Today I tasted Beer twelve (Chocolate-less Coffee Stout Experiment) before bottling and Beer seven (Green Scottish West Coast Flasher IPA) which was bottled a few days ago.

Coffee tasted great a few days ago – but now the coffee taste has disappeared and the taste remaining is… I don’t know how to describe it. I don’t know whether it’s because the sugar has now turned to alcohol and the remaining coffee is competing with the hops, or whether it’s an infection. I added more coffee before bottling (same amount as I added initially) and we’ll see how it turns out – if it is infected I’ll find out when I crack open the bottles. For Coffee I used a water container rather than a fermentation bucket and there wasn’t a proper airlock (I left the cap slightly unscrewed) so that may be the problem.

Flasher is just over-powered by Simcoe, and for me it isn’t bitter enough. It’s better than All Centennial but it follows the same pattern – too little bitterness, overpowered too much by one hop, and a little sweet. People say that a strong IPA takes a good month to condition so maybe it’ll get better (but none of my other beers have significantly changed after bottling so probably now). For the moment the perfect IPA eludes me. However I am learning something: I need stronger bittering, and to be careful with strong hops in the flavouring. 

Flasher was mostly Zeus and Simcoe. I have a suspicion that between all the hops from the monster hop order, the Zeus is quite old and the Simcoe quite new. I think Simcoe ended up overpowering everything, especially in the dry-hopping, and I don’t think Zeus gave the bittering its AA% promised.

Today I made a new beer with some friends (I’ll write about the beer tomorrow). It was supposed to end at 1.064. Boil gravity seemed significantly higher than expected but I ended up with around 1.053. I’ve no idea what went wrong.

Then before pitching I discovered that the cherry beer has made the bucket stink of cherries.

This new beer will certainly be interesting.

Final failure: After rereading the instructions on my hydrometer I discovered it is calibrated to 20degrees and not 15. Then after testing with water, I discovered that actually it gives the correct reading at 25. I’ve gone from not really adjusting for temperature (usually measuring at 25), to adjusting to 15. Now I discover that was wrong! Doh!

We all have days like this. Everything will be better tomorrow, won’t it?!!