A couple years ago, my buddy Kory and I were talking about Dogfish Head’s Aprihop and he mentioned that while he liked it, he would prefer peaches to apricots. With his 30th birthday coming up, a surprise batch was definitely in order.
My plan for this beer was to brew five gallons of beer on the edge between IPA and Pale Ale, then had a gallon of water/peach mixture to take it to six gallons and push it down into the Pale Ale range. I based some of it on what I knew about Aprihop, but adjusted it quite a bit as well.
First of all, I used a much lighter Crystal Malt than Dogfish Head uses. This was more for aesthetic reasons than flavor. I was hoping a lighter color would allow some of the hue from the peaches to come through. This worked out pretty well, the beer definitely had some peachy orange hues.
Amarillo is definitely the showcase hop in Aprihop and I wanted to stick with that, but I also decided to add some Cascade and used Nugget for bittering. While I added a bit more Nugget halfway through the boil, I don’t think it changed the flavor much. The Amarillo still showed the most, but there was some citrusy Cascade flavor behind the tropical fruity Amarillo.
For the peaches, I bought frozen fruit and pureed it in a blender with enough water to get it into mostly liquid form. I added this puree to a carboy and racked the beer on top of it after primary fermentation. The sugar in the peaches kick started more fermentation and the beer ended up super dry. The final gravity was much lower than it had been when I racked it. Along with the peaches, I added an ounce of Amarillo hops to the vessel for dry hopping.
I gave Kory a box of the beer along with a bottle each of a bunch of other beers from the time and we all drank some more of it at his birthday party. It went over really well. The Amarillo hops were the big star with the peach being a bit more subtle, but definitely there. The only issue was that the beer was very cloudy from the peach puree. That just showed that it was real fruit though, I guess. Thinking about this beer now is making me want to use more Amarillo hops soon…
Style: American Pale Ale with Peaches
Brew Date: November 3, 2012
Serve Date: December, 2012
Original Gravity: 1.055
Expected Final Gravity: 1.006
Approximate ABV: 5.4% (with water and peach puree added)
1 lb Crystal Malt 10L
7 lb LME
1 lb DME
.5 oz Nugget @ 60 min
.5 oz Nugget @ 30 min
.5 oz Amarillo @ 15 min
1 oz Cascade @ 2 min
.5 oz Amarillo @ 0 min
1 oz Amarillo dry hop
pureed peaches added in secondary fermentation
Nottingham Ale Dry Yeast