Strange-steve's Homebrew Reviews

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

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  1. Jan 14, 2018 #141

    Clint

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    Sorry if you've said but I can' see it.....what' the ibu of this? I take it most come from the late additions rather than the 60 minutes?
     
  2. Jan 22, 2018 #142

    strange-steve

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    I'm finally getting a chance to get to some of the beers I've been sent recently, this is from @JFB and is labelled as blackberry, rye and brett, other than that I know nothing about it but it sounds very interesting!

    Aroma
    Deliciously funky with loads of dark fruit aromas. Takes me back to Cantillon, smells wonderful.

    Appearance
    A beautiful deep red colour, almost red wine like. A thin white head which faded quickly. Lively carbonation.

    Flavour
    Very clean sourness on the back of the tongue, with a dry, prominent leathery brett character. Tangy fruit flavours of cranberry and even a little cherry. A slight crackery, bready flavour lingering in the finish.

    Overall Impression
    This is really very good indeed! I'm not sure what the base style is, but the flavours all work well together. I could be completely wrong, but the sourness I'm guessing is not from a bacteria blend, because it's cleaner, not as complex as a lambic. So I'm guessing it's just residual acidity from the blackberries? It works beautifully with the brett though, giving that tart but dry finish you get in a kriek or framboise.
    I doubt I would have picked out the blackberries but it's very difficult to retain recognisable fruit flavours especially if using a more delicately flavoured fruit like this, but it does add a lovely background fruity note.
    The rye adds a nice complexity to the malt flavours which appear in the aftertaste and is a clever addition I reckon.
    This is very well balanced, all the flavours compliment one another beautifully, and the high carbonation level makes it light and rather elegant.
    I'm a massive fan of brett beers and this one didn't disappoint, a cracking beer so thanks for sending this. Looking forward to the next one!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
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  3. Jan 22, 2018 #143

    JFB

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    Cheers for the review @strange-steve , I'm new to the world of funk so its nice to get feedback.
    The recipe was based on "American sour ales" funky rye session beer. But with what I had lying around.
    MO, rye, rye crystal and chocolate. @5.2% . Aged on 3k of blackberries, some elderberries and small amount of oak flakes.
    I originally pitched wilko's ale yeast and brett claussinii. After a month I still had a 1014 fg which didn't seem right. So I added dregs of my brett saison(your next beer).
    Next day the bubbles were flowing.. Ended at 1007.
    Now the saison has brett lambicus in it and is sour(not sure if it should be).This could be part cause of the sourness.
    I'm very happy with the beer and will be brewing similar next year come hedge row season.
     
  4. Jan 23, 2018 #144

    strange-steve

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    I believe brett lambicus can produce some sourness so that could be it. I found it surprising how much sourness comes from fruit additions after fermentation too, my blueberry wheat beer was really tart actually.
     
  5. Jan 30, 2018 #145

    strange-steve

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    Tonight I'm drinking a Duvel-ex kindly sent by @dad_of_jon and it's an extract tripel at 8.55% ABV. I just got back from a long weekend in Brussels and I'm depressed at being back to work, so need something to take me back to Belgium!

    Aroma
    Light, bready malt aroma, citrusy fruity esters with a peppery spice and some alcohol. Very pleasant aroma.

    Appearance
    Golden straw colour with lively carbonation, a small white head with decent retention. Slightly hazy, possibly due to me serving it too cold.

    Flavour
    Big bold flavours, very yeast driven as expected, fruity and spicy, slight Belgian bubblegum flavour with a solid bitterness in the finish, fading to a bready maltiness. Light bodied and very dry with a big alcohol kick.

