Sunday, March 6, 2011

Consistency in Brewing

We've already had one post on keeping good records and that's targeted at batch to batch records. Another problem home brewers may face is consistency in a single batch. We bottled an ESB (Extra Special Bitter) in February that is simply a conundrum.

The good bottles are very good with that nice malty flavor and crisp hop notes that really made a very good beer. Some bottles have the flavor pretty much right but carbonated badly with little to no head and near zero carbonation. Other bottles have carbonated alright but have a slight solvent off flavor.

Racking the brain for possible causes of thes wide varying bottle to bottle differences has not revealed much. Carbonation has rarely been an issue before this batch (if we used the right amount of priming sugar, which we did here). It was cold crashed pretty hard so maybe there wasn't enough yeast left in suspension and some bottles did not get a good dose. Maybe the priming sugar (light DME in this case) was not evenly distributed in the bottling bucket. As for the solvent flavor it could be from some oxidation. It's a possibility that some of the bottles later in the batch were swished around in the bottling bucket a bit. Another possibility is wild yeast in some of the bottles even though they were all starsan cleaned.

It really makes you want to get a keg, even if something's wrong at least it's even across the whole batch.

No comments:

Post a Comment