The other night I finally cracked the first bottle of "Home-malted" Amber Ale, and judging from its complexion, I should probably call it "Dark Ale." Mmmm, very pleasing to the eyes and the pallet, but a bit darker than I anticipated. Very nice head, malty aroma, and complex taste. There is a bit of honey flavor (I added honey to all my home-malted creations after each try produced unusually low efficiencies), then some bitter, chocolaty notes, and finally the hop flavor, which is actually coming through more than expected. This one is a good mix, the kind of beer that you have to puzzle over, repeatedly smelling and tasting to try and come up with a way to describe its flavor. Overall I'm very happy since it's much different than the other two lighter beers I made with the homemade malt. Perhaps even my favorite one.
Here's a couple pictures of the Dark Ale in the glass:
As I've said before, malting my own barley at home was very interesting, and I feel that I learned a lot, but I'm definitely going to hold off on doing it again for a little while. It turned out to be quite a bit of work and I was never able to get very good efficiency from the grain. I want to try again in the winter when I can dry the grains in the sun without worrying about the Florida summer rains. Until then, I'll enjoy the last of my Amber "Ice" Lager, and now my Dark Ale, and plan for the next brew session, a recipe of my own creation: Jonny's Backyard Bourbon-Oaked Ale. Prepare for an attack on the senses! This one is a big beer with lots of different flavors vying for attention. I hope to try and brew sometime this week - I'll see you then!