know how they turn out.