Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Homebrewed Young At Heart Stout Review

Brewery: My Kitchen | Beer: Young At Heart Stout
Style: American Stout | ABV: ~3% | IBUs: ~15
Serving Method: 12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass

Homebrewed Young At Heart StoutYou can read Young At Heart's Phase One (Brewing) here and Phase Two (Bottling) here

It's been about five months since my wife and I bottled our first batch of homebrewed beer, a Stout named Young At Heart. We chose that name in honor of my father-in-law's heart transplant a few days before we brewed. I'm happy to report that he's out of the hospital, back to work, playing golf once a week, and doing great overall. Hopefully the beer has followed his lead.

While homebrewed beer is generally drinkable after a week or so, the longer you wait, the better it gets (within reason). With all of the concerns I had at bottling time, I decided to give the yeasties plenty of time to do their thing. I've opened a couple bottles along the way just to make sure everything was coming along, but this review is based solely on the beer at five months after bottling.

I'm listing it as an American Stout, just for simplicity's sake. By my calculations, the ABV ended up at just about 3%, obviously not what I was shooting for (you can read more about this issue in Phase Two). Really, as long as it doesn't make me wretch, I'm calling this one a success.

Appearance: Deep black body with no light able to penetrate. There's lots of hiss from the bottlecap upon opening and the massive tan-colored head grows rapidly. It looks like this was just shy of becoming a gusher. Whew.

Aroma: Bitter roasted malt with notes of chocolate and a weird yeasty/fruity smell. Generally thin.

Taste: Pretty thin and bizarre. Malty, with dark fruit and burnt sugar notes and the same yeasty/fruity flavor lurking around the edges. Not a very Stout-like flavor profile. In fact, if given this in a blind taste test, I'd probably end up marking this as a Belgian-style Dubbel (though I'd be far from confident in that guess). No hops or alcohol to speak of.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body with tons of soda-like fizz. Again, very much wrong for the style.

Drinkability: With a sub-Bud Light ABV and a pretty watery body, this is one of the most drinkable "Stouts" I've tried yet. Of course, there's probably no one that's going to want to keep going after the first one...

Verdict: Well, my real goal for my first batch of beer was to end up with something that resembled beer and didn't make me throw up or turn blind. I've met all three of those strict requirements, so I'm a happy camper. I don't see this recipe ending up in a bidding war from the nation's top brewers, but I think it's a solid enough start for my homebrew career. Next up, an IPA!

Grade: F (But still a success in my eyes!)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

F?! No way. I like it. It is mild. It is kind of porterish to me.