Tuesday, March 20, 2012

”A Little Less Than Ordinary” Ordinary Bitter Tasting

I was watching the round of 32 game between my VCU Rams and Indiana and with the frantic up and down pace I tweeted that I would need oxygen at halftime. I called an audible and grabbed my last deuce-deuce of ordinary bitter.

The story with this beer is that several months ago I brewed my standard pale ale and I decided to wring every last bit out of efficiency out of my mash so I ran off the third runnings to create 2 1/2 gallons of English bitter. Being a third runnings beer, it is a little low in ABV at only 2.1%, but you can definitely drink a cooler full of these and still string a sentence together.

I’m a little surprised that a beer that is long in the tooth at such a low ABV did not show its age.

Aroma: slight maltiness and earthy hop aroma; a hint of fruity esters – possibly fresh apple in the aroma; no diacetyl

Appearance: crystal clear; gold with a 1 ½ inch white cloud of a head that persisted for the entire pint and left a nice lacing on the glass

Flavor: Earthy hop flavor that more than offsets the soft maltiness; balanced slightly towards the hops but still very well balanced; trailed by bitterness in the finish; the fruitiness apparent in the nose is not evident in the mouth; no diacetyl

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with low-medium carbonation; no alcohol warmth or astringency

Overall impression: Easy drinking session beer; nicely balanced; almost too clean – probably want to consider fermenting at a higher temperature (it was fermented in the mid-60s) or using a more estery English yeast (used S-04)

As it goes sometimes, the last one was the best one for this batch. I think I’ll have to brew up another one of these fairly soon. I might even keg condition it and serve it cask-style out of the corny keg.

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