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Oneflewover

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Tonight I'm drinking a Belgian Quad courtesy of @Oneflewover. This happens to be my favourite style of beer so can't wait to try it...

Aroma
Dark malty fruitiness of raisins and plums with syrupy brown sugar, a little hint of spice, and just a touch of alcohol. This smells really great.

Appearance
It really looks the part, poured with a lovely dense foam that you often see with commercial Belgian beers and a very pretty deep red colour.

Flavour
Many complex malt flavours, really fruity (both from the fermentables and the yeast esters) which is enhanced by the sweetness, with some toasty maillard flavours and lovely caramelised sugar. Did you make your own candy syrup for this? The "Belgian spiciness" is quite subtle and there is a little hint of marzipan which makes me think of WLP540? The alcohol is very smooth for a +9% beer and there are no obvious yeasty off-flavours suggesting a healthy fermentation.

Overall Impression
The key to getting this style right is all about the yeast and fermentation. Getting the right yeast derived flavours while managing alcohol flavours isn't easy but I think you've nailed it because this is really damn good. I've had many home-brewed quadrupels over the years and this is undoubtedly up there with the best of them. Stylistically it is too sweet, as you mentioned to me, which would certainly knock it down a bit in a BJCP competition, but I don't really care about style and I don't mind a sweet beer so I really loved it. It''ll be really interesting to see how your bretted version turns out, and I have a feeling it'll be pretty darn spectacular. Another really impressive aspect of this is the carbonation. I've never been able to get that typical Belgian foamy quality on the palate without over-carbing, but you've managed it and it really adds to the drinking experience. I've been proud to win a couple of gold medals with two different quadrupel recipes, but honestly they were nowhere near this good so I'm going to need to see your recipe :D Thanks for sending this, but I wish you'd sent two :laugh8:
Thanks Steve, really pleased that you enjoyed it. I did indeed make my own candy syrup. The yeast was WLP530, fermented at the cooler end of it's range.

Here's the recipe from my journal:
18 litre batch.
My notes suggest I was shooting for OG 1.099 (I got 1.095) FG 1.017 (I got 1.025). Should've been 10.6% ABV, but I obviously didn't get there. 25 IBU, 33 SRM.

5.2kg pilsner
1.1kg light Munich
230g special B
100g carafa 3
Amber candy syrup made from 1.2 kg beet sugar
90 min mash at 64C (single step)

60 minute boil
15g Magnum @ 60
20g h. Hersbrucker @ 30
30g h. Mittelfruh @ 15

I didn't record the water profile I was after, only that I added 4.5g calcium chloride, 3.5g table salt and 0.5g gypsum to the boiler, and 15ml CRS to the mash - oops!

WLP530 Abbey @ 19C rising steadily to 23C after initial fermentation over.

I'll send you a bottle of both the bretted version and the one finishing up with WY3711. Both still fermenting slowly in dj's at present, no hurry! athumb..
 

strange-steve

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Thanks Steve, really pleased that you enjoyed it. I did indeed make my own candy syrup. The yeast was WLP530, fermented at the cooler end of it's range.

Here's the recipe from my journal:
18 litre batch.
My notes suggest I was shooting for OG 1.099 (I got 1.095) FG 1.017 (I got 1.025). Should've been 10.6% ABV, but I obviously didn't get there. 25 IBU, 33 SRM.

5.2kg pilsner
1.1kg light Munich
230g special B
100g carafa 3
Amber candy syrup made from 1.2 kg beet sugar
90 min mash at 64C (single step)

60 minute boil
15g Magnum @ 60
20g h. Hersbrucker @ 30
30g h. Mittelfruh @ 15

I didn't record the water profile I was after, only that I added 4.5g calcium chloride, 3.5g table salt and 0.5g gypsum to the boiler, and 15ml CRS to the mash - oops!

WLP530 Abbey @ 19C rising steadily to 23C after initial fermentation over.

I'll send you a bottle of both the bretted version and the one finishing up with WY3711. Both still fermenting slowly in dj's at present, no hurry! athumb..
A nice simple recipe like most good Belgians. I wonder why the attenuation was lower than expected, especially with all that sugar, I don't think WLP530 is known for being fussy. My last quad had a similar recipe, the same amount of candy syrup, same mash temp, same yeast and went from 1.090 to 1.012. Anyway it tasted great so I wouldn't be too worried about it :thumba:
 

Oneflewover

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I've no idea, tried everything I could think of to get it down, but it wouldn't budge. Possibly due to lag between aeration and pitching, or something of an underpitch.

