Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Playing with the Darkness

It has been almost two months since I brewed the 2.0 version of Experimental Dark Matter, my dark smoked ale which I can never decide if it is a mild or a porter. The recipe for this version of EDM, new name pending admittedly, was as follows:

  • 3lbs light DME
  • 0.5lb chocolate malt
  • 0.5lb caramel 120 malt
  • 0.1lb peated malt
  • 0.5oz EKG @ 60
  • 0.25oz EKG @ 15
  • 0.25oz EKG @ 1
  • Wyeast 1782 Scottish Ale yeast
The vitals for the brew were:
  • OG - 1.052
  • FG - 1.016
  • ABV - 4.8%
  • IBU - 21
Ah yes, but how did it taste? Well last night I pulled a bottle from the cellar and gave it a try.

It certainly looked as I wanted it to, pitch black with just a merest hint of crimson at the edges. The head was about the same colour as the original EDM, but not as creamy, perhaps something a touch of wheat in the grist would solve? I had been forewarned that using excessive peated malt would make the beer too smoky, but the nose of this one was not smoky enough for me. If you grew up in the Highlands or the west coast of Ireland, where peat is the fuel of choice for many, you get used to the smell of peat smoke and I wanted more of that smell than I got. The dominant force on the nose was chocolate, dark bitter chocolate, backed up by earthy and oaky notes.

Drinking the beer again brought the chocolate flavours to the fore, though there is a subtle but noticeable touch of booziness to the beer and a light, almost nutty, roastiness. The spicy bitterness of the East Kent Goldings cut through the sweetness nicely so that the beer is not cloying. 

Overall, this version of EDM was good, very similar to the original and definitely something I will enjoy drinking, though I might prefer to make it for spring or autumn, and add a touch more of the peated malt.

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