Brew Dudes

Homebrewing blog and resource

Light Struck Beer is SKUNKY – Off-flavor Experiment

We have all had skunky beer in the past, right? What we wanted to do is really understand the effects of direct sunlight on a beer. Check out another one of Mike’s off-flavor experiments. This time, it’s light struck beer!

Light Struck Beer Experiment Details

So Mike took a liter and a half of his Pale Ale and transfer it to a plastic bottle topped with his carbonator cap. He left it in the sun for just 2 hours. When we opened it up, he didn’t think it was enough time to skunk the beer. Well, we were wrong.

Immediately after he poured the light struck beer into the glass, you could smell the skunky aroma. It followed through in the taste. There is no mistaking that flavor – it tasted as strong as it smelled.

Since the skunk aroma and flavor replaced the hops qualities in the original beer, the malty sweetness bled through underneath. It wasn’t detectable in the unaffected beer, but in the experiment better, it showed up pretty well.

Hope you like learning about these off-flavors as much we do. Mike was successful in ruining beer. I hope we will be better at detecting it in the future and know when to dump a beer.

Stay safe and brew on!

American Wheat Ale Tasting Notes

I like American Wheat ales. There, I typed it. Let’s all watch this video together and learn about my version of this classic style.

Tasting Notes

The grain bill on this beer was 5 pounds of white wheat malt along with 5 pounds of 2-row American Pale malt from Rahr. I added a pound of flaked oats to get that silky mouthfeel. With some Centennial hops and 2 packet of Wyeast 1010 yeast, this beer ingredient list was complete.

The beer has a yeast note on the nose along with a soft malt aroma. The flavor was quite soft and clean. It came off as a refreshing beer. The hop presence was low and if I were to brew it again, I would add more of a bittering charge. I should have added an ounce to an ounce and a half to the beginning of the boil rather than the small amount I did add.

Classic beer styles are worth exploring. Don’t stop experimenting. Brew ON!

Dry Hopping With Amarillo Cryo Hops

I brewed a NEIPA a few weeks ago using a pound of Southern Passion hops. There are on sale and I decided to use them, all of them, in a 5 gallon batch. The resulting beer was good but I thought it could be improved. Taking that thought and connecting it to an experiment with Cryo hops and you have the results discussed in this post. Learn more about my dry hopping with Amarillo Cryo Hops!

What Did I Do?

With the beer in my keg and carbonated, I emptied the contents into my fine-mesh nylon bag that I soaked in a Star-San solution. Knowing that the bag would just float on the top of the bag, I needed something to weigh it down.

I couldn’t find any marbles, my weight of choice, so I got a fork out of the drawer, sanitized it, and dropped it in the bag.

In the video, we’re tasting the newly enhanced beer compared with a bottle of the original beer that I packaged before I added the hops to the keg.

Mike seemed to like the original beer and I liked the newer version better. They both had their merits but the hop punch in the new one sold me.

Thanks for reading. Have fun with beer out there. BREW ON!

Mike’s First Brew In A Bag Session

Mike goes nuts (well, sorta nuts) and is all proud about following a brewing method that has been in practices for several years now. Since this hobby is all about learning new things, we sit down and discuss his first time brew in a bag (BIAB) session and the outcome, a nice crisp Kölsch:

What Did We Learn?

Mike has been been wanting to try out BIAB for quite some time now. Again, this method has been in practice for many years now. He saw it as a cool way to try something new and keep the hobby fresh for him. He is also very interested in the details of how BIAB works scientifically. He wants to get into tracking the numbers and making sense of all of the BIAB folklore.

This week, we sample his first batch, as small batch, of BIAB Kölsch. It is a great style and an easy drinking beer. It’s a good beer to make this time of year (late winter) to take advantage of cooler fermentation temperatures.

We both found this beer to be a pretty good example of the style. He only used Pilsber malt for this recipe, but he’s thinking of using a little bit of Vienna or Munich in the grist next time.

We discuss in this video 3 or 4 observations Mike made during his first BIAB session. Hope you enjoy the video.

If you have comments, leave them below.


Forced Beer Oxidation Experiment

We have often talked about this subject off-camera and maybe a little on-camera too, but a way to understand off-flavors is to produce them yourself by doing all the things you were told not to do in homebrewing because you’d cause off-flavors. Mike did just that with this forced oxidation experiment with one of his beers.

Oxidized Beer Is Bad

With two glasses in front of me, I could tell right away that there was something different in the aroma of one of them. It smelled like sherry wine and it set off my brain to make a connection to the off-flavor of oxidized beer. The flavor followed suit.

There was a strong sherry taste that reminded me of barleywines that I have had. I would not say it tasted like wet cardboard as the texts say, but it was a pronounced sherry taste. Mike thought it was interesting that the hop character of the experiment beer was muted and the malt profile seemed more flabby.

We may try this beer again in a few more weeks to see how bad it can get. This experiment was eye-opening for me. Understanding off-flavors so that you can detect them in your beer is a good skill to have. Keep learning about your beer to become better homebrewers.

Brew ON!

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