Tonight I opened up a bottle of the Belgian-ish homebrew I made back in March (which I bottled almost two weeks ago). I’ve taken to calling this a “Belgian-style amber ale” though if you recall, I didn’t follow any particular guidelines beyond what ingredients struck my fancy as I browsed the Brew Shop.
Why would this post qualify for Spring Beer Week, you may ask? Well, my original intent for this beer was to end up with a somewhat-light, drinkable springtime beer—and it being mostly ready to drink coincides nicely with Theme Week this month.
After two weeks in the bottle is about the earliest you can open homebrew and expect some carbonation and drinkability (my own rule-of-thumb). Even so, they’ll be fairly green, and more time will allow the bottle to condition more fully and mellow a bit.
Anyway, you can see from my picture that there’s a skiff of foam from the pour, but not much yet. It also came out much darker brown in the picture that it really is—it’s really a bit lighter and more amber in color.
The aroma is bright and full of coriander with some spicy phenols brought out by the Belgian yeast and, I think, the coriander; at times I’d swear there was white pepper. On the tongue it has a somewhat surprising hop bite, spicy and different—kind of that American-ized love of hops going on, which is a bit of what I was hoping for by using Crystal hops.
The malts are sweet and a bit roasty. Almost a burnt-rye kind of “roasty.” Throughout there is the ever-present spiciness of the Belgian yeast and the Crystal hops playing against each other.
Overall it’s not too heavy, it’s spicy and crisp and bright, if still a little under-carbonated from being so young yet. As it bottle conditions further, some sweetness will disappear and it will get livelier.
Spring homebrew: mission accomplished! I suppose I should name it…