This article outlines why I’ve started picking a style to brew and trying to make it well. That brewer got way more experimental than I ever have but still, I’m hopeful that this consistency will not only yield better beers, but a better brewer.
So here we go again.
That is to say; after the last couple lager disasters I decided to go back to ales, this time using a lager malt bill with an ale yeast. Less complicated to brew, coupled with the things I learned after the last few less than awesome beers but with some of the lightness of a lager should equal awesome, right?
Not so much. Yes, some things are improved; the beer is clearer (which may not be so apparent from this photo but I do believe it to be the case) and a great many of the off flavors have disappeared.
Not to say that they all have; just a very tiny hint of phenolic hits at the end of the beer. I’ve since taken bleach to the carboy this beer was kept in, just to take an extra sanitizing step. If that doesn’t work, I’m moving to radiation.
But what IS quite visible is that there is no head on this beer. No carbonation at all.
And damnit, a lager just isn’t a lager without some foam to wipe from your lips. So it’s back to the drawing board. The off flavors are receding so I feel that I’m making progress along those lines; temperature monitoring and more effort on cleanliness seem to be improving many things. That’s a good feeling: I do X and Y becomes the payout.
But I have yet to find the X that equals a Y where Y is “My beer is carbonated in an appropriate time.”
Sure, if I wait two months, the beer will be carbonated. Who has that kind of time?