Strange-steve's Homebrew Reviews

Discussion in 'General Beer Discussion' started by strange-steve, Dec 28, 2016.

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  1. Dec 28, 2016 #1

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    This is just a thread for me to keep my reviews of homebrew in one place.
     
  2. Dec 28, 2016 #2

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    @BeerCat very kindly sent me a couple of beers to try, a stout and a Belgian quad. My review of the stout follows:

    Appearance
    Looks delicious, black with creamy tan head.

    Aroma
    Coffee and chocolate, fruity, slight acidity. Very appealing.

    Flavour
    Good roastiness, sweet chocolate with a nice dry coffee finish. Some light yeasty esters but clean flavours.

    Overall Impression
    A very nice stout, well balanced bitterness from the roast malts and hops make it a lovely session beer. Carbonation is perfect, plenty of life but still nice and smooth. No obvious off flavours or aromas. Great job mate, I hope you have some of these left for the Jan competition (actually I don't because it's better than my stout :?).
    Thanks for letting me try this, looking forward to the quad :thumb:

    *[​IMG]
     
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  3. Dec 28, 2016 #3

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    Copy of post from another thread. This is a brett saison courtesy of Hoddy, thanks for letting me try it, tasting notes follow:

    Appearance
    Hazy orange, fluffy white head with excellent retention.

    Aroma
    Sweet pineapple and citrus fruits with prominent leathery brett funk. Very nice.

    Flavour
    Surprising sweet fruitiness initially but a long dry finish which is very well balanced. The earthy dry brett flavours are very noticeable but not overpowering. Slight hint of peppery spice.

    Overall Impression
    This is very good indeed, I could drink this all night. The yeasty flavours work very well with your hop choice, brett with tropical fruity hops is a match made in heaven. Tbh I probably wouldn't have known this was a saison blend, it's a little too sweet and hop forward, but that's not a criticism because I think it is fantastic as it is. To me it's more like a bretted IPA (one of my favourite styles).
    I think you've got the balance spot on, it's very drinkable and I'd be extremely happy if I'd brewed it :hat:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Jan 3, 2017 #4

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    This is the second beer kindly sent by @BeerCat, a Belgian Quad weighing in at a rather hefty 10.8% :shock: Tasting notes follow...

    Appearance
    Lovely deep red colour, very good head retention.

    Aroma
    Very fruity, some spicy phenols, hint of dark malts.

    Flavour
    Huge rich flavours, sweet and fruity, complex maltiness with a dry finish and a big alcohol hit. Almonds and a little anise. I'm guessing WLP540/Wyeast 1762? Highly carbed but very smooth.

    Overall Impression
    Absolutely massive flavours, this is definitely a sipper. Quite a lot of sweetness initially (curious what your FG was) but well balanced with the hop bitterness. It tastes like it has a fairly complex malt bill, but this is very well brewed with no obvious off flavours or faults. Very enjoyable indeed, thanks for letting me try this. It reminds me a lot of my Rochefort clone attempt, what recipe did you use for this?

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Jan 4, 2017 #5

    BeerCat

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    Thanks Steve. Most appreaciated. The recipe was the one i found here based on Troi Pistoles. I think i made a few small changes and roasted up the crystal a bit more. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=26717 . Not much like it though and if i remember correctly that was only 9%.

    Belgium Quad
    15l batch

    OG 1102
    FG 1020
    IBU 12
    SRM 45

    3.275kg maris otter
    220g carafa3
    220g crystal 40 roasted in oven for 1hour @125c then fine crushed
    70g biscuit malt
    40g roast barley
    1.5kg light liquid malt extract @30
    320g dark candi sugar @10
    450g golden syrup @10

    22g fuggles @90
    10g Fuggles @15
    5g Saaz @5
    0.2g star anise @15
    0.2g star anise @5
    7g dried orange peel @5

    Yeast WLP570
    Mashed 67c

    Racked to secondary after 2 weeks, left for 2 more weks bottled annd conditioned for 3months
     
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  6. Jan 10, 2017 #6

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    This is my review of the rather monstrous 12.86% King Kong quadrupel kindly sent by @dad_of_jon

    Appearance
    Very dark reddish brown, small creamy head which lasted well.

    Aroma
    Surprisingly mild aroma, a little bit of roasted malt and dark fruits with a hint of spice.

