In their books, accomplished homebrewers often advise the reader to keep notes on how the character of a brew evolves over time. A brewer who has insight into how flavors and aromas lent by malt, hops, and yeast evolve over time can adjust the recipes and technique to make a beer ready for consumption sooner or improve its longevity by trying to achieve stable characteristics. With this in mind, I’ve waited over a month to review my session ale, but I’ve found that over that month the only thing that’s changed are my perceptions and opinions of the beer, while the characteristics of the beer itself have not.
Six months have passed since I was last in the States. It was a long time without brewing. I came back feeling a bit apprehensive, somewhat doubtful that my brewing abilities didn’t atrophy. Nonetheless I was eager to turn around something quick, and so just a few hours after my return, I walked over to Bitter & Esters to pick up ingredients to brew a new version of my summer session ale, now named Lazy Day Ale. While I might enjoy this beer on such a day in just a few weeks, brew day was anything but lazy, exercising my new knowledge of brewing water as well as trying out some new beer body building techniques.
Welcome to Night Vale – Episode 35: Lazy Day
Over two months ago, I brewed a beer with Colleen’s tastes in mind. I wanted it to be light and crisp on the palate with citrus aromas and flavors. However, Colleen felt I overhyped the beer a bit, and that the citrus didn’t come through as strongly in the flavor as she had hoped, and that the beer seemed watered-down. Nonetheless, I was really pleased by this brew, and think it has great potential to be even better.
My second brew was crafted with Colleen’s tastes in mind, and in my opinion turned out to be an abject failure. I couldn’t taste it without involuntarily grimacing. It was disheartening to dump the second batch of beer I had made, especially since it was supposed to be my girlfriend’s beer avatar (beervatar?).
Now that I’ve brewed quite a few more batches, including batches for Nick and Jason, I feel once again eager to brew something for Colleen. However, it’s been two seasons since I last consulted with Colleen about what she would want from a beer, and each season seems to evoke a new incarnation of her aesthetic. Any beervatar of hers would have to be similarly seasonally bound.