I know, the title of this post is lame, but I couldn’t help myself.
Anyway, Vesuvius is born.
We waited about 3 weeks before opening a bottle since we were using DME to carbonate. From everything I’ve read, that takes longer to finish the carbonation process if using DME instead of corn sugar. Anyway, we didn’t chill the first bottle we opened for very long and decided to open it while sitting on my fellow brewer’s couch. Well, it turns out our beer was very aptly named because upon opening the bottle it fizzed like a bottle of champaign all over my pants and a little on Diego’s couch and floor. About half of the bottle seemed to be left at the end of this disaster so we all had a glass. First impression was decent. No yeasty bite to it and the flavor profile seemed right on target for a porter, perhaps in the Anchor Steam Porter tradition.
I put the rest of the bottles in plastic ziplock bags and put them in the fridge in order to slow any further carbonation and help minimize a mess in the event of the bottle bursting. However, it appears that my concerns have been unfounded so far. I’ve opened two more bottles since the first eventful debut of Vesuvius and am not getting any more disasters so far. It seems to open normally (although I open it slowly over the sink now just in case.) The flavor and drinkability of this beer on my second and third porter has vastly improved and I’m pretty impressed with this effort. The beer has good carbonation, an excellent head on the beer, a nice sharp slightly bitter porter feel with good drinkability. I don’t detect any unpleasant aftertaste or “homebrew” smell although the dark flavors would probably mask that in any event.
Next time through we should probably be more careful with using DME in order to prevent future overcarbonation. But all in all, I’m very impressed with this beer and hope our efforts continue to improve.