    Overall Impression
    This is a solid tripel and hits all the right notes. The alcohol is quite prominent but it still maintains the essential drinkability factor of a Belgian beer, I wonder though if a cooler pitching temperature might reign in that alcohol flavour a little? From memory, this is the only 100% extract beer I've had and there's no way I'd have guessed it wasn't AG, the malt aromas and flavours made me think pilsner malt. I served this straight from the fridge, but as it warmed slightly the flavours definitely improved and the soft maltiness came forward more, balancing it out nicely. The more I drank the more I enjoyed it! Thanks for sending this, overall it's a lovely beer and makes me wish I was still in Belgium :(

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
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  6. Jan 30, 2018 #146

    dad_of_jon

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    Cheers Steve, your descriptive powers are far better than mine. When I read your review I thought yes, you've nailed the flavours. I think the alcohol taste is from using the citrussy extract. I've pitched with the same yeast at 27 and the alcohol hasn't been as noticeable although TBH that was only a 7% brew. And like you looking forward to my next trip to Belgium.
     
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  7. Jan 30, 2018 #147

    stigman

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    After a few of my homebrews I've cracked open Steve's rye saison. I know nothing about this apart from, it's fu#@ing amazing. Hats of to you sir:hat:
    Appearance- dark copper with a nice tightly packed off white head that lasted well.
    Aroma- nice spicy/orange-citrus esters slite caramel, bready. Some floral hops.
    Flavour- fruity nice light hoppynes. Not getting much rye but that's a good thing cos I'm not keen, lightly bittered it has a fantastic dry finish. Tastes somewhat like a tripel to me with the Belgianyness(is that a word) coming through well.
    Overall- wow absolutely fantastic well done Steve, nice spritzy carbonation well balanced and super drinkable. DSC_0927.JPG
     
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  8. Jan 31, 2018 #148

    strange-steve

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    I've never used hop extract, so you could well be right.
     
  9. Jan 31, 2018 #149

    strange-steve

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    @stigman very kind of you, thanks :hat:
    I actually thought it was quite tripel-like myself, and I'm glad the rye didn't spoil it for you.
     
  10. Jan 31, 2018 #150

    krispn

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    I have this in my fridge and hope to get it tasted this weekend - the good lady is a fan of both rye and saison but she's been on night shift all week and It would simply be wrong to not let her have a sip or two ;)

    There could be a recipe request via PM in the not too distant future for this one as she does a bit of home brewing too!
     
  11. Jan 31, 2018 #151

    strange-steve

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    Despite having over 30% rye malt, it's actually not too in your face. I think it's because rye flavours blend really well with the spicy saison yeast, but it is noticeable in the finish. Hope you like it.
     
  12. Jan 31, 2018 #152

    JFB

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    Had the pleasure of Steve's rye Saison the other night. I know a bit more about the beer from above posts, this is my hand written review from on the night.

    Poured fantastic lots of head that then reclined but kept a nice retention. Lots of orange on the nose with classic spicy Saison notes.
    Flavour wise again lots of orange with a caramel malty back ground. I'd love to know if you used peel in the recipe or if its yeast that's giving off all the fresh orange?
    I would say low on the IBU's and hops. I felt not to much rye(!). However the balanced spiciness of the rye really shown through because of the low bittering.
    The beer had a really dry refreshing sense to it that could see it being drunk all night long. Perfect carbonation. No idea of strength would guess 5-6abv?
    There was a slight haze to the beer that I like and see in most rye beers I've drank.

    This beer was a really really good Saison and my missis who is a Saison monster wants me to brew it!!
    So I'm thinking your going to have to post the recipe. Please.

    Thanks for sending
    John
     

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  13. Jan 31, 2018 #153

    strange-steve

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    Cheers @JFB
    Nope no orange in there, it must be citrusy esters from the yeast, though now you've pointed it out I can taste it! The recipe is here in the brewday thread. :hat:
     
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  14. Feb 11, 2018 #154

    strange-steve

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    Tonight is finally time for Saison Lambicus courtesy of @JFB
    Love me a brett beer so looking forward to this!

    Aroma
    Beautifully brett-y, with a slightly wine-like fruity aroma and some background earthiness.

    Appearance
    A lovely deep amber colour, thin white head and medium carbonation.

    Flavour
    Quite tart initially, which fades to a pleasant soft, grainy flavour, a fairly substantial hop bitterness and a lingering fruity (kiwi and apple maybe?) and funky finish, reminding me somewhat of a farmhouse style cider. A slight hint of alcohol.

