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Friday, July 06, 2007

Inja Belgique

I know from experience as a reader that posts about homebrewed beer are boring--you never will taste the beer being described, so who cares? But I've got an experiment going that's interesting enough to pass along. Inspired by Double Mountain Brewing's IPA, which is made with an unidentified Belgian yeast strain (rave here), I brewed up a similar type of beer. I used a Belgian Strong ale yeast, which I hope is akin to a Duvel strain--imparting not a lot of the usual funk you find in Belgians. I hopped it right good in the boil, but then finished and dry-hopped with Summits. These are a new strain of ultra-alpha hops (18%) that have a wonderful orangey aroma and flavor. My hope is that the quality from the hops will recall the orange characteristic in some Belgians--notably wits and some saisons.

I racked it into a secondary fermenter yesterday and had a wee nip along the way. It's awfully green, so I want to hedge a bit, but it seemed to have turned out like I intended and I have high hopes that it may be something special.

The takeaway is, I guess, that the Summit hops are pretty amazing. I bet we start to see these appear more commonly in commercial beers. If you want to try one that really highlights the hop, go get a sixer of Widmer '07. Okay, I'm done, thanks for the indulgence.


  1. I agree that Summit is a terrific new hop, but I suspect we'll find it shines best a a blending hop.

    Last year Drake's (in the Bay Area) hosted a festival where everybody brought a beer brewed only with Summit. A lot of people loved it, but I also talked to some that said the beers were pretty one-dimensional.

    A brewpub here in Albuquerque made a single-hop 65-70 BU IPA using Summit when it was first released. Astonishingly smooth and lots of hop flavor. But we quickly agreed that it would be better interacting with some C hops.

  2. I used Willamettes in the boil, which I hoped would give an honest, true bittering. The Summits were mainly for their own, unique quality. While I like single-hop experiments (and some hops stand on their own pretty well), you inevitably sacrifice some depth and complexity.

  3. Hey Jeff,

    The secret Double Mountain strain is the Rochefort house yeast.

    Don't tell Charlie I told you ;)