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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My Beer, My Choice

One thing I've always like about brewing is that I can make whatever strikes my fancy. There's no marketing director telling me what flavors I should be liking, no "style police" telling me I'm breaking some obscure rule.

Of course, I have a couple of examples.

A little while ago, we got about 2 dozen oranges for free from the local food bank. They were very small, and extremely hard to peel (Probably why they were free). I stared at them in the back of the fridge for a few days, then had a thought.

I got out my trusty box grater, and took the zest off all the oranges. Not hard, but it took awhile. Then, with a manual juicer, I got a couple of cups of orange juice. Again, more time than difficulty.

Now what? Well, I love sherbert, so I made some orange sherbert. I still had a bunch of juice and zest, so I started thinking beer.

I've always felt that wheat beer lends itself very well to any fruit flavor. I've had wheat beers with cranberry, apple, apricot, strawberry, and probably others. I figured, why not make an orange-wheat?

So, fermenting now is an all-grain 100% wheat beer with orange zest and juice. If it all works out as planned, it'll be a low-gravity, tart, refreshing summer beer.

Next, I'm making one of my stand-bys, a mild ale. It's easy, quick, not too expensive, and another good warm weather refresher. The style guidelines say not to add finishing hops. Nobody checks, so I'm dry-hopping with an ounce of Williamette. This is one I've made many times before, and it's always been a good one to have on a hot day.

I've said it here, and I used to sign off my old podcast every week with this. It's you beer. Make what you want to drink.