Beer With Me Nano Brewery Batch 004 A,B,C and D

Citra Enslig Humle, Rabarbrapapa, Nektaripa and Citratron by Beer With Me Nano Brewery, IPA/Fruit Beer, 6 % ABV, 60 IBU.

For my fourth batch of home brew I wanted to experiment a bit, and try to add other ingredients to the beer that just water, yeast, malt and hops. I made a simple Citra single-hop IPA as the base recipe, and after a week in the primary I racked part of the beer into three separate fermenters where I added nectarine purée, a rhubarb/honey mix and lemon balm tea. See the brewlog for further details.

The four beers turned out quite differently, so I’ll start with the two most similar beers, Batch 004 A and 004 C: Citra Enslig Humle and Nektaripa. They are both dry hopped with Citra, and in addition the Nektaripa is, believe it or not, the one with nectarine purée in the secondary.

Citra Enslig Humle and Nektaripa. Both dry hopped single-hop IPAs, with additional nectarine purée in Nektaripa.

In the glass the Citra Enslig Humle looks quite clear, at least the first glass. There are much sediments at the bottom of the bottle, and they make the second glass hazy. The colour is medium amber to orange, the head is average sized, white, reduces to a film with some build-up at the walls after a short time, and leaves some lacing on the glass. The Nektaripa on the other hand is very hazy even from the beginning, there are lots of tiny fruit particles suspended in the beer. The second glass turns out quite cloudy. There’s is almost no head, and no lacing, and the beer looks disappointingly flat.

The aroma of Citra Enslig Humle is rather intense, magnificently hoppy and tremendously fruity, with tons and tons of ripe tropical fruits. I’m really satisfied, I think I’ve found the perfect amount of aroma hops! The aroma of the Nektaripa is a bit less intense, and is more real fruity, not as hoppy fruity. The nectarines really shine through, in a slightly over-ripe way. The Nektaripa feels a bit less refreshing than Citra Enslig Humle, but still it has a wonderful aroma.

The taste of Citra Enslig Humle is light sweet and the finish is quite heavy bitter. Nektaripa is a bit sweeter and feels less bitter, and frankly a bit bland. The flavour follows the aroma of both beers, Citra Enslig Humle has strong notes of refreshing tropical fruits, while Nektaripa is laden with real, well ripened nectarines. I can imagine that some would claim that this is too much of a fruit beer and that the flavours of the hops are too masked, but I really like this fruit basket. Still, in a future version I would probably try reduce the amount of nectarine purée, to see if I can get the best of both worlds.

On the palate Citra Enslig Humle is a bit too thin and watery, but the carbonation is pleasantly soft. Nektaripa has a bit fuller body, and the texture is more oily. When I was bottling Nektaripa with all its fruity remnants, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t make lots of gushers, or even worse, lots of bottle bombs, so I primed with less sugar than I did for the other beers. That was obviously a big mistake, because this beer is close to flat, and that really ruins the mouthfeel.

Then for the two last beers: Rabarbrapapa and Citratron. In the glass Citratron looks a bit like Citra Enslig Humle, i.e. the first glass is clear medium amber, the second glass is hazy. Rabarbrapapa is cloudy. Both beers have rather small, frothy, white, short-lived heads.

Rabarbrapapa and Citratron: single-hop Citra IPAs, not dry-hopped, but with rhubarb/honey and lemon balm.

The aroma of Citratron has unfortunately not gained anything positive from the lemon balm tea, quite the opposite, actually. Instead of an additional layer of citric crispiness, I only get wet plants and compost. Ok, I do get some notes of citrus and lemon balm as well, but the rotting organic material is more obvious. The tropical peachy notes are still there, but these elements aren’t as strong as for Citra Enslig Humle and Nektaripa, not so strange given that this beer isn’t dry hopped. However, the aroma of Rabarbrapapa is completely different, much stronger and very sweet! I had forgotten that I had added some 30 grams of honey to this batch, but this addition really comes through very well! In addition to the tropical notes, there is lots of sugary candy sweetness and honey. Not bad at all!

