The image you see here is what about 800g of lolly snakes look like after they’ve been sitting in a fermenter full of beer for about two weeks. Pretty gross, huh?
The beer I was making is called Snake Plissken (go here for the full back story), a beer inspired by the delicious Killer Python Kolsch from True South Brewery. I tasted a glass of it at the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular and, once I found they weren’t going to bottle the beer and I would never have another chance to try it, I decided to make my own.
With a bit of help from the friendly brewers at True South – they were quite willing to answer my brewing questions on Twitter. Questions like how much snakes to put in the beer, how long to dry hop etc etc.
Unfortunately for me, something went wrong with the beer. Something I’ve never found with any other homebrew I’ve made. It’s a little syrupy and doesn’t have much of a head to speak of. My initial explanation related to the dryhopping (or, more accurately “dry-snaking”). After I put the snakes in, the fermentation really slowed down, meaning the snakes were in there longer than I wanted. So I figured the extra exposure to the sugars in the snakes led to the syrupy beer.
Then I realised that couldn’t be right. Every single hydrometer sample I tasted had the usual consistency you expect from beer. Even the last sample that gave me my final gravity. So it couldn’t have been the excessive contact with the snakes that gave me the syrupy beer. My best guess? Well, I did carbonate the beer as normal with some caster sugar, so I’m wondering if introducing that extra sugar turned things a bit gluggy.
I’m hoping it’s something that will magically fix itself with time because I actually liked the way those hydrometer samples were tasting. They weren’t as spot-on as the Killer Python Kolsch, but they were definitely drinkable. Unlike now.