Cinco de National Home Cerveza Day

It’s just one of those cool weekends where my interests, scheduling and lousy Spanglish meld together into one. As I mentioned the other day, Saturday, May 5 was National Homebrew Day, celebrated by brewers everywhere with Big Brew X, organized by the American Homebrewers Association.

Perhaps more Americans are familiar with the “other” May 5: Cinco de Mayo. Huge fans of Mexican food, my family always celebrates this holiday, an excuse to add margaritas to our already Mexican-heavy menu. Alas, the two days in one became two days in one weekend due to scheduling conflicts. Cinco this year is Seis de Mayo.

My ten-year-old is currently at the store buying lard for his tortillas (how many kids that age want a tortilla press for Christmas?). My key lime pie tempts me with its aroma just across the room, and in a couple of hours we’ll head over to our friends’ house for our day-late fiesta. I cannot wait, as Heather makes the best guacamole and Pauly has the margarita knowledge. With the utmost sorrow, this will be one of our last meals together. In just over a month, my family moves to the Great Plains, far away from the pavement in Raleigh.

So how did I spend the real Cinco de Mayo? That definitely involved brewing, though I didn’t Big Brew with my club or utilize any of the three recipes that some 3000 other homebrewers had in their hands. Instead, I did 10 gallons of Belgian Wit, five of which I have fermenting with mangoes (which I bought at my local Mexican market, thank you very much).

Today, I offer you the opportunity to share in the fiesta in my mouth. One, I say go out and buy The Best Recipe, by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated. This cookbook (and their magazine) is indispensible. Open it up to page 495, and make this Key Lime Pie recipe. It’s the best by far. Two, I’ll post my Mango Wit recipe, in case you’re up for that sort of delight, as well.

Mango Wit

4.5# Pils malt

4# unmalted wheat

.5# flaked wheat

1.5 oz. Tettnanger hops (6.4% alpha, for 60 minutes)

.75 oz. Curacau

.5 oz. coriander

4 cardamom pods

Wyeast 3944

4 mangoes

I boiled the unmalted wheat for about 10 minutes, then added to the mash, settling out at about 152F. Mashed 60 minutes, boiled 60 minutes, adding the spices and orange peel with 3 minutes remaining. While cooling the wort, I blanched the chopped fruit of 4 mangoes before cooling and adding to the fermenter. Pitched the yeast about 72F

OG: 1.044

Fermenting happily as I type. If you try it, let me know how it comes out.

Arriba, abajo, al centro, para adentro!

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