Wednesday, 22 August 2012


Brewing beer is my hobby. It's meant to be fun and rewarding. Currently it's neither.

The bottled version of my last brew has gone the way of those before. Early samples were encouraging; lovely tropical fruit on the nose, well balanced on the palate and very drinkable. Then, for whatever reason, the hop aroma disappeared and the beer has become dry and astringent.

Having experienced this in earlier beers, I put it down to cleaning residue which resulted in a change to the cleaning and sanitising routine. From what's developed in this latest brew, it would appear this was not the problem.

And I'm assuming it's just the bottles. I brew in 10 gallon batches, bottle 5 and put the other half in a cask. As much as I'm longing to tap the cask and see how that's doing, it's earmarked for a party. As I currently have a shortage of beer, I have nothing else to take, so it will have to wait.

In a previous brew, although the bottles suffered, the cask was fine, so I'm hoping it will be the case this time around too.

The cask version is racked straight from the FV. The bottled version gets racked into a secondary vessel prior to bottling. So if the beer itself is fine, something is going awry either in the second vessel, or in the bottle.

To try and remedy the situation, for the next brew, I've purchased a new secondary vessel and a new bottling stick and all bottles will be cleaned and santised by hand, instead of relying on the dishwasher. And it has to work, as I'm fed up of chucking beer.

Having brewed for a good number of years without problems, some even good enough to warrant attention at National competitions, I ought to know what I'm doing. Recent events leave me doubting.

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