When it comes to the taste the Citratron is quite similar to Citra Enslig Humle, i.e. a light sweetness and a rather heavy bitter finish. On the palate these two beers also feel quite similar. The flavour profile on the other hand is more resinous, the tropical notes are not as strong and the compost notes of the lemon balm are a bit disturbing. Now, for the Rabarbrapapa. This is another creature all together! It’s much sweeter and the finish feels considerably less bitter, but there is a magnificent acidity that really kicks in in the aftertaste. Such a fun contrast to the very sweet aroma! I don’t think I get much rhubarb flavorous, this sneaky little plant has given most of its efforts to the acidity. I don’t know if it’s the honey or the rhubarb remnants that lifts the mouthfeel to a higher level, but the body is far fuller than any other brews I’ve made, and the texture is smooth and oily. The carbonation is nice and soft.

Conclusion: The aroma and flavour of Citra Enslig Humle and Nektaripa are wonderfully tropical, but the mouthfeel of both beer isn’t quite up there, especially the close to flat carbonation of the Nektaripa is not fitting at all. The Rabarbrapapa is very different but tasty, acidic and interesting, while the Citratron is a bit spoiled by compost notes, without being a complete disaster. The two beers with added fruits had fuller bodies than the other two, especially the Rabarbrapapa. Conclusion of the conclusion: I’m slowly getting there!

Citra Enslig Humle (Batch 004 A):
Aroma:      8
Appearance: 3
Taste:      7
Palate:     3
Overall:   12
Ratebeerscore: 3.3

Rabarbrapapa (Batch 004 B):
Aroma:      7
Appearance: 3
Taste:      7
Palate:     4
Overall:   12
Ratebeerscore: 3.3 

Nektaripa (Batch 004 C):
Aroma:      8
Appearance: 2
Taste:      7
Palate:     2
Overall:   11
Ratebeerscore: 3.0

Citratron (Batch 004 D):
Aroma:      5
Appearance: 3
Taste:      6
Palate:     3
Overall:   11
Ratebeerscore: 2.8


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4 comments on “Beer With Me Nano Brewery Batch 004 A,B,C and D

  1. “When I was bottling Nektaripa with all its fruity remnants, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t make lots of gushers, or even worse, lots of bottle bombs, so I primed with less sugar than I did for the other beers. That was obviously a big mistake, because this beer is close to flat, and that really ruins the mouthfeel.”

    I disagree – I think you did the right thing there, speaking from my experience with similar pulp-based beers. Most likely, the batch will be better carbonated over time, as the near-dormant (chilled) yeast cells slowly chew through the rest of the fermentable fruitose hidden in small pockets here and there in the pulp. At least, that’s my theory but there might of course also be a bit of randomness involved in the whole pulp-thing… 😛

    • You were absolutely right, of course: two and a half weeks later the beer is perfectly carbonated! Unfortunately the nectarine aroma and flavour are a bit less intense, and instead there is a stinging alcohol feel. Still, I like the carbonated version better!

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

    Citratron – Citra enslig humle IPA med sitronmelisse

    The clear bottle is somewhat unsettling for me, as associations inevitably go towards the likes of Corona in the beer world. Spending a moment to disarm my impulse to be negative helps, and I pour my glass. The looks: a nice clear deep orange body with a small, short-lived white head. Aroma is unmistakably citra-like, with the characteristic lemony citric peel notes and some herbs, grass and hints of cat pee underneath. I also get some nectarine and faint caramel far in the back of the aroma, along with some potato-cellar-like yeasty hints. Taste leans more towards the malty side, however, with a surprisingly large amount of caramel and sweet grainy tones. Some hops are of course in the mix, too, mainly manifested as grass, citric peel and hints of rosewater. Some lemon tones in the aftertaste as well, but I don’t really feel the impact of the alleged lemon balm addition that much. Mild, and much more like an APA than an IPA in my opinion. A pretty nice and very refreshing hoppy ale with a light body and slightly oily texture. Not terribly exciting, but then again not all beers have to be terribly exciting.

    Aroma: 6
    Appearance: 4
    Taste: 5
    Palate: 3
    Overall: 12

    Total score: 3,0

    Citra Enslig Humle

    Clear orange body, small white head. Nose is much more one-dimensional than the lemon balm version, with grassy cat pee-and-basil herb tones dominating. Some rosewater and peaches in the back. Taste is fresh grassy-herbal basil and cat pee tones again, with caramel and light touches of pine and honey. Smooth carbonation, medium mouthfeel. Nice and fresh, and somehow more like an IPA than the lemon balm version despite the relatively low ABV. Hard to decide which one I liked the most of these two; they’re very even despite their differences. OK, maybe this one is a bit better after all. 🙂

