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Old 07-18-2013, 03:48 PM   #21
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You mentioned a 30 min aroma steep for some of the hops. When in the process is this steep time? Is this after flameout as you cool the wort or do you wait to cool the wort?
I stick it in an ice bath and then the temp is usually shocked below 200F pretty shortly. I then add the hops and steep until it is cooled to under 90F. I estimated at 30 minutes, but it might be slightly more than that. I also stir at this point to cool faster, and for the added effect of integrating the flameout hops into the wort. I wish I had a hopback, but I get pretty good aroma from this technique. The most important part, I think, is letting it cool below 200F.
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:47 PM   #22
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Not even a week in the bottle, but I wanted to make sure it was carbonating. This beer is great! Nice malt character with a bit of corn, balanced by some good hop bitterness. Despite having almost 7% ABV, this beer is very smooth. Unfortunately I'm not getting the melon or strawberry from the Belma, but again, it's only been in the bottle less than a week, and I used BRY-97 instead of US-05. BRY-97 is known to reduce hop flavor, at least at first, but many brewers report that the hops started to pop like in US-05 after a couple weeks.

This beer should be perfect in about 2-3 weeks, and hopefully the strawberry will come out. I've used Belma in a session saison, so I know what it can do.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:57 PM   #23
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Unfortunately Hops Direct is out of Belma until the fall. I'll have to plan for next summer. Put a Cream Ale in the primary last night without it.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:52 PM   #24
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Not even a week in the bottle, but I wanted to make sure it was carbonating. This beer is great! Nice malt character with a bit of corn, balanced by some good hop bitterness. Despite having almost 7% ABV, this beer is very smooth. Unfortunately I'm not getting the melon or strawberry from the Belma, but again, it's only been in the bottle less than a week, and I used BRY-97 instead of US-05. BRY-97 is known to reduce hop flavor, at least at first, but many brewers report that the hops started to pop like in US-05 after a couple weeks.

This beer should be perfect in about 2-3 weeks, and hopefully the strawberry will come out. I've used Belma in a session saison, so I know what it can do.
I've never used BRY-97, but hopefully the flavor comes out. In any case, it is a pretty subtle flavor so who knows. I think the water profile of the original recipe helps (near to Pilsner). Belma is so light and subtle in flavor that any minerals or ferm flavors can quickly overwhelm it. Glad it's starting to taste good though!
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Old 07-22-2013, 02:31 PM   #25
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In any case, it is a pretty subtle flavor so who knows ... Belma is so light and subtle in flavor that any minerals or ferm flavors can quickly overwhelm it. Glad it's starting to taste good though!
Agreed, sort of. It is pretty subtle, and seems to do some of its best work in combo with other hops. That said, Belma works very well in saisons. The berry/melon playing off the spicy/fruity character of saison yeast is a truly beautiful thing! Of course, my session saison was also a combo of Belma and Strisselspalt, but you definitely taste the Belma.

Tried to do a smoked IPA with Belma as the only hop. I'm not entirely sure where the smoke stopped and the hops began. Certainly wouldn't call it an IPA though.
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Old 07-24-2013, 11:39 AM   #26
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Unfortunately Hops Direct is out of Belma until the fall. I'll have to plan for next summer. Put a Cream Ale in the primary last night without it.
Yeah I saw that. I'm down to slightly less than the recipe uses so I'll be happy to order some more come fall. It was around $5.25 a pound... hope that deal comes back.
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:57 AM   #27
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I forgot to mention this, but I entered this in a comp over the summer and it got a 32.5. Not a bad score. Admittedly the beer was a little young in the bottle (2 weeks), and the biggest thing they dinged it for was flavor. One judge said, "Strong fruit flavors, reminiscent of apricot and pear. Very herbal hop flavor. Very clean fermentation. Bitter finish." Gave me a 12 out of 20. The other judge gave me 11 of 20, liked everything but said it lacked a "corn presence." Kinda wish I could give them a bottle now. It's definitely a cream ale!
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:27 PM   #28
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I forgot to mention this, but I entered this in a comp over the summer and it got a 32.5. Not a bad score. Admittedly the beer was a little young in the bottle (2 weeks), and the biggest thing they dinged it for was flavor. One judge said, "Strong fruit flavors, reminiscent of apricot and pear. Very herbal hop flavor. Very clean fermentation. Bitter finish." Gave me a 12 out of 20. The other judge gave me 11 of 20, liked everything but said it lacked a "corn presence." Kinda wish I could give them a bottle now. It's definitely a cream ale!
Interesting. Cat 23 can be so subjective. Glad to hear it came around.

Also if anyone is looking belma leaves are available at 7.25 a pound now. Pellets to come.
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:37 PM   #29
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And another added benefit of this beer: it's crafty enough to suit my tastes, but smooth/clean enough that I'm pretty sure my father-in-law will love it when he visits in a couple weeks. I've been trying to win that guy over for years!
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:15 PM   #30
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Yeah. It hits that sweet spot. The noble hops keeps the flavors friendly for everyone and the belma makes it a little crafty.

My girlfriends dad loves it and hes a coors light guy. Hopefully you can win him over!
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