Homebrewing update

My wife likes the taste of Hoegaarden so, because I'm a nice guy, I decided to make a homebrew version of it.

My wife likes the taste of Hoegaarden so, because I’m a nice guy, I decided to make a homebrew version of it.

In which I offer a recap of my two most recent homebreweing efforts and ask for some assistance with my next recipe.

A while ago I experimented with a watermelon wheat beer, based on this recipe from Bryan over at This Is Why I’m Drunk. I called it Melon Miser because I skimped on the recommended amount of melon.

After I made it I discovered something – I had no idea what I wanted it to taste like. Not sure how I overlooked that. While I like the flavour of watermelon a lot I wasn’t too sure how it would taste with beer, having never tried one before.

I knew I didn’t want it to taste like alcoholic watermelon juice but nor did I want the melon flavour to be too faint to spot. In the end, the flavour is there enough to spot but not too much to overwhelm. But, while it’s drinkable, Melon Miser didn’t make make me change my plans to never make another watermelon beer.

That was initially because watermelons are so damned expensive but now also because I can’t quite work out if I like watermelon beer or not. See, sometimes when I drink it I get a nice watermelon flavour but other times that melon flavour actually seems more medicinal than fruity. I’ll still drink the whole batch – it’s too good to pour down the drain – but just not good enough to inspire a second batch.

The next brew – a witbier I call Sarcasm (for the explanation of the name read this post)- is due for bottling this week. It was made with a little advice about orange peel from Darren at I Dream of Brewery and Luke at Ale of a Time. I’m quite impressed with how that’s come together. It has a pleasing colour that’s slightly darker than the Hoegaarden I tried to replicate and some great orange-spice notes and flavours.

It’s a beer I brewed for my Hoegaarden-loving wife and she’s quite impressed with the pre-bottled samples she’d tried so far. So that’s nice to know – it’d suck if I brewed a beer for her and she hated it.

That’ll be me done with homebrewing for a little while because I don’t have any empty bottles left. But I’m still thinking about what the next beer will be – I’m going to do a sneaky double IPA with hops from Australia, New Zealand and the United States (in a reference to the ANZUS treaty of the 1980s).
The idea is to try and make something that’s got a decent hit of alcohol – about 8 or so per cent – but not possessing a palate-destroying level of bitterness. Needless to say, this is a beer for me, not my wife.

Here’s the recipe I’ve worked out, which I post in the hope someone smarter than me will offer some advice.
2 x coopers IPA
1 can of LME (or dextrose?)
Safale yeast
A 20-minute hop boil with these additions
20 minutes: 10g amarillo, 10g galaxy, 10g motueka
15 minutes: 10g amarillo, 10g galaxy, 10g motueka
10 minutes: 10g amarillo,,10g galaxy, 10g motueka
Flameout: 10g amarillo, 10g galaxy, 10g motueka
Dryhop: 10g amarillo, 10g galaxy, 10g motueka
The recipe calls for 120g hops in the boil plus 30g dryhopping. I’m thinking that might be a bit much – but I’m not sure which addition to knock out. And I also want to make sure there’s enough hop aroma and flavour to balance out the bitterness from the two IPA kits.
Any assistance would be very much appreciated.

8 replies »

  1. Brother, I’d drop all those flavour hops and put a huge wack in the end. A huge lot of bitterness will come from those hops … the ones in the middle will pretty much all convert and sacrifice the flavour. So go for the end, and dry hop at a rate of 5 gms per 100l of beer …

  2. Sorry the Miser didn’t turn out as planned. After sharing bottles from my watermelon batch, I found it can be a very polarizing beer. Don’t know if I’ll ever go back to it again in lieu of trying other experiments that are sure to be just as divisive.

    • No need to be sorry at all. I certainly don’t regret making the beer at all – and I’ll still drink the whole batch. Like yourself, it sounded like a fun thing to make and it was an experiment.

    • It does sound similar…in fact my initial plan was to make an IPA using two cans of Coopers IPA and one can of extract. But I talked myself into using some grain instead. Next time I might actually try and make Brew A.
      If you put that down, let me know how it turns out.

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