Saturday, August 29, 2009

Checking the black ale

Since it was in the secondary for so long, I thought I'd get a reality check on the Kiss of Winter Black Ale. I chilled a bottle for 3 hours in the fridge.

The pour is thick and the aroma is of the Belgian malts. The head is a nice medium brown and somewhat creamy. On the nose are the malts and some hints of pine from the Ahtanum hops. On the tongue there is some sweetness from the Crystal malt and bitterness from the Warrior. The hop flavor is a bit weak. Some reviews of Ahtanum I read stated this and it seems 1oz was not enough. The finish gives some bitterness from the malt (not much, I did use debittered) and bitterness from the Warrior. For a 50 IBU beer, it does not seem as bitter given to the balancing of the crystal.

Possible changes:
  • 3 total ounces of Ahtanum with 1 ounce put in the boil at 20, 10 and 2 minutes to go.
  • Replace Ahtanum with Centennial
  • Dry hop with Centennial in the secondary
  • An ounce of Cluster added at 12 minutes to go
  • lower black malt to 1.5 lbs
  • use 40L Crystal instead of 80L
I'll check this one again in a week and see where it is. It is very nice now, just needs some tweaking to remove any hint of malt bitterness and kick up the hops a bit.

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