Home brewing antics can now be found at my other blog; http://gettinggrist.blogspot.com/

Monday, 7 March 2011

Homebrew Review

I find it difficult to express flavours with much finesse, but I like to keep a record of my own beers, so I can look back and decide whether I'd consider doing them again. Here's the last three brews I did in 2010;


Malt: 95% Pale, 5% Crystal
Hops: Target, plus late addition of Styrian Goldings.
OG 1054
FG 1012
IBU’s: 39

This beer was brewed in November and was bottle conditioned. A nice copper colour, with muted ruby hints, and has a soft white head that soon dissipates.

It has a nice soft mouthfeel , with the emphasis on malts rather than hops. Maybe a tad sweet – I think that’s my taste changing as I’m beginning to find crystal malt a little too sweet and cloying these days.

A nice enough beer, but it needs something to help the head retention. Would I brew this again? Probably not – I’d like to increase the hop presence, add some wheat to help the head and cut back, or replace, the crystal malt with something else. I guess that makes it a completely different beer :)


Malt: 100% Pilsner
Hops: 100% Challenger
OG 1043
FG 1010
IBU’s: 31

I made this beer for one of our club nights, where the purpose was to brew a beer with a single malt and a single hop. Again, this was bottle conditioned.

This was a disappointing beer. The body was a bit thin - I probably could have done with mashing at a slightly higher temperature. It didn't clear as well as it might, although with just pilsner malt, there really was no hiding place. A few more hops wouldn’t have gone amiss either.

I have some of this left in the keg, and to give it a boost, I’ve added some dry hops, which I’m hoping will give it a bit more zing. It’s a nice clean beer, no off-flavours, just nothing special.


Malt: 95% Pale, 5% Crystal
Hops: Progress, WGV & Styrian Goldings
OG 1047
FG 1012
IBU’s: 32

This is a recipe I used to make all the time as my regular house beer. I managed to mess this one up though, as the intended gravity was only meant to be 1043.

As it’s not a hoppy beer to start with, the fact I ended up with a much stronger beer meant the hop ratio was knocked back. It would definitely benefit from a few more hops, but it’s still a nice easy-drinking beer. This one came out of the keg and had a nice, tight, white head.

The malt bill is exactly the same proportions as for the Winter Royal, but this one didn’t seem to have the same sweetness from the crystal malt. Perhaps that’s because this is a weaker beer? I’ll do this one again at some stage this year as it’s such an easy-drinker, but I must try to get the hop balance sorted out.


  1. Interesting, and refreshing, to see honest reviews of peoples own homebrew.

  2. Any chance of making me some Gluten Free lager or beer? I know the make them and sell them in the shops but they aren't very nice (as with most things GF!!)


  3. Now there's a challenge :) Unfortunately I think it's very difficult to get hold of gluten free barley malt in the UK, especially in the small quantities needed for homebrew. I'm following a thread on one of the brewing forums about coeliac disease. If it throws up a solution, I'll let you know!