Okay, the idea for this beer started while looking at the clone recipe for Dogfish's Midas Touch. There were a lot of complaints that it was too sweet. So I decided it would be fun to add a lot of extra honey.
I was debating to what yeast to use when I realized that this was a similar to adding simple sugars to Belgian Trippels and Golden Ales, so I decided "why not use a Belgian yeast?" I landed on S-33 more than anything just because it's available at my local store and I know it works with higher gravity beers, I didn't have any experience with it.
The combination of wanting drier flavor, having to order online and not wanting to spend the money helped me decide to use regular grocery store white grape juice. After some research, I decided it would be best to reduce the juice and add it midway through primary.
Anyway, here's my recipe:
7 lb. Briess Pilsen Light LME
1 lb. Munton's Light DME
5 lb. Clover Honey
.5 oz. Amarillo
.5 gallons white grape juice, reduced on the stove to 1 quart
Heat six gallons of water, add 1 lb. of DME just before it starts to boil. As soon as it does boil, add .5 oz. Amarillo hops. Continue boil for one hour, then add 7 lb. of LME. Boil another twenty minutes. Stir the wort to create a whirlpool and let it sit for a couple minutes before beginning to cool.
Now, I waited until the wort temperature got down a bit before adding the honey to try to preserve some of the flavor, if you're nervous about infection, you can add it at flame out. Either way, add the 5 lbs. of honey and stir until it is dissolved. This may be more complicated for you depending on your cooling method, so that may also make you want to add it at flame out.
Once the wort is cool, aerate it thoroughly in whatever method you prefer and then add the yeast. I rehydrated the yeast, but didn't do any starter, which I was nervous about once it was too late, but I had no problems.
After the initial burst of fermentation, about three or four days, boil the half gallon of white grape juice on the stove top until it is reduced to one quart. Cool it and add it directly to the primary fermentor. I calculated that the grape juice would add about .006 to the gravity. I was surprised how much the airlock activity picked up from this. Wait for this to calm down again, about another few days, and then rack to secondary.
This is where I ran into my only problem. My five gallon primary bucket actually holds a bit more than five gallons… the five gallon secondary carboy does not. I had some extra after it was full. My response was to put it in a growler and later sample it a couple times before discarding most of it… so hopefully you have a bigger vessel to avoid this.
Bottle with the standard priming sugar after two weeks and enjoy after two more weeks of bottle conditioning. I'm hoping this will age well, but I only bottled it about a month ago, so we'll see how it goes. I think it is delicious, though.
Not much in common with the Midas Touch that inspired it. The yeast really takes over to an extent. The grape juice comes through in the finish more than anything and it is nice and subtle.
I will get a better picture later.
Here is my cat, Valor with just the latest beer to feature his name.