Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hoppy Belgian

This first beer is probably the best beer I've made. That makes for a good place to start. The goal of this beer was to combine the fruity flavors of a Belgian yeast strain with American citrus hops. Amarillo hops to be exact. I just made a British person cringe. "I say, proper beer does not taste like grapefruit." As for yeast food, pale dry malt extract and Caramel 20 gave the beer everything it needed. I will go into more detail when I get to the all-grain brews. To really bring out the hop flavor I dry-hopped with Amarillo flowers then bottle conditioned using honey.

The taste is resembles this year's Stone Vertical Epic. Considering I brewed this three months before the release of that I beer, the Stone beer gave me conflicting feelings. I was happy to not be alone on the idea of combining Belgian yeast with citrus hops, but now my beer was not so unique. I would say my beer is distinguished by the honey in the bottle and the touch of sourness from the fermentation. The honey adds no sweetness because its sugar is completely fermented. It does add to the wonderful aroma and a delicate spiciness to the flavor. The fermentation gave a touch of acidity (nowhere near a lambic or even an oud bruin) to accentuate the citrus and fruit flavors. Because fruit, especially citrus, contains some acid, the acidity in the beer was a natural combination.

This beer turned out exactly how I had hoped. Next time I brew it will be in the Spring and it will be an all grain batch. I might leave out the Caramel 20 malt to try to push the attenuation over 90%.

(Pardon the crappy picture, my camera sucks. Uh barman, my beer is blurry. And why is it in a wine glass?)


EDV said...

Just saw this post as I was looking for a hoppy belgium beer. Do you have a recipe for this recipe?


Tim said...

See here: