Those of you that have been following us for some time will remember that, after returning from the ACCE congress in Burgos, we told you about how we brewed a beer incorporating bananas in the mash. If you want to know more, you can read all the details for the brewing process for this for this beer in the post of our Blonde with bananas, so we won’t be describing them again.
We finished the last bottle of that batch a few weeks ago, so we will base on some notes and our memory to try describing how the experiment with bananas in the mash turned out. In the first place, regarding aspect, although as we told you before it took quite a long time for this beer to clarify once it had fermented, the final appearance is of a clean and clear beer, of a nice golden color and with a white foam with decent retention.
In the aroma, some sweet notes that we think must come from the bananas since M10 from Mangrove Jack’s, the yeast strain we used, is known for its clean fermentations. Maybe also a little touch of malt and no sign of hops, something we were not looking for in this beer since we basically wanted to know what would bananas contribute to this recipe.
Taste is similar to aroma, with a fruity and sweet flavor being the most prominent feature. I would not have said this was a banana flavor but we presume that it comes from bananas too. It’s a very pleasant and particular flavor, that nobody who taste the beer could associate with bananas (apart from my brother and I, who knew how it was made), even when we asked them to tell us which fruit they thought we had used for this beer. Hops don’t shine, they only give enough bitterness to balance the sweetness of the flavor so the beer doesn’t become overly sweet. The beer is quite dry, mostly because of the sugar we added at the end of the boil to increase the original gravity. This, which in that moment we though could be harmful for the beer since we could lost some body, one of the characteristics the bananas should contribute, seems to have served as something that made this beer very drinkable due to that dryness.
In short, we are very happy with our banana mash experiment. It seems that the quantities we used are enough to impart a characteristic and easily perceptible flavor and aroma. This has been one of the most drinkable beers we have brewed, with very good acceptance among the people who tasted it. After finding out the effect that bananas can impart in a beer with a recipe designed to specifically show us that effect, we are sure that we will try this mash with bananas with recipes of other styles, to see what can this fruit contribute to them. ¿A Weissbier, maybe? ¿A dark beer like a Porter or Brown Ale? We’ll see and of course we will tell you in this blog.
*This post was first published in Spanish on 18 July, 2017