    Flavour
    Mouthfeel is quite full bodied and rich. Huge flavours, as you'd expect from such a big beer. Roasty, fruity, big alcohol kick with a dry/bitter finish.

    Overall Impression
    A bit more roasted flavours than I'd normally expect of the style, if not for the light spiciness this could almost pass as an imperial stout (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). The fact that it is quite dry, with a FG of 1.010 (which is impressive considering the 1.108 OG), means that it is surprisingly easy to drink. The alcohol, while definitely noticeable isn't too much, the malt flavours balance it out nicely. Good job DOJ, thanks for letting me try this and I'm looking forward to the dubbel :hat:

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Jan 10, 2017 #7

    dad_of_jon

    dad_of_jon

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    Hi Steve, i'm well jeal as I can't have one till Friday :-(

    it's in between styles tbh as it's 'little' brother ris-ky business is a hybrid too. candi sugar and belgian yeast to a base ris recipe. can't say i'll ever do it again because 12.86% is a bit over the top and it was at the very limit of my equipment for a 20ish litre batch. The yeast is good for 14% :eek: can't argue with MJ about that.

    I do enjoy a bottle though and if I behave :whistle: i should have enough for a year or two!
     
  8. Jan 12, 2017 #8

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    This is the second of the Belgian beers @dad_of_jon very kindly sent, Downtown Dubbel weighing in at a more sessionable 6.43%.

    Appearance
    Very dark brown, almost black. Poured with huge head which faded to a light creaminess.

    Aroma
    Very rich and fruity with some delicious spicy phenols, some roastiness.

    Flavour
    Quite heavy on the roasted malts which gives this a kind of "Belgian stout" flavour (if there's such a thing) when combined with the peppery/anise spices. Much less estery than I expected from the aroma. Quite a nice dry finish with perfect carbonation. Served at 10°c but the flavours came through much better as it warmed.

    Overall Impression
    This is a very enjoyable beer, I could happily drink a few of these of an evening. The yeast flavours are quite clean, but the lightly spiced flavour is really nice. Perhaps a little too roasty for the style, which is a very un-Belgian thing to say, but still very nice indeed. Pleasant light mouthfeel helps with the drinkability. Overall a great beer I'd be more than happy to brew :hat:

    Ps. Apologies but I've still not got anything sent in return, I've had a pretty hectic couple of weeks but I'll hopefully get something sent soon. I have a quad and a biere de garde which should be drinkable by now.

    *[​IMG]
     
  9. Jan 13, 2017 #9

    DoctorMick

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    sessionable 6.43% :lol: :drunk:
     
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  10. Jan 13, 2017 #10

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    I think for DoJ that's practically a shandy :D
     
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  11. Jan 14, 2017 #11

    dad_of_jon

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    Tis indeed :whistle:

    I'm really getting a taste for uber roasted malts but with belgian yeast and candi sugar. theres a fantastic Belgian stout out there like that, but I can't remember the name. :doh:

    I may have the name of it on a receipt from the beer supermarket somewhere :hmm:

    p.s. many thanks for the review makes me want to nip down the shed for one ;-)

    no worries about the return beer anything over 5% gratefully received.
     
  12. Jan 18, 2017 #12

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    I had a left over bottle of the very nice "Bowl of Wheatos" weissbier by @jceg316 which placed 2nd in the December competition so thought I'd polish it off tonight. Hopefully he doesn't mind me posting a quick review here.

    Aroma
    Bready with plenty of clove phenols and light banana.

    Appearance
    Huge fluffy head, hazy golden colour.

    Flavour
    Nice grainy wheat flavour, some soft fruity esters, and a light hop bitterness in the finish.

    Overall Impression
    A very refreshing, light beer which would be a great thirst quencher on a hot day. The yeast derived flavours come through nicely and are very well balanced. The bitterness has actually diminished quite a bit from a couple of weeks ago giving the beer a much better balance. Overall I'm very happy with it and it went down very quickly tonight, good job :thumb:

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Jan 19, 2017 #13

    jceg316

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    Thanks for the review. Time is a great healer for homebrew, and I'm finding this batch is quickly disappearing.
     
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  14. Jan 19, 2017 #14

    dad_of_jon

    dad_of_jon

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    that's a cracking looking wheat. Top marks!

