Tasting Notes: Classic Rauchbier (Beer #46)

January 12, 2013 by Jack

I have plenty of stuff I need to get done around the house today, but what better way is there to procrastinate than by tasting homebrew and taking notes? The smoked lager I brewed in early December is maturing nicely. Here’s how it tastes after a month and a half.

Vital Stats:
Target OG: 1.054 Actual OG: 1.052
Target FG: 1.013 Actual FG: 1.012
ABV: 5.2%
Color: 17.2 SRMĀ (Calculated)
Bitterness: 27.7 IBU (Calculated)
Yeast: Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager
Fermentation Temperature:50°F until 75% attenuated, then 67°F for 3 days

Aroma
Balanced between sweet smoke and Munich-like malt character. Smoke quality is bacon-like. Malt is toasty with a very light caramel quality. No hop aroma. No diacetyl, DMS, sulfur, etc. Clean lager character.

Appearance
Medium amber color. Average sized, long lasting, cream colored head. Brillian clarity.

Flavor
Initial soft, toasty, Oktoberfest-like malt character yields immediately to pronounced campfire smokiness reminiscent of smoked ham. Attack is moderately sweet, but finishes pleasantly dry. Smoke flavor is of medium intensity. Low-moderate hop bitterness. Very low noble hop flavor. Clean lager character. No diacetyl, DMS, sulfur, esters, or phenols (aside from smoke).

Mouthfeel
Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Very smooth. No astringency. Significant alcohol warmth on the finish. Smoke and moderate hop bitterness linger.

Overall Impression
A clean, slightly crisp, very malty Oktoberfest style beer with a pronounced smoke character in the aroma and flavor. I am very happy with this beer for how clean and balanced it is. It may be lacking some intangibles – which keeps it from being amazing – but it is a very good beer overall. Much better than my first attempt at the style, which itself was pretty decent.

It looks darker here than in real life.

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