Sunday, 9 August 2009


It's only since I've been homebrewing that I've really appreciated what a difference varying levels of carbonation can make to a beer. All my beer is bottle conditioned so the carbonation level depends on how much sugar I add at bottling. I rarely know exactly how much beer is in the bottling bucket and just add sugar by a mixture of experience and a calculation I did a long time ago (Both these practices are on the list of things to be fixed in my brewing process).

Flat beer is awful. It gives the beer a terrible acidity, and drinking it becomes a chore. On the other hand, too much carbonation is even worse. I realised that the reason I don't like some bottled Belgian beers isn't the beer itself, it's the fizziness. Hence I prefer to err on the side of under-carbonation, even if it means I have to dump the beer violently into the glass to get a bit of foam.

I'm drinking XX at the moment. It's got very low carbonation, just enough to form a head, the way I like it, though a tad more would be nice. Tremendous chocolate malt character, but light-bodied, not full like (what I think) a mild (should be like), with citrussy hops (Liberty). I tend to agree with those who say large amounts of US hops don't work well in dark beers. Also a bit of roastiness. Let's invent a ridiculous BeerTwat "style" for it. Oregon-style 60 Keller-Shilling?

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