Sunday, July 18, 2010

JDP1: Yeah, it's a big beer

Just bottled the case of JDP1 and as expected, it's a very big beer. The final gravity came out at 1.035, which means I got about 10 points of attenuation resulting in a 13% A.B.V. beer -- nearly three times the alcohol content of the average beer.
Despite all that alcohol (which you could smell and taste), it didn't taste that bad. Even in its raw state, the flavor was much better than I expected. I dumped a whole bunch of malt, honey and brown sugar in the wort, which resulted in the 13% alcohol content, but the beer wasn't particularly sweet and certainly not cloying. The malt flavor was there, but so was a strong bitter note and a bite, which where were due to the hops and the secret ingredient.
The flavor and final gravity also benefitted from the Scottish Ale yeast I used. Clearly, it was a good call to use twice the amount of yeast I needed for a 2.5 gallon batch, because the yeast thinned out the body of the beer fairly well, giving it a bit of a dry characteristic (well, as dry a characteristic as a 13% malt bomb can have). The color was also good, a real nice dark, dark amber.

Getting ready to bottle the beer, I was struck by the amount of trub that settled in the bottom of the carboy. I haven't produced that much gunk in the 5 gallon batches I've made, including the 7% IPA I recently finished. It just shows you how much malt and yeast went into the 2.5 gallon batch of beer.
So now it goes into the closet to bottle ferment for the next seven weeks (or so). I'll probably pop open a bottle toward the end of August to see how it tastes. Based on some recommendations I've gotten from other homebrewers, I may let a few of the bottles age for up to a year or more just to see what happens. If the beer is as good as I think it may be in a month, it will be absolutely fantastic in a year.
Regardless of how good it was, though, the alcohol level was way too high. I'll name this batch when it's ready and try again in a couple weeks. I need to get the recipe worked out by the end of the year, so I was happy to land somewhere in the ballpark of a Scotch ale. It's not perfect, but it ain't bad.


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