The final beer being for our wedding is a light raspberry ale. This beer is actually pretty similar to Melange de Framboise that I brewed a couple of months back, however the base beer is completely different. In the first batch, I brewed an 11% tripel and did a second fermentation on 5 pounds of raspberries. The resulting brew had such a strong raspberry flavor that I blended it with a Belgian dubbel. The raspberry was still too powerful and it overpowered the base beer.
To change things up, I split half of the Its a nice day for Wit Wedding beer and racked onto only 2 pounds of raspberries. I then blended this beer with 1.5 gallons of my Hoppin’ Blond Ale (pre-dry-hopping). Total amount of beer made is about 3.5-4 gallons and will put a good dent in the number of bottles I want to have on-hand at the wedding. Label art is shown to the right.
After only 5 days in the keg, the beer has clarified enough to be bottled, but I’m going to wait a few more days to get more clarity. Of course while I was playing around with the right amount of carbonation to apply, I poured a small sample to review:
The brew was poured into a small tasting glass and has the color of a soft red, almost pinkish hue. Ruby highlights appear in the sun, and the beer has only a thin lace of foam, probably due to not being fully carbonated. Definitely lighter in color to the last raspberry beer I made.
Freshly crushed raspberries appears in the nose, followed by a sweet malt background. The raspberry smell is on the lighter side and lacks depth and tartness, but its still inviting nonetheless. As expected, no hops are detected and there are some spicy and peppery esters from the wit yeast. I’m really happy the way the nose turned out in this beer.
I was expecting raspberry in my face, but its completely mellow. Its like I almost dry-hopped the beer with raspberries! Here the wit beer base really stands out with a clean pilsner malt background and earthy yeast. Some toast and biscuit-like flavors are also there. The raspberries make their presence known and provide a sharp lactic twang in the back end. Similar to Melange de Framboise, there is tartness up front followed by ripe raspberry sweetness, but I feel this beer is a bit more complex. Mouthfeel is dry and the body is thin which makes the beer very drinkable.
I’m really happy they way this turned out, and I only hope our guests feel the same way!