A thornless blackberry stout

23 Oct

2011 Black Chester Stout

We picked thornless chesters on Sauvie Island last year and made this for the second time.  First go-around it was damn good.  This batch?  Not so much.  I want to like it, as it looks and smells really nice.  It has a slight hint of the berries in the nose, to go along with some nuttiness.  Problem is that when you taste it you notice immediately that the beer is too dry (sort of like a Guiness) for the blackberry to work.  What happens is that without some heft and depth to the beer it tastes sharp and sour without any of the roasted flavors you want in a stout.  If their were some residual sugars left, a bit more body, and some more intense chocolate/coffee notes, then this thing would be fantastic.

We have consistently been inconsistent with fruit-based beers like this.  We put the fruit into primary with all of our recipes, but I am starting to wonder if maybe aging the beer on the fruit in secondary might be a better way to go.  What I do know is that it takes 3-4 times brewing a particular beer before we start to dial it in.  And of course, we skipped it this year.  Gotta get back on it next August.  This has potential.

2 Responses to “A thornless blackberry stout”

  1. grotusque October 31, 2012 at 1:50 PM #

    Fruit beers are exceptionally difficult to make properly, in my experience. So many overdone with fruit that you can’t taste the base style, or underdone so the fruit doesn’t appear at all.

    But it can be done.

    • Brian October 31, 2012 at 2:41 PM #

      Oh, I believe. It’s just been a struggle to date. Thinking of a Pear/Cardamom Wit aged on oak chips next…too much, maybe?

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