Monday, January 07, 2013

Blood orange IPA gets brewed

I had an incredible beer a couple summers ago from Shorts' Brewing Company in Bellaire, Michigan. (One of many incredible beers I've had from the brewery.) This particular beer was described as a wheat wine with blood oranges and it was packed with extreme amounts of flavor. Seemingly lots of hops combined with the grapefruity bittersweet flavor of the blood oranges. (I'm guessing a lot of the supposed hop flavor came from the oranges.) Tonight I've brewed a tweaked version and I'm eager to see how it turns out. I brewed my blood orange beer as an IPA style more than wheat style, although I did use a about 20 percent wheat for body. The rest of the malt bill was Pilsner malt. I should clarify that all of the malt was extract. My weeknight brews usually comprise more extract (if not 100 percent) to save a little time. I also simplified things further by using the Safale S-33 yeast. I've used this yeast before with success in a wheat bock type of beer. I used the flesh and juice from six Moro blood oranges, along with the grated peel of two of the oranges. I used Magnum hops for bittering (one ounce at the start of the 60-minute boil and one ounce at a half hour.) I was a little bit excited to find the Zythos hops blend which I added at 45 and 50 minutes into the boil in one ounce increments. I also added a half-ounce of Trader Joe's Flower Pepper at the 45 minutes into the boil. The wort was cooled in about 20 minutes with my immersion wort chiller with two packets of the S-33 pitched into the fermenter. I accompanied the brew session with a Merry Ale, which was quite delicious, if I dare so myself. It was somehow more bitter than it seemed at first, with the hops playing against the crystal malts quite nicely. A very hoppy, bitter red with plenty of fruitiness, but also not to strong at 5.2 percent.

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