Strange-steve's Homebrew Reviews

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

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  1. Apr 14, 2018 #181

    dan125

    dan125

    dan125

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    Cheers Steve :hat:Glad you enjoyed it and, as ever, its really interesting & useful to hear someone else's opinion of a beer.
    I was quite pleased with this as the first bitter I've brewed for 18 months - it made a nice change from my usual hoppy brews and I'm defo gonna have another crack at something similarish soon.
    It came in at 5.3% ABV (higher than the 4.9% I planned), and you're not the first person to pick out a bit of booziness in my beers - I'll have to try fermenting cooler, but this was at 17C for the 1st week, so not sure if I dare go much lower??
    I'm sure the balance/drinkability is helped along by a combo of a lack of late/dry hops, and a more aggresive than usual water treatment, and I'll push this a bit higher still next time.
    :Cheers:
     
  2. Apr 16, 2018 #182

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    @dan125
    That's interesting, I don't know why the alcohol flavour would be noticeable at that volume when fermented at 17°. I definitely wouldn't go any lower for this style though. It was only a minor observation and honestly it didn't detract much from the beer.
     
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  3. May 12, 2018 #183

    strange-steve

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    Tonight I'm drinking a fantastic sounding chocolate coconut stout sent by @clarkeuk and I'm rather looking forward to this one...

    Aroma
    A nice toasty, coconut aroma is dominant. Smells sweet and delicious.

    Appearance
    Very dark brown with a pretty red hue when held up to the light, thin head with very good retention.

    Flavour
    Much like the aroma, this is sweet, toasty with a very well balanced coconut flavour. Some citrusy bitterness coming through in the finish with dark, rich chocolate flavours. Very smooth roast flavours which compliment the coconut very well. Clean fermentation profile, nothing much in the way of esters. Nice silky smooth mouthfeel.

    Overall Impression
    This is another cracking brew mate. The balance is spot on for my taste, plenty of coconut without overpowering the other subtleties. The chocolate flavours are dark and bitter, almost coffee-like which cut nicely through the malty sweetness. A very well made beer and it went down beautifully, I can't really fault it at all or offer any suggestions for improvement! Thanks for sending this mate. Can I ask how you used the coconut?

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. May 13, 2018 #184

    private4587

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    I would like to see the recipe if don't mind as this sounds like my kind of brew
     
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  5. May 13, 2018 #185

    stigman

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    I've just done the same thing but 10% I'll pop one in the post for you pal. Also up for a swap if you like Clarkeuk?
     
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  6. May 16, 2018 #186

    clarkeuk

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    Thanks.again @strange-steve glan you enjoyed. Only just seen this review Dont know why but i no longer get notifications when tagged in this forum . @ stigman sorry mate but that was my last one i will be re brewing it again probably late summer and will get one too you then pal .
    @strange-steve will dig out the recipe and get it up on here [emoji106]

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
     
  7. May 20, 2018 #187

    clarkeuk

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    @private4587@strange-steve
    Choc coconut stout

    4.7kg pale malt
    250g amber
    250g oats
    220g carafa 1
    220g roasted barley
    200g crystal 60
    200g caramunich
    130 g chocolate malt
    60min mash @67
    Mash out 75
    15g magnom and 11g columbus @90 min
    Ibu 43
    100 g lactose @ 10 min
    300g toasted coconut @0 min
    20g cascade @ 0 min
    Whirlpool 5 min steep 15 min
    Nottingham yeast pitch and ferment
    @19°c
    Dry hop 5 days 300g roasted coconut
    100g roasted cocoa nibs which had been soaked in 90g vodka
    Og 1062
    Fg 1017

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
     
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  8. May 21, 2018 #188

    strange-steve

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    That sounds right up my street, cheers mate :thumb:
     
  9. Jul 9, 2018 #189

    strange-steve

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    This evening I'm (finally) drinking CTR ALT DEL Altbier kindly sent by @krispn. I've been rather enjoying German beers of late, so been looking forward to this, unfortunately holidays and illness got in the way recently.

    Aroma
    Very rich malty aroma of bread crust with some sweet fruity notes. Smells delicious.

    Appearance
    Very dark brown colour, perhaps a little dark for the style, but a lovely red tint when held to the light. Thin white head.

    Flavour
    Very malt forward as expected, with sweet caramel and a light fruitiness from the malts. Some roasted and toasty flavours coming through also and a fairly robust, smooth bitterness in the finish.

    Overall Impression
    There's a lot going on in this beer. Layered complexity but with a clean fermentation profile and a light finish which make it very drinkable. To be honest it's not style I know a lot about but I would say there's possibly a little too much roasted flavours coming through, though perhaps that's intentional? That certainly didn't detract from my enjoyment of it though, I thought it was delicious and I could happily get through a few maßkrugs of this. Top job again mate and thanks for sending this :hat:

    Edit to add picture.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  10. Jul 9, 2018 #190

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    Oh and btw, I received a bottle labeled as "Mangrove No.5" this week but I don't know who it's from :oops:
     
  11. Jul 10, 2018 #191

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    This afternoon I'm having a rather interesting brew courtesy of @clarkeuk called Wee Shroomy, which looks to be a wee heavy with chanterelle mushrooms added to the secondary o_O I'm equal parts intrigued and terrified by this...

    Aroma
    This smells great, big complex malt aromas of treacle, raisins and plums. No obvious mushroomy aroma.

    Appearance
    Deep brown, almost black colour with good clarity. No head due to low carbonation.

    Flavour
    Huge flavours here, again loads of treacle, burnt caramel and dark fruits with a hint of roasted malt in the finish. Very smooth alcohol despite the 9.1% ABV. I would never have picked out the mushrooms, but there is a slight background "savory-ness" which could be from the chanterelles.

