My last couple of beer brews have been very successful but I am less optimistic about my Easter Courage brew. Being generous, I could describe the taste of the unconditioned beer as “fruity” but, in truth, I think it would be more honest to call it “estery”. Esters are the result of combining an acid with an alcohol and are often used for flavouring. Indeed, they can be an important part of a beer’s taste but, unless they mellow out in the bottle, this might be a duff batch.
It is a new recipe but I doubt that is the cause. Most likely, I had the fermenting wort too hot for too long, which is a recognised cause of such flavours. As summer draws on and the ambient temperature rises, I could do with a better way of monitoring what temperature the developing beer is at (and how consistent it is, as temperature swings also knock back yeast vitality and rapid reproduction to fill the gaps could also be to blame). I also used a different yeast although rumours have it that Wilkinson’s Gervin Ale Yeast is not too dissimilar from the Danstar Nottingham I used for the earlier brews. It could also have been the fermenting vessel (designed to brew up to 25l so a lot of head room for the 6l or so I had in there) or the new sanitiser.
That will teach me not to change too many variables at once. With luck it will turn out at least drinkable if not fantastic. For the record, it did reach the target gravity of 1.006 (@ 17.5°C) and I primed it with 30g of granulated (cane) sugar before filling 12 bottles (half at 500ml and half slightly larger – probably 1 pint or 568ml).