Summer Summit Pale Ale – Tasting Notes

I have an on-off/love-hate relationship with some of the beers that I brew.

Some I taste when I’m kegging or bottling and I know that that particular beer is going to be great.  Others take a while to warm to…and that can be for a number of reasons…

Sometimes the beer just needs time to condition and show it’s best, other times it just needs to damn-well clear; believe me, once you’ve tasted an un-cleared, still yeast-bitten beer, or one that’s just too young, your memory can be haunted by it for that entire keg-full.

With this beer (, a number of things happened: I wanted some body in the beer so added a nice bit of wheat malt to thicken it up a bit; then I wanted it to be clear before visitors came for the weekend, so I fined it with some gelatine.

Fining with gelatine is simplicity itself, I used the Doctor Oetker powdered variety and dissolved a teaspoon worth in 200ml of warmish water and then gently heated that up to a little below boiling for a couple of minutes.

As I kegged the beer I poured the lot in.  No shaking, no buggering about, I just poured it in when transferring from the carboy into the keg.

I didn’t cold-crash it as I don’t have refrigeration (yet) but let it sit at about 18C for a day or so.  After this the beer was pouring relatively clear and smelt and looked good.

Then our guests cancelled out and I was left with a keg of beer all to myself (shame)

This pale ale poured a lovely polished brass yellow and had a great retentive sticky head.  The aroma was malty, straightforward and nicely hoppy for a pale ale.

In the taste I got sweet malts, a clean yeast profile (due to US-05) and a faintly perceptible candyish edge from the Thai palm sugar.

The hops were there; crisply tasty, and provided a light and refreshing bitterness that prompts much elbow-bending and supping.

All was good.  It’s not an spectacular beer; but it’s good, drinkable and just what I was after.

Then things got weird.  About an hour after drinking this beer, I noticed that there was a distinctly fatty, slick feeling in my mouth – like I’d had a really rich and meaty meal…something like a rib-eye steak.

I can only assume that this as a result of the gelatine being in suspension still and also maybe due to the additional wheat malt in the grist.

I ended up dumping about a litre of this beer – just to get rid of that weird slickness in the taste.  It’s fine now (and has independently been proved so) but I still can’t get the taste “memory” out of my head…

Next time if I fine with gelatine, I’ll be crash-cooling the keg straight afterwards and dumping at least the first pint!

(Yes, alright…I forgot to take a picture.  I’ll put one up when I remember…)

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