The last drops of the stout were finally finished this weekend. I've got two clean, empty kegs now. This was a funny brew, it seemed to get better and better as it aged. I think I tried a little too hard and experimented with too many things and as a consequence the beer had a bit of an uncertain mien and it took a while to come into its own. I speak of beer like a living thing, and it is. A homebrewed beer is alive, as is any unfiltered, unpasteurized fermented beverage. Their are still living yeasts (and perhaps other organisms) in the mix, and the slow settling out of proteins and other solids changes the taste and mouthfeel over time. I suppose oxygen in the beer gets taken up in chemical reactions, much like in a cellared wine bottle, and that certainly affects the flavor. This beer was under pressure (carbon dioxide) and in a stainless steel vessel at 34 ºF but that doesn't mean it wasn't still evolving. I should know, I tasted it over and over again! Now, alas, it is gone. Time to cook up a new batch!
a.d. VIII Id. Mai.