Dragon King Tasting Notes

I don't have a picture yet, for some reason... but I have broken into the Dragon King Pale Ale.

It pours a very light golden color, with a pretty good sized head. It is still pretty cloudy. The initial aroma is lemony, which I guess comes from Ahtanum hops. Then there's a big whiff of phenol in there, like band aids, still. Where the hell is this coming from?! All new buckets and stuff, so it's not that... Overall, it's not too hard to get past the phenolic smell. The taste doesn't carry it. This beer is an easy drinking 7.8% ABV. The 40 IBU aren't quite enough to achieve a deep bitterness, but there's enough to keep it interesting. The lemon zinger finish makes me anticipate that this will be a nice refreshing summer beer. Refreshing and nearly 8%. Phenols or not, that's not too bad.

Just today I got an email that had included the AHA forum daily email in it. They're having a discussion on phenols over there. Once you get past all the talk of "good phenols" that come from yeast, like Hefes and Belgians and things, I found a new bit of information. Many said that the band-aid phenol could come from high pH sparge water/wort runoff. I am pretty sure that my water is alkiline. The water report indicates it has a high pH, which I always thought didn't matter, as long as the other stuff was OK. Not that I've tested it...

But I also notice that my very dark beers don't seem to have a problem. In fact, before I started brewing, I didn't think I really liked dark beers like stouts and porters. Now I love them. Mine always come out really well. This would make sense with high alkilinity water, since the dark grains have a lot of acidity to them. It might be starting to come together.

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