Thursday, 5 September 2013

Homebrew 1 - Woodforde's Nelson's Revenge kit.

Well this has been in the barrel for a few weeks so it's not going to alter much now - unfortunately. Time for a review.
Considering this was my very first attempt at making beer, at least I can say that the result actually qualifies as beer, unlike attempt 2. (More of that to come later.) However, for me the positives end here. It's drinkable but overpoweringly malty. I actually added a hop "tea" into the secondary ferment but even this has only tempered the doughy onslaught slightly.

It's not a nice maltiness either. Not biscuity, no caramel notes, just kind of stale. I've never had a pint of Woodforde's in the pub so I can't say for sure but surely this simply cannot be anything like the real thing. Other Woodforde's beers were winning CBOB not very many years ago, for pete's sake.

I don't know what would cause a successful brewery to launch a range of homebrew kits but it simply can't be a good idea. For me personally, the name is now tarnished forever and I'm now very unlikely to ever buy a pint of real Woodforde's beer having had the taste of this stuff indelibly burnt into my consciousness.

As I've now discovered, proper full-grain brewing is a nuanced affair; easy to do but difficult to do well. I won't be making any more kit beers again but I'm glad I did one to start off with, just to get used to cleaning and sterilising all the kit, pitching the yeast, racking and all the basic stuff.

Having been quite harsh about the taste, it wasn't undrinkable by any means. My father-in-law quite enjoyed it but he's more of a whisky man and is pre-disposed to having a fondness for malt. He'd better get cracking on this lot because I need the barrel for my next batch.

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