Back in the college days, we referred to Thursday as Thirsty Thursday for reasons I’m sure you might imagine. We imbibed to celebrate most of the week’s completion and the almost-here weekend (which we’d celebrate separately). As I take a look at my own week, Thursday seems a little more pivotal than Hump Day, so I’ve decided to make this the day that I take a look at and review a beer. Oft-times, this will be the debut tasting of my latest homebrew. So welcome to brewvana’s Thirsty Thursday. With any luck, I’ll be able to keep up, and you’ll be able to look forward to it.
Renegade Belgian Stout (newly tapped homebrew)
If you’ve taken a look at the BJCP style guidelines recently, you’ll have noticed that this style doesn’t exactly exist. How wonderfully Belgian! That’s right, I made it up. I like Belgians and I like stouts, so we’re putting this one in 16E, Belgian Specialty Ale. My intent was simply to fool around with flavors I enjoy, and to get away from some of the higher gravity libations I’ve been brewing lately (RIS, Belgian Dark Strong). Maybe I had De Dolle’s Extra Export Stout in the back of my mind, but this is NOT a big beer. I wanted these flavors in a more drinkable beer for the warming weather. Come to think of it, it might be fun to try this one next to New Belgium’s 1554. It’s more like that, but I didn’t set out to do a clone. Just a little independent, Belgian creativity. I also wanted to try Carafa, which I’ve never used.
Aroma: Roasty, toasty, earthy, spicy phenols
Appearance: Opaque black, with a healthy, caramel-colored head that retains nicely
Flavor: Roasty, toasty, much like the aroma, blended with yeast driven phenols of the spicy, peppery variety. The roast and phenols project a dueling tartness that is nice. This is geared toward roast and yeast, and the Styrian Goldings used as bittering seem to meld earth with roast unnoticeably.
Mouthfeel: There’s that roasted tartness, again, in a dry mouth. Nicely attenuated, no sweetness.
I like this beer, and it went where I wanted it to. In the fall, it would be fun to kick up the alcohol to about 8.5% and brew again. I would like that beer, too. Wanna try it? Here’s what I did:
3# American Pale Malt
3# Light Munich
1# Caramel Wheat
1# Carafa II
.5# Special B
2 oz. Styrian Goldings (4.2% alpha) for 60 minutes
White Labs WLP500 Trappist Ale Yeast
Mashed at 154F
Boiled 60 minutes