Beer With Me Nano Brewery Nøgne Ø Pale Ale

Nøgne Ø Pale ale (left), Beer With Me Nano Brewery Pale Ale Batch 001 (right)

Nøgne Ø Pale Ale by Beer With Me Nano Brewery, 7.1% ABV, 40 IBU.

An absolutely 100% objective rating coming up, this is the rating of my very first homebrew! My Batch 001 is the Nøgne Ø Pale Ale all-grain beer-kit, which according to Nøgne should be fool proof. Guess I’m a fool, then. Please see my brewlog for details about the brewing process.

I had bought a bottle of Nøgne Ø’s own Pale Ale, and my attempt at recreating this very nice beer will mercilessly be compared to the Correct Answer™.

The colour of Batch 001 is light amber, quite similar to the original. It is however much cloudier, Nøgne Ø’s ale only has a good-looking haze. The head of my beer is smaller, has a shorter life-time and doesn’t lace the glass as well as Nøgne’s.

The aroma is… well… butter. Sweet butter and butterscotch are far too dominant, the refreshing fruits that are upfront in Nøgne’s beer are less obvious in mine. It’s not very bad, but something’s definitely gone wrong here. I suspect I bottled the beer too early (after 6 days), or could the butter be due to an infection?

The taste is moderate sweet and moderate bitter, far sweeter than Nøgne’s. There are some citric notes and grapefruit, but again the noisy butter ruins the experience. There is also a tad more obvious alcohol flavours in Batch 001 than in the real deal.

Yours truly admiring his (and Nøgne Ø's) work.

A good thing about the increased sweetness and the butter is that the mouthfeel is not that bad, I’d say a medium body and a quite oily texture. The carbonation however is a bit to soft, softer than the guys in Grimstad make.

Conclusion: I’ve actually managed to make a beer. The aroma and the taste is that of a beer. Not a good beer but it’s not entirely undrinkable. But I’ve definitely screwed up somewhere in the process.

Aroma:      4
Appearance: 3
Taste:      5
Palate:     3
Overall:    9
Ratebeer Score: 2.4

Addendum: after a couple of more weeks in the bottles the diacetyl is almost completely gone, and the beer is now nice and refreshing. It’s still too alcoholic, but both the Aroma and Taste is so much better, I’d say they are both close to a 7. A couple of my testers actually claimed that they liked my version better than the original in a direct comparison. I’m not sure if I would go that far, but it’s still tasty stuff!

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2 comments on “Beer With Me Nano Brewery Nøgne Ø Pale Ale

  1. Well, what we have here is a classic case of diacetyl (butter) which mostly comes from bottling/racking the beer of it’s yeast “placenta” too early. Even when the beer has technically stopped fermenting, you should always leave it for a few more days to ensure the re-absorbation of diacetyl by the yeast (which the yeast also produces, at an earlier stage). At the end of primary fermentation (about a week to 10 days) you can also raise the temperature a bit, as this helps accelerate the diacetyl-removal-process (at least, that’s what I’ve heard but there might be differing opinions on that as with many other things in homebrewing).

    How to find out if you have diacetyl, or if you are ready to bottle:
    http://www.winning-homebrew.com/diacetyl-test.html

    Otherwise: congratulations Terje! 😀 It’s cool that you rate your own beer; that’s just something I can’t do for some reason.

  2. Rating by Stian Krog posted on Beer With Me’s Facebook page:

    Beer With Me Batch no. 001 – a.k.a. Nøgne Ø Pale Ale Beer Kit

    The number one! 🙂 Pours a hazy honey-hued orange body with a medium creamy white head with limited duration. Lovely hop-fresh aroma of citric peel, grapefruit, pine, wet grass and smooth herbal caramel in the back. Taste is pine, grapefruit, grass, resin and hints of peaches and caramel. Some yeasty hints in the back, towards the aftertaste. Strong, like an IPA more than a pale but that’s also how the NØ version appears. Medium body and carbonation. A very nice first brew, but I guess I have to give NØ and BWMNB equal amounts of cred on this one, being a clone and all. 😉

    Aroma: 7
    Appearance: 3
    Taste: 7
    Palate: 3
    Overall: 14

    Total score: 3,4

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