I'm pleased you liked it, but I was disappointed, and it wasn't what I wanted. Hence why I kept 10 litres back for secondary fermentation, and because I knew there is a good beer in there.
 

strange-steve

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I understand, it's disappointing when a beer doesn't turn out as expected but I thought the flavours were great, even despite the high FG.
 

strange-steve

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Tonight's beer is the first of those very kindly sent by @Hopsteep and is a 4.8% Endeavour Pale Ale, and I have to say it was quite exciting pouring a homebrew from a can, so let's have it...

Aroma
Beautiful fruity, tropical, citrusy, resinous hops with mango, passion fruit, lime and hints of light caramel. Very nice indeed.

Appearance
A murky orange brown colour, though a little lighter than it appears in the picture. Nice white head with great retention, lasting all the way down.

Flavour
At first there is a little burst of fruity hops on the tongue which follows the tropical theme of the aroma and with a very smooth bitterness that is balanced just right, followed by a pleasant biscuity, bready, slightly toasty malt flavour that lingers nicely on the palate. A lovely creamy, richmouthfeel.

Overall Impression
Whenever I get sent a session-strength pale ale/IPA like this my heart sometimes sinks a little, it's not a style I would ever choose to drink and I often find them disappointingly thin and/or one-dimensional. So I was very pleasantly surprised by this. This actually drinks like an interesting cross between an English and American IPA, with the richer, more prominent malt character of an English style but with fruity, juicy US hop varieties. I have no idea of your recipe but I feel like this is just a little dark crystal away from being a red IPA, which imo is a very good thing. The full mouthfeel gives this a "filling" quality which I love, miles away from some of the thin-bodied commercial pale ales I've had. The bitterness is balanced just right for my taste, it's smooth and lacking the sulphate bite which I personally don't really like, and allows the malt flavours to really carry through the finish. In fact I think the whole recipe is very well balanced, I would be very pleased if I had brewed this and I really want to see your recipe please! My only real criticism is that the glass emptied much too quickly. Great job, thank you and I very much look forward to the next one :hat:
 

Hopsteep

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Thanks for the kind review!

I was aiming to make something session-able and close to Adnams Ghost ship in flavour. Being a tight git I repitched wyeast Irish ale from the previous brew which is where the English character comes from. I’ll post the recipe a bit later on :beer1:
 
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Hopsteep

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Tonight's beer is the first of those very kindly sent by @Hopsteep and is a 4.8% Endeavour Pale Ale, and I have to say it was quite exciting pouring a homebrew from a can, so let's have it...

Aroma
Beautiful fruity, tropical, citrusy, resinous hops with mango, passion fruit, lime and hints of light caramel. Very nice indeed.

Appearance
A murky orange brown colour, though a little lighter than it appears in the picture. Nice white head with great retention, lasting all the way down.

Flavour
At first there is a little burst of fruity hops on the tongue which follows the tropical theme of the aroma and with a very smooth bitterness that is balanced just right, followed by a pleasant biscuity, bready, slightly toasty malt flavour that lingers nicely on the palate. A lovely creamy, richmouthfeel.

Overall Impression
Whenever I get sent a session-strength pale ale/IPA like this my heart sometimes sinks a little, it's not a style I would ever choose to drink and I often find them disappointingly thin and/or one-dimensional. So I was very pleasantly surprised by this. This actually drinks like an interesting cross between an English and American IPA, with the richer, more prominent malt character of an English style but with fruity, juicy US hop varieties. I have no idea of your recipe but I feel like this is just a little dark crystal away from being a red IPA, which imo is a very good thing. The full mouthfeel gives this a "filling" quality which I love, miles away from some of the thin-bodied commercial pale ales I've had. The bitterness is balanced just right for my taste, it's smooth and lacking the sulphate bite which I personally don't really like, and allows the malt flavours to really carry through the finish. In fact I think the whole recipe is very well balanced, I would be very pleased if I had brewed this and I really want to see your recipe please! My only real criticism is that the glass emptied much too quickly. Great job, thank you and I very much look forward to the next one :hat:
Endeavour Pale Ale

30L batch

Grist
Maris Otter 6500g
Red Rye Crystal 300g
Flaked Oats 200g

Hop Schedule (38 IBU)

10 mins
Cascade 45g
Citra 45g

Whirlpool (80 degree steep)
Cascade 30g
Citra 30g

Dry Hop
Cascade 25g
Citra 25g

Yeast
Wyeast 1084 Irish ale

Adjusted Water
Ca 186ppm, Mg 18ppm, Na 43ppm, SO4 302ppm, Cl 101ppm, RA 93ppm and a mash PH of 5.3.
 

