Clearing out the homebrew

I took stock of my cellar* the other day, and found a few old orphan bottles of homebrew. I haven’t been drinking much at home lately other than some shower beer lagers from work, so have been bringing them to friends’ places for testing.

Blood Orange Saison

I made this back in March 2016. I was quite proud of it when I made it – it had no discernible off-flavours, was quite effervescent, and the blood orange flavour was subtle but present. I was fully expecting it to be oxidized and awful after almost a year and a half, but was surprised to find it delicious. The orange had faded to just a slight orange blossom aroma with none in the flavour. The colour had deepened somewhat, and the beer had an amazing honey and jasmine flavour to it.

Lychee Gose

I had made this in September 2016 for the GTA Brews Brew Slam competition. The taste was exactly what I wanted when it was fresh. After almost a year, the lychee aroma had faded significantly. The salt was quite dominant at first taste, but quickly faded leaving a slight lychee candy-like aftertaste.

Wild Thing Blonde

I made this in February, using a Magnotta Blonde Ale kit with Escarpment Labs Wild Thing yeast that they had isolated from an apple orchard in the Niagara region. It started at 1.048 OG, and fermented down to 1.002. I was expecting it to be dry, but it still had a good mouthfeel. The yeast gave it a marked apple taste, like a semi-dry cider. Quite delicious!

Double Oatmeal Stout with Toasted Cocoa Nibs and Niagara Cherry Juice

I am the least happy with this one. There was a bit of oxidation in both bottles we tried, and one of them was a gusher. The cocoa nibs lent a really smooth chocolate aroma and flavour to the DOS kit from Magnotta, but the sour cherry finish seemed off to me. My friends who tried it quite liked it, so it could be just me. Still, I’m going to make it again and use the whole cherry not just the juice left over from making a pie.

*and by cellar, I mean hall closet where we keep the vacuum and old crap.

Prud’homme Beer Specialist, session 7.

Aaaaand back to the PowerPoint for session 7. Of course, it’s not like there are a lot of other ways to present pie charts and line charts easily, but I’d be much happier if there was another way of doing data visualization.

This class was all about the Canadian beer market, with enough numbers and charts to make even this data nerd happy. By volume, by dollar amount, per capita , by gender, by province (did you know that the Yukon consumes more beer per capita than even Newfoundland? Me either!), by beer type (domestic, import, craft, etc), and beer as a compared to other alcohols.

My head was swimming by the time we stopped for the sensory evaluation. And then it was swimming even more after tasting some fairly high ABV Belgians. Definitely an early night.


Style - Belgian Pale AlesAffligem Blond, 6.8%Goose Island Matilda, 7%Goose Island Sophi, 6.5%
Appearancecloudy, strawslightly cloudy, coppercloudy, lemon drop
Aromabanana, spice, slightly acidicfunky, old musty fruit, old apple juice, hayfresh, slightly unripe pineapple
Tasteripe pear, slight vinegar tangcomplex, still musty, apple cider, leatherpineapple, apples, mint
Finishdry, very effervescentsourdry quick finish, little aftertaste
Style - DubbelChimay White, 8%Duvel, 8.5%
Appearanceslightly cloudy, strawslightly cloudy, straw
Aromalittle breadiness, but mostly yeast notes: fruit, spicesmell the CO2, some banana, melon
Tastepineapplehoneydew, granny smith apples,
Finishvery drydry, champagne-like finish
Style - QuadsChimay Blue, 9%Golden Draak, 10.5%Rocheforte 8, 9.2%
Appearancecloudy, amber honeycolachestnut
Aromabread, almondpeanuts, vanilla as it warmstequila to start, cherry, cardomom
Tastewarming, plum, fig newtonnuts, chocolate chip cookiecherry, vanilla
Finisheffervescentdrydry quick finish

Style - Flanders, Oud BruinLiefmans Goudenband, 8%
Appearancedark cola
Aromaapple cider vinegar, winey
Tastecurrant, caramel, grape juice
Finishdry, fast