This evening I sampled my first two batches of AG beer. These beers are still quite young, but, in the name of science, I felt compelled to give them a taste to see how they were doing. The first is NB’s Hope & King clone, which is about 7 weeks old and has been carbing in the bottle for a little under three weeks. The second is a Best Bitter from “Brewing Classic Styles”, which is almost 5 weeks old and has also been bottle carbing for about three weeks. For full disclosure, I came in about 10 points under for the Hope & King (didn’t boil down far enough) and the Bitter was about 3 points over.
At this point, I think the Bitter is coming along well and will turn out nicely after having a chance to sit and come together for another couple of weeks. The Scotch ale, however, is a different story. What I found most concerning in this beer was the appearance of an astringent aftertaste which I did not detect at bottling. My wife described it as “grapefruit-like” in character, but without the citrus – kind of like the bitterness left on one’s palate after a bite of grapefruit, but without the sugary citrus smell or taste that balances it. I detect traces of it in the bitter, but not nearly as much as in the Scotch ale.
I’m hoping that someone might be able to give some insight as to what might have caused such a flavor to develop between bottling and now. In one and a half years of extract brewing, I have never detected this flavor at any stage in the brewing process in any of my beers.