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Showing posts from May, 2020

The Dark Fruit Project 1.0 (Belgian Dark Strong)

I've made several Belgian Dark Strong Ale recipes over the 8 or so years I've been home brewing. That's because the style is by far one of my favorites.  I enjoy its malt-forward, complex, and dark fruit flavors and the warming note from the high alcohol content. However, I've been disappointed with most of my brews to date (despite some competition-winning versions) because the dark fruit flavor just doesn't "pop" to the front of my palate.  This, for me, is one of the most enjoyable flavor elements of both the Dark Strong Ale and the Dubbel.
During a live chat with a far more knowledgeable and experienced brewer, he suggested that I try experimenting with increased amounts of Special B Malt (up to 15% of the grist) and Dark Candi Sugar.  Today, I've decided to brew a fairly traditional Dark Strong style recipe but to include an extremely generous proportion (around 10%) of Special B malt.  I'll also be using D-90 Candi Syrup and Wyeast 1762, whic…

German Style Weizenbock 1.0

Having just made a Hefeweizen last week, I decided to follow up with a Weizenbock this week.  The BCJP guidelines describe the style as strong, malty, and fruity... something akin to a marriage between the Hefeweizen and the Doppelbock styles.
I did some reading and finally decided to brew a batch based on an AHA recipe by fellow Ohioan Jim Rupert of Germantown.

Ingredients
4 pounds Dark Wheat malt 1 pound plus 11 ounces of Weyermann Pilsner malt 12 ounces Avangard Munich malt 6 ounces of Rice Hulls 3 ounces British Medium Crystal malt (65-75L) 3 ounces Dingeman's Special B malt 3 ounces Pale Chocolate malt 3.50 gallons of mash water, reverse osmosis 1.15 gallons of sparge wate, reverse osmosis Water treated with 2.3g Gypsum, 2.7g Calcium Chloride, 2.3g Epsom Salt 0.9 ounces Hallertau Mittelfruh hops (60 min.) 1/2 package Wyeast 3068 Hefeweizen yeast 1/2 tsp. Irish Moss 1/8 tsp. Brewtan B in the mash 1/4 tsp. Brewtan B in the boil 1/2 tsp. Yeast Nutrient
According to Brewfather, the beer is expected…

German Style Hefeweizen 1.0

It's been quite a while since I tasted a true Hefeweizen.  The incredible popularity of IPAs, Pale Ales, Sours, and Stouts has been gradually squeezing dozens of other tasty styles off store shelves.  This is very unfortunate, especially for those of us who grow tired of the lack of variety.

In any case, I decided today to try my hand at brewing a decent German style Hefeweizen.  I began by reading an article on BYO.com about the style and tweaking an award-winning recipe from the AHA's web site.  This version features the traditional German Pilsner malt base, combined with both red and white wheat malts, and some Carapils for body and head retention.  I'll be using German hops for the bittering and a true Hefeweizen yeast for fermentation.
Some things I've done in this recipe that you might wonder about, and why I did them: I wanted to source German wheat, but couldn't, so I went with Briess and Swaen, which were the best I could find at the time.According to the B…