Honey RoseSince summer is in full swing, I decided to try brewing a Belgian wheat beer. Belgian wheats use coriander, orange peel, and a special wheat yeast to create a light, citrus-y, slightly spicy beer that is perfect for warm weather. (Think Blue Moon.)

I thought that honey might lend an nice flavor and I decided to use dried orange peel because if you use fresh orange peel, it can make your beer bitter if there is too much pith. I needed at least an ounce of dried peel but only had .3 oz and couldn’t find anymore anywhere in town. So, my wife suggested substituting rose hips since they have a citrus flavor. “Rose hips don’t sound like a very manly beer ingredient,” I thought but what the heck. Rose hips have been used in wine and mead so it’s not too far out to use them in beer.

To keep things simple I used the Coopers wheat beer kit which has hopped malt extract and wheat yeast. So here’s the recipe:

1 Coopers wheat beer kit
2.5 lbs honey
1.5 oz coriander (Use whole coriander seeds and crush them. Don’t use coriander powder.)
.3 oz dried orange peel
1 oz dried rose hips

Boil malt extract and honey for 60 minutes. Add coriander, orange peel, and rose hips during last 10 minutes of the boil.

O.G . = 1.020
F.G. = 1.011
ABV = 5%

The results were better than I could have imagined. The beer is refreshing with a strong citrus smell and taste. It is exceptionally smooth and well balanced with zero aftertaste. The carbonation and head were a little disappointing (as you can see in the photo) because I used a sparkling amber dried malt extract (DME) as the primer for bottling. I have since learned that DME can take a long time to create carbonation. I also wish it was a tad drier but I think that’s the result of using so much honey.

I took some to a brew club meeting and it was a hit. I also took some to a 4th of July party and everyone was talking about “that rose hip beer.” Even people that don’t really like beer liked it.

I feel a little guilty for having used a beer kit. It’s like making cookies using frozen cookie dough, adding sprinkles and everyone ohhing and ahhing over your cooking skills. So I have decided to try to recreate it without using a kit. I am also officially naming it Honey Rose which I think is slightly better than That Rose Hip Beer. I’ll let you know how it turns out.