Last year I decided to make a Christmas themed IPA. What made it Christmas themed? It smelled like a Christmas tree. Not just piny, resinous hops, but pine sap, lemony scent. I got this by using a Belgian yeast strain and adding ginger in addition to Sorachi Ace hops.
Sorachi Ace hops are known for their spicy, lemony aroma. They are very unique and they play very well with Belgian yeast. This wasn’t a super-hop bomb, but it was 100% Sorachi hopped. These hops are so unique, I’m not really sure they would play well with many other varieties. The spicy ginger and phenolic yeast are much better compatriots. I cut the skin off of the ginger and and chopped it up, then put it in a hop bag during the boil. I think I should have added a bit more than I did, though.
The yeast I used was White Labs’ Belgian Golden Ale, aka Duvel yeast. This strain is slightly fruity, but mainly throw spicy phenols, although it is not as drastic as many other Belgian strains even in that regard. It is highly attenuative and brought this beer very dry. It worked very well in this case and I think it would be good for other Belgian IPAs as it will give a good “Belgian-y” edge without dominating too much and leave some room for the hops.
Now for the shocking part. This was an extract beer. My first extract batch since going all grain about six months before, and to date, my last one. There was a deal online to get a free five gallon pot when you ordered a recipe kit. I ended up breaking the recipe kit up and using all of the ingredients in different recipes. The steeping grains went into Mild Mannered Ale, the hops were split up between a couple different batches and the extract went into this.
In addition to the extract, I steeped a pound of Belgian Biscuit Malt and added a pound of sugar. The biscuit malt gives the beer, yes, a biscuity flavor along with a bit of toasty, nutty characteristics. The sugar, along with the yeast, helped make the beer very dry. My full recipe is below and I will have tasting notes (on a year old IPA, mind you) next week.
Style: Belgian IPA
Brew Date: October 2, 2013
Serve Date: November, 2013
Expected FG: 1.010
Approximate ABV: 7.8%
7 lb Light DME
1 lb Biscuit Malt
1 lb Cane Sugar
1.5 oz Sorachi Ace @ 60 min
.5 oz Sorachi Ace @ 10 min
1 oz Sorachi Ace @ 5 min
1 oz Sorachi Ace @ Flameout
1 oz Sorachi Ace Dry hop for 7 days
White Labs WLP 570 – Belgian Golden Ale (Duvel)