First, I recently noticed I don’t write a lick about the taste of a single beer I brew – unless in passing. Not really a great way to 1) log them for myself. 2) sit down and think about the beer beyond good vs bad 3) report on impression to the audience (or lack there of). So here we are, leaping head first into this thing.
Earl of Gray Pale
The Story: I already wrote about this beer a few times, but here it is in short and total: So I wanted to do brew a clean beer (finally) and thought a nice neo-american pale using fresh picked wet hops would be great. My brew buddy, bless his enthusiasm, tooth the reigns while I and my father-in-law picked hops. Miscommunication on when adding hops and so there ended up with a 90min and 60min addition along with 30 and 10 and 0. It was remote dry hopped with help from my father-in-law who, bless his enthusiasm, ended up leaving the air locks dry. Okay fine, so I bottled it anyway. That is what we’re left with.
The nose: malty, mellow funk, caramel notes; that is it. Seemingly blah mix of malt. Honestly one of the least aromatic beers I’ve ever smelled – just… nothing. Very odd. Maybe it was the cold I have/had, but there wasn’t anything. I went as far as dumping and sloshing a sample in a smaller glass to get something, anything from it. Failure at every pass.
The palate: boring, not bitter enough even for even a pale. Clean, with a little more noticeable, but still light, funk. Flavor is light and fleeting with a meandering off flavor, most of the malt forwardness is gone and I’m left with a limp beer.
The result: 2/5; an uninspired pale, drab; needed A LOT more hops; no hint of the tea besides a strange tannin (maybe?) that I can’t put my finger on – which could be some strange off flavor I don’t recognize.
What I’d change: A LOT more hops, 1:5 on these fresh picked hops was nowhere near the right ratio. Use straight bergamot instead of cold brew tea. Dry hop it myself. Bottle it sooner. Try it again.