F00b4r

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Interesting on the water profile, given Steve’s comments. The rye and oats seem to have been a big factor in the mouthfeel.
 

strange-steve

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Interesting on the water profile, given Steve’s comments. The rye and oats seem to have been a big factor in the mouthfeel.
That's exactly what I was thinking, really didn't expect that much sulphate.
 

Hopsteep

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That's exactly what I was thinking, really didn't expect that much sulphate.
I get better results using this sort of water profile. A few years ago I got in touch with Roger Ryman of St Austell Brewery who was really helpful and explained their approach to water treatment:

“We have very soft water. Typical salt additions are 2 - 3 Kg gypsum and 1 Kg of Calcium Chloride per tonne of malt in the grist. For our stout we have higher Calcium Chloride, 2Kg per tonne, against 1 Kg per tonne gypsum.

General rule of thumb is 300ppm sulphate / 100ppm chloride for pale ales. 200ppn chloride / 100ppm sulphate for dark ales and stouts.

Hope this helps.

Roger”
 

strange-steve

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Tonight's beer is a Red Rye IPA sent by @samale, a lovely but difficult style to master...

Aroma
Very intense fruity hops with orange, grapefruit, mango, and strawberry. Delicious.

Appearance
A very cloudy orange/red/brown but a nice foamy head.

Flavour
A nice complexity of tropical fruit salad flavours, which hits the palate upfront and lasts right through to the finish where the malt subtly comes through with a pleasant graininess. Nicely judged bitterness, smooth and slightly drying which leaves you wanting more.

Overall Impression
This is a lovely beer, it went down very easily and I could happily drink a few pints of an evening. I think however after the fantastic aroma, which really had my mouth watering, I was expecting more of fruity, juicy hop flavour. The hop flavours are great but I think I wanted a bit more depth, and I wonder if that's down to the fact that this was hopped only on flame-out (plus dry hopped). I know this is a popular trend and I've done this a few times myself but always found something a little lacking. There's a good article on Mr Malty (here) where he talks about only late hopping, but in the recipe at the end he still has 20 and 10 min additions, which in my opinion add more of a fruity depth to the flavours. That's just an opinion though, because as it is it's lovely and light which is perhaps what you were going for, and I love that smooth bitterness that comes from late hopped beers. The rye malt is very subtle, I don't think I could have picked it out if I hadn't known it was there, but it definitely does come through in the finish and adds a nice little layer to the backbone. I've found rye is surprisingly subtle, with my rye saison I've been gradually increasing the amount of rye malt and it's now around 30% and still not too noticable, but it nicely adds complexity to the finish as it does in this beer, but again I think I'd like just a little more. That being said I very much enjoyed it so many thanks for sending, and I look forward to the next :hat:
 

samale

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Thanks Steve for the review. That's an interesting read on late hop additions and I will take it on board for my next brew. I started using rye after drinking rust bucket by kinnegar which I really like. I to have been increasing the amount each time to try and get the level I am happy with. This was my first time also using redx after seeing some good reviews on the forum. Over all I enjoyed the beer I wasn't to impressed with the colour and others had commented on it as well.
Thanks again and I look forward to the next review
 

strange-steve

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Tonight is the second of @Hopsteep's impressively canned beers, a 3.5% Irish Stout...

Aroma
Grainy roasted malts, with coffee, cacao, and toasty bread crusts. Very inviting.

Appearance
Very dark brown, nice red highlights when held to the light, minimal white head but nice lacing.

Flavour
Initially a hint of sweetness with very well balanced dark roasted flavours which are smooth without any acrid or harsh burnt quality. They give a lovely rich coffee flavour which blends beautifully with a soft nutty, graininess which lingers through the pleasantly dry finish.

