Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Illicit Tasting

After an ill-fated attempt to go to the Shakespeare Theatre last night, I came home and snuck into the basement. I was there for all the wrong reasons. I wanted a taste of the highly immature, barely week-old beet wine. It's way too early for that, and there's no way the wine is ready, but my curiosity would not be sated. As is often the case, I had to know what was happening inside that beet-red jug (get it?).

I went down with a jug of extra must that I've been storing in the fridge to top up after my tasting. Removing the airlock, I poured a little in a glass. The aroma! And the taste. Yeasty, funky, a little weird, but much different than what I was expecting. The sweetness from the added sugar in the must is mostly gone. That Montrachet yeast has been very active, gobbling up honey, cane sugar, and residual beet sugar to turn into alcohol and carbon dioxide. What remains is somewhat viscous and redolent of fruit flavors and a strong hint of banana. The yeast and shredded beets have mostly settled, but there's a lot of sediment in what I poured, leaving a chalky residue on the glass. The thing it reminded me of most is this beer.There was an immediate connection in my mind to the Weihenstephaner Vitus. The yeasty banana flavor is written all over it. There's also a musty, almost savory taste to it.

I topped up the jug with some more must to feed the yeast a little bit and replace the airlock. Needless to say, can't wait to taste the finished product.

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