Belma IPA – Hop-Bursting with Belma Hops!

Well I found a new variety of hops available… Belma hops.  Hops Direct had them on sale for $5.25 a pound!   At that price, I couldn’t resist picking some up, a couple pounds in fact.  And with that many hops, I might as well try something I’ve been wanting to try (again) … hop bursting.  What the hey… I’m going to try a hop bursted, single-hopped IPA with the new Belma Hops!  Nothing but Belma here!  Nottingham yeast used.

5 gallon batch.


  • 10.5 lbs 2-row
  • 10 oz crystal 60
  • 10 oz munich malt
  • 2 oz crystal 120
  • 2 oz carafoam
  • 6 oz flaked corn

Hops (all Belma):

  • 10 g at 30 minutes
  • 1 oz 15 minutes
  • 1 oz 10 minutes
  • 1 oz 5 minutes
  • 1 oz 1 minute
  • 1 oz flameout
  • 3 oz dry hop


  • IBUs 50.5
  • OG 1.064
  • FG 1.014
  • SRM 9.9
  • ABV 6.6%


  1. prepare checklist
  2. lay out ingredients and equipment
  3. reconstitute dry yeast using 95F boiled spring water and allow to cool to room temperature
  4. Add grains to mash tun
  5. bring 3 gallon spring water to 169 F
  6. Add 3.5 gallons of 167F spring water to mash tun on top of grains, then stir well
  7. add more water to boil pot, bring to near 172F and hold for sparging
  8. measure temperature after temperature equalizes in mash.  Once again, this has been prretty spot-on the last few batches, so I don’t anticipate having to boil extra water, but I will be ready just in case
  9. adjust mash temperature using either heated mash water or cool spring water as needed to reach 152F
  10. mash for 75 minutes at 152F
  11. during mash, stir about every 15 minutes or so, checking temperature and adjusting if needed
  12. at end of mash, begin draining wort into pitcher
  13. allow first runnings to drain into a pitcher until clear
  14. pour first runnings back on top of mash
  15. drain remaining wort into boil pot until mash tun is near empty
  16. add 2 gallons 172F water (adjusted as needed)
  17. stir well
  18. drain first runnings of first batch sparge into pitcher until clear (or close to it)
  19. pour first runnings of first batch sparge back on top of mash
  20. drain wort into main boil pot until near empty
  21. add another 2 gallons 172F water to mash tun (adjusted as needed)
  22. stir well
  23. drain first runnings of second batch sparge to pitcher until clear (or close to it)
  24. add first runnings back into mash tun
  25. drain wort into main boil pot
  26. add wort chiller to boil pot, filled with hot water
  27. bring main boil pot to a boil
  28. when boil is reached, boil 60 minutes total
  29. at 30 minutes, add 10g Belma Hops
  30. at 25 minutes, add about 1/4 tsp Wyeast nutrient blend to a small amount of spring water and dissolve
  31. add nutrient blend at 20 minute mark
  32. add 1/8 tsp Irish moss powder at 20 minute mark
  33. add 1 oz Belma at 15 minutes
  34. add 1 oz Belma at 10 minutes
  35. add 1 oz Belma at 5 minutes
  36. add 1 oz Belma at 1 minute
  37. add 1 oz Belma at flameout
  38. at flameout, turn on water for wort chiller and chill to 170 F
  39. let stand about 15 minutes hop rest, then turn wort chiller back on
  40. begin sanitation procedures on spoon, thermometer, bucket, wine thief
  41. stir occasionally with sanitized stainless spoon during cooling
  42. ensure bucket, wine thief, thermometer, strainer, spoon are sanitized
  43. when wort gets to about 72F, add to fermentation bucket, pouring through sanitized strainer to catch any extra solids and to help aerate.  If necessary, clean strainer during process and re-sanitize to remove most of the hop trub before fermentation
  44. take OG reading with sanitized wine thief
  45. thoroughly aerate wort with sanitized stainless steel spoon again
  46. ensure wort is 68F or a little less before pitching yeast
  47. ensure yeast is a little cooler than wort before pitching
  48. pitch yeast
  49. gently stir using sanitized stainless steel spoon
  50. install sanitized bucket lid and airlock
  51. ferment in freezer chest w/Johnson controller for 14+ days at 66F
  52. after 14+ days, add dry hops, 2 oz Belma
  53. ferment a total of 21+ days
  54. take FG sample and bottle
  55. use 5 oz corn sugar at bottling

Actual OG: 1.056

Actual FG:

Notes: Undershot the OG a little, probably because I sparged a little bit more than I should have.  This likely increased the final volume a little and resulted in a low OG.  No biggie though.

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  • alcaponejunior  On January 2, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    bottled 1.1.13

  • alcaponejunior  On January 9, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Popped a test bottle today to see if it’s carbing. Yes, it is, nicely. Probably needs another week, but it’s tasty anyway.

    Tasting notes: Aroma is very fruity and is quite good. Flavor is a bit muddy and pretty bitter, although still quite fruity and nicely hoppy. I think this one will come out pretty good, but I am thinking that Belma might be better for bittering or dry-hopping, rather than late hopping/hop bursting. It might combine well with other fruity hops, or even with citric hops. I’m thinking it might go well with Cascade in a Pale Ale, with Belma for bittering, Cascade for flavor, and Belma for dry hops.

    I will report further when it matures a bit more. Cheers! -al

  • alcaponejunior  On January 16, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    OK. It’s been a week, and I’m trying the second bottle of this one.

    It’s better conditioned now, although will probably still do well with another week or so of conditioning.

    Appearance is pretty murky, light brown or dark tan, with a great, lasting head and awesome lacing. Appearance could improve.

    The bitterness is about right for what I had in mind. It’s not overly bitter, but is sufficiently so. I didn’t intend it to be heavily bitter.

    Flavor is a bit less that what I’d find optimal for an IPA. I think it needs something besides just belma… cascade might be nice. Late hopping with belma probably isn’t the way to go.

    Aroma is pretty good, but if you compare it to something like Ruination, this beer falls short.

    Now I know I’m not an expert like Mitch at Stone, but I think this beer was done properly enough to draw reasonable conclusions from this tasting.

    I am going to say that belma is a good bittering hop, good for milder beers that don’t require that sharp, pungent, in-your-face hop forwardness like AIPAs or DIPAs. It would probably be better suited to English styles, mildly hopped American styles, or as a general bittering hop.

    I do like the aroma that the dry hops lent to this beer, but it’s again not really IPA worthy. Again, good for styles that are less hoppy than IPAs.

    I am still quite pleased with my Belma hops, I just won’t use them for super cheep IPA hops. They won’t go to waste, however. I will use them as a general bittering hop, or a hop for milder beer styles. Short of doing a side-by-side with magnum or warrior, I can’t say whether they’d really be a replacement. I don’t intend to do such a comparison, BTW! These will be fine for bittering.

    In the end, I’ll drink every one of my somewhat milder than expected Belma IPA. It was a good experiment, and the beer is pretty good anyway.

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