It was more like a bottling night but you get the picture. I primed and bottled the blonde ale last night so that it will be ready for the Thanksgiving festivities at my house.
It was only a 10 day primary fermentation, but checking the final gravity proved that it was close enough to where I wanted it to be (1.012).
I tasted the green beer – looking for some any contamination issues since moving the wort from the kettle to the fermenter was not as smooth or as sanitary as planned.
I didn’t taste any funkiness that I have encountered before when I slacked off in cleaning/sanitizing. So, I feel we passed the first test.
All materials that came in contact with the beer at bottling were clean and sanitized so it should be fine the rest of the way.
Ok – so no contamination flavor issues. What about the desired ones? Well, I can tell you that the descriptors for Magnum hops are right on. There is a clean, refined bitter flavor to the beer. Besides that, there really is not a lot of life/complexity to the hop flavor from what I can tell at this stage. I can taste why this variety is good for bittering, but maybe not flavor or aroma. We shall see. The hop flavor is certainly pronounced, but at this point I am not sure if it is balanced with the other flavors. That’s something to report on later when it’s done.
Mostly this beer is an experiment in the homegrown hops performance in my homebrew. I think next year I will pair the Magnum with (probably store bought) varieties that are better suited for flavor/aroma as late boil additions and see how that goes.
Other than that, the color seems in the range. The clarity wasn’t where it should be but I am thinking that will fix itself in time. With a couple of weeks of conditioning, I should have a fairly rushed but drinkable Thanksgiving beer.