Overall Impression
This is a full-bodied and flavourful beer which packs a much bigger punch than its 3.5% abv would suggest. Much like your previous beer this has a fantastic chewy, filling quality that I really love and is often missing from these lower abv stouts. Honestly I really can't fault this, I think it's fantastic. The balance of roasted malts is spot on, the carbonation is on the lower end (which imo it should be for the style) which enhances the drinkability factor, and the finish is lightly drying without being harsh or overly bitter. Whatever you're doing, keep it up because that's 2 great beers out of 2 so far, and I'm really looking forward to the next one now. Thanks for sending this mate :hat:
 

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Today I'm having an early start to take advantage of the fine weather, with an equally fine sounding English Red X Raw Ale by @samale ...

Aroma
Lovely hop aroma, herbal and fruity, lightly spicy and considerably more intense than I was expecting. Really lovely.

Appearance
Reddish brown with orange/amber highlights when held to the light. Very hazy but a beautiful creamy white head which stuck around all the way down. A lot lighter than it looks in the picture.

Flavour
Full flavoured with a really nice herbal, slightly floral and fruity hop flavour up front which is a little more subtle than the aroma would suggest. It fades to reveal a lightly toasty and biscuity flavour which is quite delicate but well balanced and blends nicely with the smooth bitter finish, and right at the end it trails off with a lovely nutty malt flavour.

Overall Impression
If I were to describe this beer in one word it would be elegant. It's what I love about an English IPA, it's not brash or overbearing in any particular way but everything works nicely together in a non-obvious way. Beautifully balanced between the hop and malt flavours, that classic pairing of fuggles and EKG which is a classic for a reason, with the Red X adding just a little more depth to the backbone. The grainy, nutty quality that comes through in the very end is lovely and really elevates this beer in my opinion, it has a raw malt flavour almost like a German lager which is an odd comparison for an English beer, but I wonder if that's down to the fact that this was a no-boil beer (hmm I really want to brew a raw German pils now to see if I can capture that 🤔 ). The bitterness is absolutely perfect for my taste, which is to be applauded because it's hard to judge with a raw beer, and it's very smooth, one of the advantages of late-bittering. I think this was loosely based on a beer I sent you at Christmas, but I honestly think you've done a better job. The hop flavour is much better for a start, possibly down to your yeast choice. This is my first experience with CML Pia (I used S-04) but I'll definitely give it a go with my next hoppy beer. This was an interesting and delicious beer and has certainly made me think of trying more raw ales (my only raw beers so far have been Berliner weisse) so many thanks for sending this mate and I look forward to the next one :hat:

 

samale

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Thanks Steve for the review I really enjoyed that beer myself but sadly Its all gone. That was my second attempt at a raw ale, the first an American wheat wasn't a great success. I enjoyed the beer you sent me at Christmas so I thought I would give it ago, I don't normally brew English style beers but that beer opened my eyes.
Changing it to a raw ale really seemed to work and I will definitely be brewing it again after I finish my flirting with everything German. My latest raw ale is a heffweizen which is currently fermenting hopefully it turns out as good. As for the Pia yeast it's my go to yeast now for anything hoppy. I know a few others on the forum are big fans as well.
Thanks again🍻🍻
 

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My latest raw ale is a heffweizen which is currently fermenting hopefully it turns out as good.
That sounds like a perfect style for a raw ale. It's defo something I'll be looking closer at in the future. Thanks again for the interesting beer thumb
 

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Today's beer is the third and final of those very kindly sent by @Hopsteep...

Aroma
Quite muted but very pleasant, light floral hops with a hint of earthiness, and some nice toffee and bready malt.

Appearance
Beautiful red colour, very clear with a wonderful white head. Lovely looking beer.

Flavour
Starts with herbal and floral hop flavours, typically English, with a quite prominent bitterness but it balances out nicely with a clean, slightly bready and nutty malt flavour. The finish has a bitter, slightly roasty dryness which makes this very refreshing on a warm day. Clean and neutral fermentation character.

Overall Impression
This was a bit of an enigma. All I had to go on was the ingredients list, and on seeing the chocolate malt and roasted barley I had expected a stout or porter. But on pouring that obviously wasn't the case, it was a beautiful red colour so maybe the roasted malts were there just for a touch of colour? The roasty flavours are very subtle, adding just a little dryness to the finish, so it was almost an Irish red except the hop flavour was much too prominent and it lacked the toffee flavours for that. The yeast character is a too clean for a bitter and it's probably too hoppy. The grain bill looks way off for an English IPA, but going by taste alone that's probably the closest. So I'm not entirely sure what the intended style is supposed to be, as I said it was an enigma. That's largely academic though, I emptied the glass very quickly because this was beautifully drinkable. The balance was definitely more towards the hops which came through really nicely while keeping the bitterness from becoming harsh. And the malt flavours, while being a little cleaner than I expected, stop it from being one-dimensional by adding a nice complexity to the background. I really enjoyed this beer, both drinking it and trying to figure it out, so many thanks for sending this mate. I've just bottled a dubbel, plus I have a brett pale ale and a bock to bottle soon so when things have settled sown a bit I'll have something worth sending back. Thanks again for all three great beers :hat:

 

Hopsteep

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Today's beer is the third and final of those very kindly sent by @Hopsteep...