    For some strange reason I keep brewing these 'ahem' low abv wheat beers for a bit of balance :whistle:
     
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  15. Jan 22, 2017 #15

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    This is my review of a much anticipated black IPA courtesy of @Leon103

    Aroma
    Punchy, citrusy hops with a big hit of chocolate. Delicious.

    Appearance
    Looks fantastic, beautiful black colour with a hint of red when held up to the light. Large creamy head with excellent retention. Top marks for appearance, my blurry pic doesn't really do it justice.

    Flavour
    Plenty of roasty malt flavours, dark chocolate and coffee with a long dry finish. The hop flavour isn't as big as the aroma would have suggested but it is well balanced, coming across as a little floral and citrusy. Good level of bitterness. Medium carbonation, very smooth.

    Overall Impression
    Despite the 7.2% this is very easy drinking, the alcohol is well hidden. The balance is very well judged, not overly bitter and the the roasted flavours work well with the hop choice. A very good beer indeed. I don't have much experience with black IPAs so I have no idea how it holds up stylistically, not that that matters in the least, but I reckon if this were entered into a competition as an American porter it would do very well, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for the swap :hat:

    *[​IMG]
     
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  16. Jan 22, 2017 #16

    Leon103

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    Thanks for the kind comments Steve. Will be making this again but making it a bit more sessionable. Overshot my efficiency on this. Looks good in the glass.
     
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  17. Jan 22, 2017 #17

    MyQul

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    Got a recipe knocking around?
     
  18. Jan 22, 2017 #18

    Leon103

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    In my brew day thread. I did add a hop tea when bottling but I think it was 5g of cascade and citra that I had knocking about.
     
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  19. Jan 24, 2017 #19

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    I'm rather excited by tonight's beer. It's a clone of Stone Ruination, one of my favourite DIPAs, sent very kindly by @DoctorMick

    I just so happened to have a can of the real thing and the good doctor said he didn't mind me doing a side-by-side comparison. Now this isn't to see if his is “as good”, but rather to see from a curiosity standpoint, what the similarities are. He mentioned that the recipe he used is most likely an older one, not the current one used by Stone, so it may not be that similar.

    Tbh that matters not in the least, as long as it's a good beer. I have attempted many clone brews over the years and never once come close, but the resulting beers have (usually) been pretty good, which is more important.

    The first one is Mick's brew:

    Aroma
    Citrus fruits, herbal, deliciously hoppy.

    Appearance
    Hazy amber colour (probably my fault for only giving it a day to settle). Poured with a beautiful fluffy white head, excellent retention.

    Flavour
    Beautiful hop flavours, floral, citrus coming through initially, with a soft well rounded bitterness. The balance is very good. There is a ton of bitterness in the finish, but there is enough of a malty backbone to keep it smooth.

    Overall Impression
    A very delicious, and dangerously drinkable DIPA. I read once (I think it was Jamil Z who said it) that if a DIPA has to be sipped, then it aint a good DIPA. There's no danger of that here, I could easily and quickly sink a few of these. I hope you're entering this in the Feb competition?

    [​IMG]

    Next up the Stone:

    Aroma
    Incredibly powerful dank, resinous hops.

    Appearance
    Golden colour with a bit of hop haze. Head faded pretty quickly.

    Flavour
    Grapefruity hop flavour is huge and very nice, with a dry bitter finish that really lingers. Very smooth. All the clone recipes I can find for this are simply pale malt with about 6% light crystal but it seems a little more complex than that, though I can't quite put my finger on it.

    Overall Impression
    Really good DIPA. If you like the west coast, grapefruit juice, bitter AIPAs rather than the sweet juicy NEIPA usurpers then they don't get much better than this.

    [​IMG]

    Comparison
    The colour of the stone is a lot lighter, but the head retention on DrM's is much better.
    DrM's aroma is sweeter, more floral than the resinous Stone. Tbh I have never experienced a home brewed beer ever with as powerful a hop aroma as the Stone, I wish I knew how they did that.
    The flavour of the Stone is a little sweeter and more grapefruity than DrM's which I think has more hop bitterness, though the flavours are definitely similar.

    Great job mate, this was most enjoyable and I really appreciate you sending one of these and letting me do a comparison :hat:
     
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  20. Jan 25, 2017 #20

    DoctorMick

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    Glad you liked it. :thumb:
    It's definitely going in for the comp, will be good to get more feedback on it.
     
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