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.

Friday, May 12, 2006


One more quick update from the brewery:

I continue to be in a slump. It seems like every third beer I make is awesome, but the intervening two sometimes blow, or are mediocre at best.

Here's two:

I brewed a beer I called Fawcett's Amber Ale a while ago. It's been on draft for a while now. The recipe is simple and, I think, sound. I didn't do anything wrong, but the beer is unsatisfying. For an all-malt beer it is peculiarly disinclined to form a good, sound head. Visually, it's a disaster. I've taken to calling it Ass-Juice Amber: it's just horridly cloudy and kinda unpleasantly brown. I am at a total loss as to why it refuses to clarify. The nose is all toast and coffee, strongly marked by the amber malt at the core of the recipe and the total absence of finishing hops. I like the nose. I even liked the taste until the last week, when it began picking up a slight tartness. I may dump the last couple gallons--it just disappoints me.

The second was a recipe designed to use up Fawcett's Oat Malt and Simpson's Golden Naked Oats from Northern Brewer, hence the idea of an oatmeal pale ale. This one has no head whatsoever. And for some damned reason it seems like it just refuses to even carbonate properly. Visually, it's not got anything on the above. It's cloudy too, just paler and sort of, well, almost gray-ish. The nose is all about the naked oats which are supposed to give a bright berry fruitiness. I get apricot actually. Almost nothing else, but very fruity. The palate is bright and light. It's not a terrible beer actually, though it's not at all what I intended. I'm going to go monkey with the keg and try to get it a little bubblier.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, happens to the best of us :)

Just curious, have you tried filtering? I had a nasty pale ale recently that just wouldn't clear. I tried geletin to no avail. I finally broke down and bought a filter. That did the trick, but the beer it still too sweet. I think the fermentation just stoped at some point. O well, brew on Dr. :)

11:40 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Nice blog. Yeah, I've never filtered. Just seems like it ought not to be necessary and I've heard it can strip out a little flavor. But, yeah, clearly sometimes it's in order.

12:31 PM  

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