The crew got together on March 8th to brew a couple of batches. It wasn't only for our group to get back on the wagon and semi-regular brewing but it was also to invite Dan Naumovich along to observe. As you may remember that was the day a weather system hit. I had part of my roof fold up but brewing was more important so fixing it had to wait. My brew was a pale/amber ale that I threw together using mostly Cascade hops (a general homebrew fav). On the spot, I decided to call it Tornado Ale (Later I decided on Notus Ale. Notus is the Greek god of the Southern wind). It went to press as Tornado Ale so Tornado Ale it will be. Justin and I plus my neighbor got together to bottle it this past Sunday. We consider it ready to drink two weeks after bottling.
However I cracked on open tonight both out of curiosity and out of notoriety. I highly doubt it had time to consume all its new sugars but it was carbonated and had about a fingers worth of head which is normal for the type of glassware I use. Here is my thoughts on the Tornado Ale.
It pours easily with a nice amber color. The head is a few shades off white and resulted in about a fingers worth of foam after the pour. It dissipated in nice fashion leaving a thin lace across the surface.
The nose held hints of bubblegum which is usually due to high fermentation temperatures leading to a higher amount of esters in the beer. There might be a hint of banana too but I could be imagining that. I don't smell enough of the citrusy Cascades in there but they may have blended well with the other sweet scents.
Taste is near the solid middle of malt v. hops perhaps leaning towards maltiness with a slight to moderate bubblegum and sweet flavor. Now I hope that the priming sugars have not all been consumed and that time will reduce the sugar somewhat. I fermented at my house which lacks a cellar and my fermentation closet is normally around 74 degrees. I imagine the taste might have been different a cellar temperatures, between 55 to 65 degrees.
Overall I consider it to taste slightly Belgian-y. I really hope that mellows out and it might considering I popped one open after 3 days of bottle conditioning and at room temp. If not, it isn't a real loss since the wife says she loves it and Justin is fond of that Belgian crap.
I'll open another this Sunday and then bring around six to the next homebrew meeting on April 9th. Show up if you want to try it then. I'll definitely save another six for the Big Brew on May 2nd but that may be the end of it.