Doctor Duvel

I'm like a sommelier, but for beer.

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Location: Upstate New York, United States

Favorite Beers: Orval, Samuel Smith, Duvel, Hennepin, Oude Gueze, Chimay, Dogfish Head, Anchor Steam, and anything made by Trappist monks.

Monday, August 22, 2005

533 Analysis

Trying side-by-side glasses of 533 Belgian Pale. One bottle-conditioned, the other kegged and dry-hopped with an ounce of Saaz for a week.

The bottle-conditioned head is a trifle more durable. Color is virtually identical--slightly clearer and maybe an eighth of a shade richer amber in the bottle. The kegged version is obviously hoppier; I get a bright, grassy, herbal thing overlaying everything else. The bottled one has much more pronounced yeast aromas because of the absence of that other layer. They actually do taste just about exactly the same--they both balance a kind of prickly hoppiness with nutty, very dry Vienna/Munich maltiness. This isn't as interesting as I thought it might be. I'm glad I have a small amount of this in bottles to age and see if it does anything interesting, but I'm also glad I dry-hopped the kegged version as it makes it much brighter and more seasonally appropriate.

Not sure what to make of this yeast (Wyeast Belgian Ardennes). Aging of the bottled 533 may help me decide whether to fool around with this one again. It reminds me of 3787, only a little spicier. I'm not wowed so far though, and it doesn't much remind me of the aromatics associated with Brasserie d'Achouffe, its supposed source. Though as the beer warms up the yeast aromatics get more convincing. Time will tell.

Also did some beer re-organizing today. Racked Holly's Chair to secondary. Dry hopped my XX Bitter clone with an ounce of Hallertau and a half ounce of Brewer's Gold. I'm not sure that's going to be enough--will taste in 10 or 12 days and see if I need to order more hops. . . The Emergency Summer beer will go straight from primary to keg this weekend, leaving a large yeast cake for the Smutty-ish Porter I'll brew Saturday or Sunday. All's basically well in beerland.


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