Sunday, November 21, 2010

Belgian-Style Spiced Porter Bottled

Bottled up a "winter brew" which was planned as sort of a Belgian-style porter, but so far it's looking and tasting much more like a Belgian dubbel. (I used Wyeast #3787 which is purported to be the Westmalle strain.) It's gravity is on the low end for a dubbel, but all the characteristics (color and bitterness namely) are right on the mark. I did add some spices in the beer; just a little bit of juniper berries and star anise along with some cumin and sweet orange peel. The juniper and anise is detectable, but not the sweet orange. Perhaps with those spices this beer was destined to become a dubbel. My tasting notes at bottling are as follows:
"Smells of fruitcake laced with gin with a touch of anise. Some caramel malt flavor mingles with a bit of grainy huskiness followed by a coffee-ish bitterness (more like black tea I suppose.) Finishes pretty dry with a caramel note along with maybe a bit of toasted marshmallow. Really a bit shocked at how light in color this beer is so far."
I ended up filling 22 12-ounce bottles, 11 22 ounce bottles and one two-liter swingtop bottle with this brew. Again, definitely not a porter, but it is fairly tasty so far. The recipe is here, but again, it's definitely not a porter.

Meanwhile, I've started to drink the hop-bursted pale ale I put in one of my Party Pigs. It's turned out pretty tasty with a real smooth, yet assertive hop flavor and bitterness. I expected a little more hop aroma from the half-ounce of pellets I added to the Pig, but I'm impressed with the smoothness of the hop flavor. I'm not sure I'm sold on Chinook for single hop beer though. I'm thinking some Columbus might've been good as a dry hop instead of the Chinook. The recipe for this hop-bursted pale ale is here.

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