The first in a new series showcasing our favourite Belgian yeast strain and hops to shine with it, the Harvest IPA: Mosaic. This is one of our favourite North American hops used as a blend in the Armadillo and our black IPA (rich in citrus, earthy pine, tropical fruit, herbal and stone fruit notes). This beer has a tonne of flavour, derived from a distinct yeast character and generous amount of dry hopping.
‘Juicy’ comes to mind when describing this beer. We allowed the beer to free rise in fermentation. This means rather than fermenting at a controlled temperature (usually around 20 degrees c), the yeast is allowed to go crazy, climbing up to around 30 degrees c – the idea here being that a warmer fermentation produces much more of the fruit and spice esters that characterise a Saison yeast. It also helps to produce a dry finish in the beer (1.009) which ultimately brings a nice bit of balance to those big, juicy fruit flavours.
Mosaic works beautifully well in this beer; favoured this time for its heavily aromatic character but with a much more rounded fruit profile (think tropical, soft fruits, berry etc) than most big American hop varieties. As for the malt – nice and light, a bit of oats and wheat for mouth-feel and head retention, but kept simple enough to let the hops and yeast do most of the talking. Dangerously drinkable at 6.7%…
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