Monday, September 24, 2007

Summertime (brewing) Blues

I brewed a batch of brown ale the other day and I'm deeply regretting it. It hit 90 degrees (F) today and my fermenting space got up to 82. I had pitched some Safbrew T-58 and it's throwing some sulfurous aroma, not stinking up the room bad, but noticeable. I've read up on this yeast and it seems like the sulfur smell is fairly common for this yeast. Also, I've used the T-58 before in wheat beer with some tasty results, so I will relax and have a homebrew....which doesn't help me relax.

Why does having a homebrew not help me relax? Well, because my two saison-style brews that I've made this past summer and they're both not appealing to me. The first batch was brewed back in May and tasted a touch too sweet up front and too bitter in the finish with some banana-bubblegum esters in the nose. It wasn't too bad, but seemed a bit chewy. This batch as since improved in one regard; the esters have dissipated somewhat, the finish is drier, but on the other hand, the finish is bitter, hot and a bit solvent-like. I used Wyeast XL 3726 for this batch. The second batch I brewed with Wyeast XL 3822 (Ingelmunster Ale) and the first case tasted great. I added some lemon verbena to add a citrus-lemon character and it added an interesting character to the beer. The second case, however, is not as tasty: the citrus flavor from the lemon verbena has faded, the beer has become very dry and some of the bottles have been over-carbonated. So, perhaps you could see how these earlier wayward summertime brews might have me concerned about my latest attempt at hot weather brewing.

I have had success in summers past brewing some tasty ales in my hot third floor condo, but after this year I'm really looking forward to some winter weather and cooler (under 80 degree) room temperatures!

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