Tagged ‘fruit‘

Strawberry Belgian Blonde Tasting

Strawberry Belgian Blonde

The first keg of 11 gallons of strawberry Belgian Blonde ale is drinking quite nicely after only a week in the keg. Since I cold-infused the fruit at 34 degrees, I went ahead and boost-carbed the batch. 30 hours at 30psi made for a quickly-drinkable beer, and it’s gained just a slight bit of dryness on the tonge as the carbonation has leveled off this week. The opaque haze isn’t surprising given the beer was fermented with Wyeast 3944 (Belgian Witbier), though I am surprised how little it’s cleared given how cold the beer was for over a week. Side effect of the fruit? This brewer can’t say. The beer picked up just the slightest hint of red from the strawberries, which left it a pleasant pale orange.

Appearance – Pours with a pearl-white, single finger head that recedes slowly to a white ring around the glass. Body is a thick haze of orange and gold.

Aroma – Light notes of strawberries backed with a touch of spice. Smells sweet initially, but leaves you with enough yeast notes to know it’s a belgian underneath.

Taste –  Strawberry flavor is present, but not overwhelming, and gives way to some of the belgian spice typically present with this yeast. The balance between the strawberry flavor and the underlying beer style is as nice as I could’ve hoped. At first sip, it seems on the sweet size, but the finish is dryer on the back of the tongue, and gives the beer a more balanced feel.

Mouthfeel – Really soft carbonation. I may just be a bit early in tapping this keg, but I think the added sweetness from the strawberries covers up what would have been a lighter body.

Overall Impression & Notes – I entered this in the Award of Brewing program (read about it here) at my club meeting Wednesday and received a 33. I was dinged for slightly low cabonation & haze (both expected), and it was suggested to use more fruit overall. I’d argue that would mess up the balance, but I’m not a BCJP judge either.

Personally, this is probably one of the better homebrews I’ve made to date, or certainly one of the more approachable. It’s a bit sweet to be an everyday drinker, but  very refreshing, and I was aiming for something tasty, but light as summer wanes. I may let the second keg warm to room temp for a week or two and see if the added sweetness from the strawberries ferments out, but leaves some strawberry aroma and flavor behind, but I’m very happy with this first keg.


Boathouse Brewpub Blueberry Blonde

Boathouse Brewpub Blueberry Blonde

This title has my tripping over my own tongue, but the beer is smooth as can be. A friend brought back a growler from Boathouse Brewpub in Ely, Minnesota and graciously shared a pint with me this week.

Cold Fruit Infusion

Part of the reason I brewed up a 10 gallon batch of belgian blonde was I wanted to experiment with adding fruit flavor to a beer. Sam’s Club had a sale on frozen strawberries, so I picked up two bags (10 pounds) to play around with. I thawed a few berries the other night and mashed them up in a sample I pulled, and it was extremely tasty, so did some napkin calculations and racked about 6 gallons of beer that’s been cold-crashing for 5 days onto 5 pounds of strawberries in a bucket fermenter.

My plan is to hold the beer at 38-40 for about a week, and if a sample tastes good at that point, I’ll rack to a keg and force-carb. If I think it needs more flavor from the berries, I might add some or all of the remaining five pounds at that point and give it a few more days, but I’m hopeful it will come through nicely with this first infusion.

Belgian Blonde Strawberry Infusion