What do you see when you look at this picture?
Do you immediately notice that the bottle is filthy? Looks like something out of a French wine cellar doesn't it? Do you notice that the carbonation is bubbling away despite the very small head? Did you notice that the beer is super light colored for a Kahuna Homebrew? Do you see that the glass is half empty?
Or do you see that it is half full?
Well, it looks like it does because it's right out of the cellar.
I figure that this beer is... Maybe a 2007 or 2008 vintage. I really don't know for sure because it was made before I kept extremely detailed records on the computer, and the only markings are the PS on top.
What I do know about it is that it was an extract only SmAsH. That is to say that it was made with a single malt and a single hop. I do remember that those were a Pilsen malt and Fuggle hops. I don't remember how much of either, but this is a pretty mild pilsner by my judgement.
Knowing full well that this brew would not be one to age gracefully, I still decided to put some back. The whole point of the project in the first place was to learn something, so why not learn all that I could.
This is not the best beer that I've ever brewed. This is not the best beer I've ever aged!
What this beer represents, is a very clean old ale. It's got nothing specifically wrong with it. There is a bit of a "dirty flavor" that has appeared over time. There is no apparent oxidation, which is a nice note because these bottles were capped with the cheap "Store Brand" caps that were 500# for a dollar or some crazy cheap price at the LHBS.
I wish I could remember how I primed the batch. I do remember that it was only a 3 gallon brew, but the method escapes me. I may have used extract to prime. Either way, the bottles are over carbonated and tend to foam over a bit when opened.
Initially, this prompted concerns of infection, but the clean aroma dispelled those worries. There isn't really a hop note left in the nose, and it really isn't malty because of the Pilsen malt used. There isn't much flavor, and the bitterness is subtle. I is very interesting to see what parts of the hop profile stick around and what parts are lost to father time.
I wouldn't call this brew "Dank" as it's still fairly bright and refreshing. I would even call it's light flavor a bit "Complex" for a Pilsner.
This was simply an experiment to see what would happen. I like setting myself up with these little tastings, but they do take some thinking and effort. With the new year just around the corner, this is a great time to take on such a project if you are so inclined. Just brew up a batch, keep stellar notes and keep some for five or six years. Simple!
I hope this little success story has inspired some of you to try cellaring beer. Even beer that isn't really considered suitable for cellaring is an opportunity to grow your personal knowledge and expand your palate!