Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wet Hopped Peach Amber Tasting

A glass of amber peach ale.Brewing a “local” beer for the homebrewing class I taught was a lot of fun. It gave me an excuse to try a couple techniques that I might not have otherwise (bittering with homegrown hops and adding peaches to the end of the boil). I really didn't have a perfect vision of what I was trying to brew, I just adapted to the ingredients and situation I was given. This was also my first time dry hopping with wet hops.

Mid-Atlantic Harvest Ale

Appearance – Pours amber-brown with significant haze. The head is dense, off-white, and long lasting. It certainly gives off that “local” vibe, even if the amber color comes from an English malt...

Smell – Fruit (although not peach specifically), earthy hops, and a nice toasty malt character all come through. I'm surprised that it isn't hoppier given the dry hopping, but as it warms some of the Cascade citrus does start to come out.

Taste – Similar to the aroma the flavor is a complex blend of malt, hops, and peach (stronger than in the nose). Enough bitterness to balance the malt, but not enough to make the beer actually taste bitter. I like the balance of the flavors for a harvest-time beer, a bit more substantial than most fresh hopped beers.

Mouthfeel – Medium body with slightly stronger carbonation that I usually aim for (which puts it about average for an American ale).

Drinkability & Notes – Not far from a rustic version of Magic Hat #9. The fruit adds a layer of complexity onto the malt and hops without stealing the show.  I wish the Cascade was a bit more prominent, but otherwise I'm really happy with the way it turned out.


Chris said...

I finally made my paw paw fruit beer. It is a Mexican style light beer. I added a vinilla bean to the mix on secondary fermentation because the paw paw lost the vinilla flavor in fermentation. Wow did that make a great add on. The flavor is awesome. I also used wild collected hops. It is a truly wild crafted beer.

I used 1lb per gal. of paw paw fruit pulp. You have to try your hand at making a paw paw beer.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Very cool! I was actually just talking about paw paw beer with a co-worker who is from Ohio. Apparently Buckeye did one for a paw paw festival this year.

Ben said...

When did you remove the peaches? At bottling? Curious if you squeezed them out to recover beer/juice, or just drained the beer off them on the way to a secondary/keg/bottling vessel.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I actually just left them in there until chilling was complete. I strained them out of the wort, I did not press on them (although I would have if I'd had something sanitary to do it with). There would be no harm in leaving them in longer, but with the heat I didn't think it was necessary. If you left them in it would be harder to press on them because you'd have to worry about oxidation at that point.

Ben said...

I might try that, with squeezing. This seems like a great summer to fall transitional beer.

Chris said...

Mike, you need to taste the paw paw first to get an idea of the flavor. It is very unique. I would think adding a banana to the mix would help keep some paw paw flavor. If you put vanilla,banana,mango and pear it would taste just like a paw paw fruit.

There are many paw paw trees in OH. They have a massive leaf that can't be missed.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

My girlfriend's family has a big Labor Day event every year in Ohio, I'll do some research and see what I can find next time we go to it since that should be right in the middle of the season.

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