First a quick re-cap. When I made the beer a few weeks ago, I ended up with two different original gravities in the carboys - one was 1.040 and the other was 1.052, that 10° and 13° Balling respectively if I did my calculations correctly. The reason for two different gravities I think was the rather less than scientific approach that I took. Any way, after a few days of nervous waiting, both carboys fermented away to their hearts content.
When I bottled the beers, I did so about 5 days apart because the stronger of the two was still bubbling a bit and I knew that it wouldn't harm the beer to sit for a few days more. Plus I made such a bog of bottling the first that I decided a jerry can with tap was just what the doctor, and the wife fed up with sticky tiles, ordered. I also carbonated the stronger beer slightly differently - I used more priming solution, and hoped that the bottles didn't explode.
To the beers themselves, which I will do Cyclops style, first up the 10°, which had an ABV of 4.1%.
- Sight - light ruby, small tan head
- Smell - smoke, molasses, bitter chocolate
- Taste - light caramel, faint hops, slightly sour
- Sweet - 2/5
- Bitter - 2/5
Next up the 13° with a 4.8% ABV.
- Sight - dark ruby, tight tan head
- Smell - smoke, treacle, dark chocolate
- Taste - burnt toffee, smoke, dark chocolate
- Sweet - 2.5/5
- Bitter - 2/5
So my first brewing experience was successful, I got something drinkable at the end of it all, and in the 13° version, something enjoyable. It is shame I only have 10 bottles in total left, and 6 of the strong one - might use the 10° for some cooking....