Wherein I talk like a salty sea-dog for no reason at all.
I'm on a quest to make a beer with a flavour that says "bacon". This, as a homebrewer, is my personal holy grail. When I close my eyes and adjust my tongue in just the right way I can sense it's flavour, like a siren call coming over the waves of amber liquid that are so often flowing towards and into my mouth.
I'm not quite there yet, but I've been getting closer. With the brewshare night at the local taphouse looming on the liquid horizon like a shimmering mermaid, I decided to see how close I could get in time to present a brew. The theme of the night is a stout or a porter, so I thought I'd bend my will creating a smokey porter for the evening.
I used a good amount of pale malt, along with some chocolate and crystal malt. But the main flavour I was hoping to capture came from kilo of smoked malt that I added to the mash. I think next time I will use even more smoked malt because the competition with crystal and chocolate was a little too strong.
I went very easy on the hops, with only 30 grams of amarillo hops, added right at the end of the boil, for minimum bitterness. This turned out to be a perfect balance, in my opinion, as the herby flavours of the hops sat just beneath the smokey, caramelised malts. In effect the hops simply supported the main flavours, propping them up list a mast holds a sail.
My new first mate, white labs Australian Ale yeast, proved itself a trusted ally as the cultures I'd made have just kept on churning out good brews. This was no exception and I have to say that the whole experience went smoothly.
It wasn't the bacon galley I had dreamed of sailing, but it was a damn fine brew. The test was the tasting and I opened up the keg just in time for a visit from an old friend who braved the voyage from the Americas out here to the Antipodes. A group of seven worthy drinkers finished off all but a pint or two, so I consider that they were well pleased with it.
Tomorrow night I'll take the bottles I saved aside to the Darlo brewshare and we'll see if it stages a successful mutiny or is made to walk the plank.