I tasted this just after a Flensburger Pilsner, so it's interesting to pull out some of the contrasting tastes between a very clean pilsner and a relatively clean tasting kolsch.
Pours with a generous creamy white head, which dissipates and leaves no lacing. Pale coloured, though not quite as pale as the pilsner. Good level of carbonation for the style. Some very slight green apple (possibly acetaldehyde but slightly different I think). Other noticable 'white wine' type flavours. Little to no hop aroma on this one. Bitterness is clean and at an appropriate level for the style. Dry finish.
A good beer, reasonably well brewed. I am very sensitive to acetaldehyde and I think I can possibly detect it here, but only a very tiny amount. I've gotten this with both Kolsch yeasts I've used (WLP029 and WY2568), but with other yeasts any acetaldehyde tends to disappear with time.
I would like to see a better head and lacing on this and some of my other beers. I wonder if no-chilling influences this. I think I've noticed a correlation here, but I need to keep track of things a little better to know for sure.
This beer is almost simultaneously a triumph and a disaster. With eyes closed it is a really fine example of a drinkable, sessionable english bitter ale. However with eyes open it's a mess. It has a serious haze problem, which cold conditioning has had no effect on.
If you can recall the brewing notes on this one, the grain had been sitting in my garage crushed for 9 months before I got around to using it. A taste test seemed to confirm it was in reasonable condition, but I think it's extremely likely that it's the cause of this haze. I have found a few examples on homebrew forums where brewers found the same haze problem with very old grain. I don't know how to explain this scientifically, but empirically there does appear to be a strong connection.
This is a shame, as usually any beers I ferment with WY1968 are extremely bright. Also I place a lot of importance on having my beer reasonably bright, and this haze is annoying me. Still, it's a really nice beer to drink, so not a total mess.
Got down to an FG of 1.012 on this, so I think the O2 injection at yeast pitching time is having the desired effect. Also this beer was ready to drink (tastewise) a little quicker than I would have expected. I think I'm sold on O2 for aeration.
Dead Guy Clone
This beer had me very confused for a while. Kegged after 3 weeks, I tasted it quite regularly over the following three weeks. It began with some harsh phenolic type notes, little to no hop character, poured with no head, and displayed a slight haze. This changed slowly at first and then rapidly to a beer with beautiful toasty, buiscuity notes and a spicy hop character. The rapid change seemed to coincide with the haze disappearing, so I think perhaps some of the particulate in suspension was causing the phenolic type tastes.
|Dead Guy Clone|
|Dead Guy Clone|
Unfortunately, the balance of this beer was off by a little, missing perhaps 10 IBUs of bitterness. Also it would have benefited from a little more late hop character. I can't blame the recipe for this, as the hops I used were lacking in AA% and my attempts to make up for this on the day with some high AA% hops I had stored were unsuccessful. This was probably due to the age of the high AA% hops.