Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Elderberry Belgian Ale

Brewed this beer back on 4/2/2011

Went to the brew store looking for inspiration with a buddy. He wanted to do something unlike any brew we had ever done before. We noticed some elderberries that were intended to be used for wine making. We picked up a package and grabbed some oak chips to try them out. After spending about 30 minutes picking out stems from the elderberries we were ready to start brewing.

6 pounds American 2-Row
4 pounds Malted Wheat
1 pound Rye
1/2 pounds Melanoidin
1/2 pounds Cara Biscuit
1 pound of honey
1oz Fuggle Hops for 15min
2 1/4 oz Elderberries for 15 min
1.5 oz Cascade Hops for 10 min

Mashed 60 minutes at 150 F with 2 quarts/pound
Sparged with 2.5 gallons for 30 min at 175 F

Original Gravity: 1.058
Added Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale

Gravity @ 1.010
Transferred beer to glass carboy and added 4oz oak chips and 2oz of Elderberries

Bottled 4 1/2 gallons with 85 grams of sugar

First Tasting: The beer is perfectly carbonated. The oak comes through very strongly and gives the beer a wood/earthy taste that seems kind of musty. If I were to brew this beer again I would switch to a saison yeast and cut out two pounds of grain from the recipe to make it a little drier and lower in alcohol.

Second Tasting: The beer is about 18SRM in color, The head retention is just awesome and lasts the entire drinking session. The beer is a bit winey and is fairly sweet. Their is a little acidic bite to the beer but not like vinegar, more like burnt oak.

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