Blend Experiment #1: Orange Wit + Chocolate Doppelbock

After reading an article in the recent issue of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine on blending beer, I was inspired to do some blends of my own of whatever I had on hand. From what off hand knowledge I have of blending beer it sounds like there are many points at which you can blend: Pre-fermentation, post-fermentation pre-aging, and simply in the glass.

I don’t have any brews fermenting at the moment, so today I’m going to blend two beers I have on hand.

Orange Clove Wit + Chocolate Doppelbock

Blend #1: 50/50

Rating: Terrible

This blend of beers really accentuated the worst of both worlds. My Orange Clove Wit┬áturned out too dry, and my Chocolate Doppelbock┬áretained some astringency from the cocoa powder I used. The result was a dry, astringent mess. The yeast stress or whatever off flavor came from my first lager really cut through, and the murky, bland color didn’t help any. It was all around a bad beer, though upon multiple tastings, became tolerable.

Blend #2 80/20 Wit/Dop

Rating: Barely Acceptable

This tastes basically like a witbier with a bit of color, and a bit more alcohol to it. The foam is a bit creamier with the addition of the doppelbock, but the beer is dominantly wit-like. It’s not a blend I would repeat, but was a step above the 50/50 mess.

80 20 orange

Blend #3 80/20 Dop/Wit

Rating: Acceptable

Adding a splash of witbier to an 8% doppelbock didn’t do much to it except to lighten the color. Some of the astringency of the chocolate went away, the carbonation became a bit more lively, and there was a hint of orange added to the mix. It still wasn’t a great beer, but it was the best of the bunch.

80 20 chocolate

Update: After the tasting’s I mixed everything into one glass and set it aside, ready to pour out. With a bit of warmth, the chill haze disappeared, some fruity esthers appeared, and some of the harsher astringencies were less perceptible. Still not an awesome beer, but better than when ice cold.


 

This was a perfect example of how mixing two bad beers won’t make a good beer. These were my 3rd and 4th homebrews, so there were many mistakes made in the brewing process. Individually, as beers that I created, I’m happy to drink them. On a wider scale and compared to commercial beers, they aren’t even close to being “good” beers.

Mixing them didn’t do much to help them. I think the styles were too varied, and the flavor combination wasn’t necessarily ideal. I do think that a chocolate orange high gravity beer would do well for a seasonal brew, though I’d want to kick it up to 9-10% or more. I do think that to do this type of combination, chocolate would do well as the dominant flavor with a hint of orange. Keeping the orange aroma around for long might be a challenge though!

Look forward to more blends in the future. Once I get my fermentation freezer I hope to start brewing again in my new place.

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About Nate

I created this website almost two years ago when I first started homebrewing. Like my brewing, it's been through many changes over the years.

I'm a full time online marketer and brewing beer is my hobby. You'll find a mix of all topics related to craft beer and homebrewing at xBREWx!

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