I poured my first ever beer down the sink last night – not because it was infected, but because it was crap.

The Sugary Tingly Belgian started bad and just got worse – the beer equivalent of the Eurovision Song Contest but without the sarcasm of Terry Wogan to make it work. Born on a day I was hungover and wanted to brew but my Sakeland order was late and all I had was LME and sugar, the beer’s fate looked iffy when I realised – after adding the yeast – that I’d forgotten to steep the speciality grains. Never brew with a hangover.

But it could have turned out OK if the yeast had been good. The S-33 was supposed to give Belgian flavours and so work well with some sugar, but at 19 degrees it did nothing. So I upped the temperature hoping to encourage out a more interesting profile – and I did. But interesting doesn’t mean tasty.

In an attempt to introduce some flavour, I racked onto frozen blueberries – but there were too few to make an impact.

The saving grace is that the beer was made from things I would otherwise never have used – LME, sugar, and a yeast I bought on a whim but later found out wasn’t really suited to any beer style really. It was a fitting 20th beer – taking me back to my first beer which also used sugar and was awful. That beer was a disappointment – this one wasn’t. I proved if you put crap in, you get crap out. And I cleared some cupboard space.

The Sugary Tingly Belgian. RIP.

Over the next week I may throw away some of my other old beers. As I was learning with my first 15 or so beers, I produced some mediocre ones. They were good accelerated learning experiences – I was often making 4 beers at a time – that taught me a lot about fermentation temperature, hop additions, which hops to use, and bittering levels. But there’s no point keeping them around when I have better beer on tap and in bottles now.

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