Homebrew Review: Jay’s ALTernative

I brewed this beer almost 3 months ago when we first moved the Doylestown area in Pennsylvania. I rarely get to brew German beers, with my only two being a bock and a Bohemian pilsner. At some point I want to invest in a fermentation chamber to brew lagers, with an aim on German lagers, such as bocks, pilsners and a Schwarzbier. For now I have to settle for ambient temperatures of my unfinished basement during the colder months, which can hover close to 58°F. This altbier was an attempt to get as close to lager-like ale as possible. I veered a bit from tradition with this beer and dry-hopped with 2 ounces of whole leaf Tettnang to make something unique.

Appearance: Pours a toffee-like amber color with some slight haze. Even after some time (it has been two months in the keg), the dry-hops impart a polyphenol haze to the brew. Rocky 2-inch head that sticks around.

Smell: Herbaceous hop character assaults the nose with notes of pepper, mint, and chamomile. The Tettnang hopping makes its presence known and masks any sort malt and yeast character.

Taste: Follows the nose with a noble-hop type flavor. The hop character is resinous, earthy and spicy. Subtle one dimensional malt character, and a very clean ester profile coming from the yeast. Some mineral-like flavors round out the taste (interplay between hops and malt?). Average carbonation, dry, and medium mouthfeel.

Overall: I like it, but a weird beer for sure. Not exactly an altbier since the hopping was off the scale for this brew. The malt character was muted for me, but this could be due to the extract that I chose. However, the beer was very satisfying and thirst-quenching despite the aggressive hop profile. Next time I’ll lower the amount of hops and go all grain with a 50/50 mix of Vienna and Pilsen malt.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Homebrew Review: Jay’s ALTernative

  1. Pingback: Jay’s ALTernative | Brew Science - Homebrewing Blog

  2. Nice alternative, Jay! Would you mind if I try it too? I’ve been trying numerous beer brewing lately and even had a few beer mixes/refills available for starters. But this alternative seems interesting. I like the feel of a beer that’s somewhat spicy. Hope I can try this one. Thanks for this great post.

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