    Aroma: 6
    Appearance: 4
    Taste: 6
    Palate: 3
    Overall: 12

    Total score: 3,1

    Beer With Me Nectaripa

    Pours a deep hazy amber and honey-hued body with a miniscule head retention. Looks a bit limp. Nose is unmistakably nectarine – very pronounced, as if my nose was actually close to a heap of nectarine peel, along with catty grass tones and general grapefruit/citric peel notes from the Citra single hop profile. The nectarine addition also makes a great impact on the overall taste; its strong fruity, tangy and near-tart flavor is all over this one. In between, the Citra hops almost feels a bit soapy but not too much, fortunately. Citric peel-ish sourness in the aftertaste. Full body, with very soft carbonation – a bit too soft for my likes, as it pretty much renders the beer to a fruit juice-like drink more than anything else. Guess the nectarines really owned this one. All in all a bit too much fruit and too little beer for me.

    Aroma: 5
    Appearance: 2
    Taste: 5
    Palate: 2
    Overall: 8

    Total score: 2.2

    Beer With Me Rabarbrapapa

    Pours a hazy amber-orange body with a small creamy white head. Now rhubarb! I’ve been talking to Terje about using rhubarb in beer before, guess he beat me to it. 🙂 Nose is not very rhubarby right off the bat; more general vegetable notes and mild citrus hints is what I get, with some red fruity tones and hints of…OK, I guess it’s rhubarb after all. 😛 Taste is pretty insanely rhubarb, though – no mistake here! Really tart and nearly astringent in all its glory, this vegetable rules supremely on the palate, flanked only by mild citric and grassy tones which are really doing nothing on their own; sorta like scantily clad models in a rap video posting to boost the ego of the rhubarb. Body is full and kind of oily (soupy?), carbonation is rather soft, like in the Nectaripa (previous rating), but the mighty rhubarb somehow pulls it all off regardless. A really nice flavor addition to beer and I’m definitely gonna make something with it next summer…already starting to wonder what it might be like in a sour ale…completely off the hook, perhaps? 😛 Oh well, I kinda liked this one.

    Aroma: 5
    Appearance: 3
    Taste: 7
    Palate: 3
    Overall: 13

    Total score: 3,1

  3. Ratings by Henrik Skaalvold:

    Citra Enslig Humle Batch 004A
    Hacy/cloudy golden colour with a fine off white head that leaves some lacing. Slightly sweet fruity and a fine citric aroma. Medium (pluss) body with a moderate sweetness and a fine bitterness. Nice balanced sweet fruity (tropical) and grape hoppy flavor. Some sediments left in the bottle that we tried to keep in the bottle. Yeast I guess. Moderate carbonation.

    Aroma: 7
    Appearance: 4
    Taste: 7
    Palate: 4
    Overall: 15
    Score: 3,7

    .

    Batch 004B – Rabarbrapapa
    Hacy/cloudy golden colour with a small off white head. Slightly sour fruity aroma with a subtle citric note. Medium body with a light sweetness and a some bitterness. Also a bit domination acidity. A dominating acidic fruity flavor. You can actually feel the rhubarb in your mouth. Alsom some sweetness and citric notes. My friends thought this was strange. It was a balanced acidity that gave the beer an unusual dimention. Nice stuff. Moderate carbonation.

    Aroma: 6
    Appearance: 4
    Taste: 7
    Palate: 4
    Overall: 14
    Score: 3,5

    .

    Batch 004C – Nektaripa
    Hacy/cloudy golden colour with a small off white head. Slightly sweet orange aroma with a nice grape hoppy note. Medium body with some sweetness and bitterness. My friends had a feeling that this was new style never before invented. Sodapop meets IPA. A rich orange fruity and grape hoppy flavor. Moderate carbonation.

    Aroma: 6
    Appearance: 4
    Taste: 7
    Palate: 4
    Overall: 14
    Score: 3,5

    .

    Batch 004D – Citratron
    Hacy/cloudy golden colour with a small off white head. A very dominating citrus grassy aroma. Medium body with a moderate sweetness and bitterness. Lemon balm did actually fit nice to the citra hopps. Added some moderate grassy notes and a little bit more intense citric taste. Rich citric, light grassy and some fruity notes in the flavor. Moderate carbonation.

    Aroma: 8
    Appearance: 4
    Taste: 7
    Palate: 4
    Overall: 14
    Score: 3,8

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