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

Smoked Pils

In my effort to stock up on summer beers well in advance I brewed, a couple months ago, three would-be summer beers. I'm following up on that now with a wheat beer or three. But the three I brewed early were a Czech Pilsner, a Kolsch, and a Smoked Pilsner. The Czech pils is about as good as it gets--I adore it. The Kolsch is a tragic disaster. I read a whole fucking book on Kolsch, came up with a great recipe, and the damn thing is sour. I may pour it out. I'm seriously pissed about that and I am on a mission to never fuck up a beer again... Sigh.

Anyway I'm trying the smoked pils now. It's been in bottles for like two months, the last month or so in the cooler at 34. It's very, very pale with an O.K. head and nice clarity. I can't remember what I hopped it with and am too lazy to track down the brew book. I think I used Hallertauer. This is much less hoppy (appropriately) than my Czech pils. It follows almost exactly a recipe in Smoked Beers for a sort of subtle North German pils with a small percentage of smoked malt. The nose is delicately hoppy with a subtle bit of phenolic smokiness. I have a feeling this will grow more subtle and mellow over the next month or so. I have this beer slated for heavier consumption in July and August when it's really good and lagered. It is ready now though and shows no flaws (sigh of relief). The palate is a little unusual. It's modestly hopped so there's almost a little malt sweetness coming through alongside the little noble hop bite. It's somehow fuller bodied than you'd expect. Anyway, yay, it's a pretty good beer and I need something to go right. I also tested my smoked marzen which is starting, I think, to come around. I was worried for a while as it had a weird tanginess I didn't like, but I believe that is going away with aging. Fingers crossed.


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