It's been a month since I set off for windswept Sunderland to learn how to make my beer a little bit better. A whole month! Seems like only yesterday. Having said that, it's lucky they sent us home with the notes, as there was too much information for 20 drinkers to completely absorb.
If you have a wort chiller, the next bit doesn't apply!
The main issue for me is DMS (Dimethylsulphide), which is a taste/aroma compound which makes the beer taste and smell of cabbage, or overcooked sweetcorn. It can be present in small amounts and affect people's drinking pleasure differently. For me, though, not nice. So, after brewlab, have I got rid of it?
Well, in short, so far, yes! And thank God too, because it was ruining my beer. It was all about the cooling. The precursor to DMS compounds can be found in malted barley, and aggravated into existence during mashing, but then evaporated during a long rolling boil, to below noticeable amounts. Which is great. No problems then.
The DMS compounds continue to form, however, as the wort cools down, and longer cooling periods, as used by myself with no way of chilling the wort, can bring the levels of DMS back up to really noticeable levels! So, although I don't have a cooling coil yet, it's on the list. I did, though, manage to maneuver the hot copper into a sink with cold water, which made short work of bringing the temperature down to about 60oc. Now we'll have to see after fermentation is complete if that was enough!
The recipe was for my usual Golden ale, which means that in spite of all the hops, there's no room to hide any unruly smells.
No pictures with this one, as I couldn't take a picture of the smell. Maybe in another couple of years.