    Overall Impression
    This was quite surprising in that it didn't have as much earthy brett character as I expected from the aroma. It's unmistakably there but just not as forceful as expected. The initial sourness isn't quite as crisp and clean as the previous beer, I think maybe because of the slightly too high bitterness (for my taste). I'm cavilling a bit here, but only because I know how good your beers are, and actually this is still very good. I served it a bit too cold, and as it warmed, the flavours really started to come through and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This one wasn't quite up there with the rye beer for me though, it wasn't entirely as well balanced, but still great! Thanks for another interesting and unusual beer :hat:

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Feb 13, 2018 #155

    JFB

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    Cheers Steve, This one was defiantly interesting and unusual!
    I would say its my favourite beer ive brewed to date. I know its not perfect but for the fact it seems to change with every bottle.
    Allowing myself only two per month, its been through some stages. At the start it was very tart/sour then it went to a stage where it was hard to drink, just not good at all.. after that it came good even my misses had couple who had initially pulled all sorts of gross faces when trying.
    I had one a week ago and was a little disappointed that the sour taste had mellowed slightly.
    My misses has picked out the rustic cider notes, think she's a better beer taster than myself.
    I've not given many away as I know it not for everyone. One friend who travels all over Europe visiting breweries thought it was great. His comment "I love a challenging beer!"
    Hopefully I'm bottling my flanders red this week "Snow Red" so in a month or so ill get one in the post for you:thumb:
     
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  16. Feb 13, 2018 #156

    strange-steve

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    Challenging is a good description for this beer, and I've made similar brews in the past, ones that I'll give out only to a certain type of person.

    I think the changeable nature of brett/mixed fermentation beers is part of the attraction for me, you never quite know what you're going to get and it's where the "art" of brewing takes over from the "science".
     
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  17. Feb 13, 2018 #157

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    Sorry - loads of questions!
    Is the 55° protein rest a regular part of your mash schedule, or was it specifically for the rye?
    Does a protein rest improve head retention?
    Am I correct in thinking that a longer rest at 63° followed by a shorter 70° rest will result in a less malty beer?
    I am planning my first kölsch and was thinking that it needs a longer maltose rest and a shorter dextrinization rest.
     
  18. Feb 17, 2018 #158

    strange-steve

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    @BeerCat very kindly sent me a couple of beers and earlier today I had the first which was a kolsch...

    Aroma
    Very nice. Lightly fruity with a little spice (which could be alcohol), reminds me somewhat of a light Belgian blond. A hint of caramely malt.

    Appearance
    Copper amber colour, slightly darker than expected, with a nice creamy white head, very good retention.

    Flavour
    A lot of hop bitterness initially, earthy and spicy, a slight hint of yeast esters with a dry, lingering finish.

    Overall Impression
    Kolsch is a tough style to nail (I certainly haven't managed it yet), it requires a light touch to maintain the delicate, easy-drinkability of the style, and I think the balance is just a little off with this unfortunately which has caused the subtle kolsch character to become a little lost. I think reigning in the bittering addition would help, and maybe using something like saaz would give a more authentic and elegant flavour. That's not so say it's a bad beer, it's not, just not as expected and perhaps a little too bold. I'm curious, what was your water profile for this?

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Feb 17, 2018 #159

    strange-steve

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    Sorry I just saw your post. I don't always use a 55° rest, but for German and Belgian styles brewed with continental malts I usually will. It was used for that beer to help loosen the mash because rye can get very sticky.

    In theory yes, but keep it towards the higher end of the range (around 55 is fine) and I would skip it if using British malts, you'll probably do more harm than good.

    Not necessarily less malty but more fermentable. The idea with step mashing as far as I'm aware, is that you can increase fermentability while maintaining or even enhancing malt flavours, making it ideal for German and Belgian beers (though I'm certainly not an expert on step mashing).

    Yeah I think you're right, that's what I did for my last kolsch.
     
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  20. Feb 18, 2018 #160

    BeerCat

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    Hi Steve. I have to admit i am not sure what the above beer is. It should be golden and clear so embarrassingly i think i must of sent the wrong beer or it was labelled incorrectly. Stupid thing is i even forgot to write down what i sent so cant check that either. Apologies will get another one of to you once its ready.
     

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