A few weeks back, I brewed ten gallons of wit, 5 gallons straight up, and 5 gallons fermented with mangoes, one of my favorite little fruits. This is the second time I’ve taken on such an idea. The first time was 2 or 3 years ago. It was technically my wife’s beer, and because I didn’t want to feel obligated to drink mango beer for a month straight, I made her bottle the whole batch (read: clean a lot of bottles).
As it turned out, that batch was one of the only truly infected beers we’ve ever put out, possibly because of her bottle washing skills, but possibly elsewhere. The beer utilized some 60 ounces of 100% mango juice. This go-round, I used 4 fresh mangoes.
Though to taste the first incarnation properly, I had to battle through some nasty infected characteristics, the mango seemed very much in the background. This time, it was clear. I very much enjoyed the beer. Over the years, I feel certain that I have gotten my “wits” about me. But make no mistake: this beer was only subtle in its mango character. In addition to the notes of curacao and coriander, and a touch of my own personal grains of paradise addition, the mango was a mere suggestion. It was there in the aroma, delicate and enjoyable. But I wouldn’t pretend to tell you that I tasted mango. If I did, I wouldn’t be honest. I would be BSing my way through my discussion of the brew. I’d be pretending to do perfect beers every time. That’s the BS.
My beer was quite good. And I’m not convinced that a prominent mango profile would have improved it. The beer was delicate, with a nice blend of soft flavors and aromas. Was it overwhelmingly mangoesque? No, and that’s both fine and dandy for me. This will be a fine summer beer, just what I wanted.