    Overall Impression
    Sweet, complex and delicious, with just enough bitterness to keep it from getting cloying. The flavours are big and bold as expected for the style, and this is a very good example of a wee heavy. Full bodied and very smooth, however it is lacking in carbonation as you suggested it might be, but imo it's not a major fault for this style. I don't really know how much the mushrooms added, but I think this is a very good recipe and definitely one I'd like to try someday. I really loved this brew, it'd be a great winter fireside beer, thanks for sending this mate :hat:

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Jul 10, 2018 #192

    krispn

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    Thanks again for trying it!
    I think it came out different to what I had intended - possibly a bit more like a mild or something a but more complex than I was expecting. It was a decent beer and glad you found it drinkable! Not sure what happened with it - a bit sweeter than I was expecting but nice malt. Back to the drawing board after a classic's get made. Next is the Raspberry wheat again - the last batch went in a flash!
     
  13. Jul 10, 2018 #193

    dad_of_jon

    dad_of_jon

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    Sounds good to me a random bottle of beer in the post. I've also had a bottle of Mangrove N0.5 - Irish red with a twist - it's not red! I enjoued it if a little lower than the usual abv I drink :laugh8:
     
  14. Jul 10, 2018 #194

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    That's the very one, do you know who the brewer is?
     
  15. Jul 10, 2018 #195

    clarkeuk

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    Yeah did not carb up properly will try some bottling yeast next time..cheers pal

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
     
  16. Jul 10, 2018 #196

    strange-steve

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    Still, some cracking flavours in there :thumbsup:
     
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  17. Sep 16, 2018 #197

    strange-steve

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    Tonight's beer is a rather mysterious one, it's called Mangrove No.5, a non-red Irish red ale but I have no clue who sent it. I do however, rather enjoy a red ale so let's give it a go...

    Aroma
    Toasty, sweet malt and dark fruits, some DMS coming through although this seemed to fade a little after a few minutes in the glass.

    Appearance
    More of a brown as the the label indicates but a definite red hue when held to the light. Thick foamy head, very good retention. Rather over carbed, took a few pours to get the lot in the glass.

    Flavour
    Quite a pronounced bitterness initially with some fruity esters. A little thin bodied, and possibly some oxidation which has left some fruity/wine flavours. Dominated by hop bitterness which lingers on the tongue and it lacks a malt background.

    Overall Impression
    Unfortunately this beer had some issues, but I need to apologize to the brewer because I should have drank this much sooner.

    The vegetal DMS aroma was the first issue, but it wasn't too unpleasant. Likewise the oxidation had created some fruity sherry flavours and aromas which can add some complexity to a dark beer, but unfortunately it seemed to have stripped out the malt flavours, there's a sort of emptiness between the hop bitterness and the yeasty esters. The high carbonation lightened the beer too much leaving it a bit thin and accentuating the bitterness.

    On a personal level, I'm not a fan of Mangrove Jack yeasts, particularly the M15 which I'm guessing this was brewed with, I just don't enjoy the ester profile. But that's just my opinion, I know a lot of others really like it.

    I don't know about others, but I find brewing to be a rather mercurial pursuit, and from batch to batch I never know if I'm going to hit or miss (just look at my effort in the August forum competition for example), but unfortunately this one was a bit off the mark, but I do think there was a good beer in there trying to get out.


    [​IMG]
     
  18. Oct 3, 2018 #198

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    I came home from the gym tonight after a 2 week layoff, sore, tired, and very thirsty. So I decided to open something a bit special. This is Fisherman's End a Struisse Pannepot clone, and many thanks to @rats_eyes for sending this because as you probably can't see from the picture this was bottled over 3 1/2 years ago! He very kindly sent this to inspire me for my upcoming attempt at a clone of this fantastic beer, and so here goes...

    Aroma
    Incredibly complex aromas, just look at some of the things I jotted down before I'd even taken a sip:
    Brown sugar, raisins, plum, Christmas spices, almond, licorice, pepper, treacle, ginger bread and even Black tea. Amazing.

    Appearance
    Deep red brown with a thin head, faded pretty quickly but still looks very good.

    Flavour
    Much like the aroma it's very complex with flavours of treacle, dark fruits, light peppery spices, coffee, orange, a hint of chocolate, and oddly I'm getting a slight cola flavour in the finish. Sweet but light bodied and easy drinking. A slight tartness in the middle but this seemed to fade as the beer warmed. The finish is really long with a very smooth bitterness, some alcohol but not harsh or hot.

    Overall Impression
    I've tasted many great homebrews and this is up there with some of the best. As soon as I had a sniff it took me right back to Belgium, like the great dark Belgian ales it smells like Christmas in a glass.
    There's a lot going on in this and it's hard to pick out specific flavours, but that suggests to me that the spicing was very well judged. Apart from a rather imprecise "spiciness" the only flavouring I could really pick out was orange, but even that was very subtle.
    Despite the complexity it all comes together very well and the flavours aren't muddy. Very nicely balanced, the hop bitterness in the finish prevents it from being overly sweet and it goes down very smoothly.
    Another impressive thing is the lack of any oxidation off-flavours, your handling and bottling technique is obviously very good. I've found that I'm lucky to get more than 2 years from even my strong beers before they start to deteriorate.
    Anyway this is a damn good brew and I really appreciate being sent this. If mine turns out this well I'll be more than happy :hat:
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Oct 4, 2018 #199

    Zephyr259

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    We were drinking this beer at the same time. Great Belgian ale, can't really add much that you haven't said already... Massively complex and so smooth. Wish I could break down what I taste as well as you Steve. acheers.
     
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  20. Oct 10, 2018 at 9:21 PM #200

    rats_eyes

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    Glad you both enjoyed it and thanks for the detailed feedback!
     

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