Aroma
Quite muted but very pleasant, light floral hops with a hint of earthiness, and some nice toffee and bready malt.

Appearance
Beautiful red colour, very clear with a wonderful white head. Lovely looking beer.

Flavour
Starts with herbal and floral hop flavours, typically English, with a quite prominent bitterness but it balances out nicely with a clean, slightly bready and nutty malt flavour. The finish has a bitter, slightly roasty dryness which makes this very refreshing on a warm day. Clean and neutral fermentation character.

Overall Impression
This was a bit of an enigma. All I had to go on was the ingredients list, and on seeing the chocolate malt and roasted barley I had expected a stout or porter. But on pouring that obviously wasn't the case, it was a beautiful red colour so maybe the roasted malts were there just for a touch of colour? The roasty flavours are very subtle, adding just a little dryness to the finish, so it was almost an Irish red except the hop flavour was much too prominent and it lacked the toffee flavours for that. The yeast character is a too clean for a bitter and it's probably too hoppy. The grain bill looks way off for an English IPA, but going by taste alone that's probably the closest. So I'm not entirely sure what the intended style is supposed to be, as I said it was an enigma. That's largely academic though, I emptied the glass very quickly because this was beautifully drinkable. The balance was definitely more towards the hops which came through really nicely while keeping the bitterness from becoming harsh. And the malt flavours, while being a little cleaner than I expected, stop it from being one-dimensional by adding a nice complexity to the background. I really enjoyed this beer, both drinking it and trying to figure it out, so many thanks for sending this mate. I've just bottled a dubbel, plus I have a brett pale ale and a bock to bottle soon so when things have settled sown a bit I'll have something worth sending back. Thanks again for all three great beers :hat:

Cheers Steve,

It wasn’t something I would usually make- its my interpretation of st austell’s HSD which is an ESB/strong bitter. My dad came to stay so I had to make something he’s enjoy (as you said quite clean) :beer1:it’s probably an enigma because I just couldn’t bring myself to create a completely boring recipe hence the hops coming through!
 

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Ah I wondered what the HSD meant, I'm not terribly familiar with St Austell's beers. Nice job, it was an interesting one for sure thumb
 

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Today's beer is a rather delicious sounding Coconut Porter sent by @samale...

Aroma
The coconut is subtle but certainly noticeable, which blends with the roasted malts giving a toasty macaroon impression. Otherwise a light chocolate note.

Appearance
Very dark with a nice ruby highlight. Poured with plenty of fizz, but zero head. There is a little oil on the surface which I suspect might be from the coconut, and this might be the reason for the lack of head.

Flavour
The coconut comes through more strongly in the flavour than the aroma which is nice, but doesn't overpower the base flavours. A touch of coffee which goes really nicely with the coconut, again with a slight macaroon effect which is lovely. Finishes with a slight sweetness which I like in a porter, and just a faint fruitiness, which I suspect is from the malt rather than the yeast. Leaves in interesting slickness on the palate which adds to the mouthfeel, because this is surprisingly light.

Overall Impression
Coconut is one of my favourite flavours and it pairs so well with the flavours of porter that it's really a match made in heaven, and I'm now wondering why I've never made a coconut beer. This was nicely balanced which is one of the key points to these flavoured beers, although I did feel myself craving just a little more coconut. I wonder if the coconut (or some of it) was toasted would it enhance the flavours at all? It would certainly add to the macaroon impression (a little vanilla in there and it would be perfect) which would make me happy for sure. That's just a personal preference though, because the coconut certainly came across nicely and I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. The other key point is that the base beer must be a good example of the style, and it definitely is in this case. The roasted flavours are on the lower end, but I think that suits this beer and allows a little sweetness to come through the finish. This went down really nicely while I sat in the sun today so many thanks for sending it mate :hat:
 

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