experimental beers with a botanical twist

Mexican American Ale

Brewed on 24 November 2018 in Plummer’s Hollow.

Hibiscus flowers, Mexican giant hyssop, and epazote or Mexican-tea together impart an amazing floral taste, a bit of citrus-like tartness, and a rich pink color to this lightly hopped beer. (I had been thinking of it as a pale or amber ale, but clearly neither term is a good fit.) I tasted it during bottling yesterday and was extremely impressed with myself. Can’t wait to see what carbonation does to it.

This is more of a summer than a winter beer, I suppose, but I already have two heavy holiday beers in the bottle, so it will be good to have something more sessionable on hand, as well.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5 gal 60 min 24.1 IBUs 16.2 SRM 1.066 1.005 8.1 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pale 2-Row - US 7 lbs 62.22
Munich - 60L - US 2 lbs 17.78
Caramel/Crystal 60 - US 4 oz 2.22
Brown Sugar - US 2 lbs 17.78

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Galena 0.5 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 13.7

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
flor de jamaica (Hibiscus sabdariffa) flowers, dried 2.00 oz 0 min Primary Other
toronjil or Mexican giant hyssop (Agastache mexicana) leaves and flowers, dried 1.00 oz 0 min Primary Other
Epazote or Mexican-tea (Dysphania ambrosioides) leaves, dried 0.50 oz 0 min Primary Other

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Fermentis Safale US-05 81% 64°F - 69°F

Notes

Made with locally malted barley from Appalachian Malting in Portage, PA, and some herbs my Mexican sister-in-law brought me on a recent visit. It's been pointed out to me that this could be made "more Mexican" with the addition of some hot peppers — an interesting suggestion. But I'm thinking instead I'd like to make a different, darker beer patterned after mole poblano, with chocolate (from cacao nibs, chocolate malt, and perhaps roasted chicory) balancing out the hot peppers.


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