Dark Saison 2014

>> Sunday, November 30, 2014

I ran to one of my local brew shops the other day to pick up some gas tubing for an upgrade I'm working on (nitro teaser) and I figured I'd pick up one of Wyeast's PC offerings for the quarter. I decided to go with 3726 Farmhouse and brew up a dark saison of sorts. Wyeast's desscription is as follows:

Wyeast 3726-PC Farmhouse Ale™
Beer Styles: Saison, Biere de Garde, Belgian Blonde Ale, Belgian Pale Ale, Belgian Golden Strong Ale
Profile: This strain produces complex esters balanced with earthy/spicy notes. Slightly tart and dry with a peppery finish. A perfect strain for farmhouse ales and saisons.
Alc. Tolerance           12% ABV
Flocculation              medium
Attenuation               74-79%
Temp. Range             70-84°F (21-29°C)
I'm using a fairly simple grain bill on this brew but I am incorporating some concord grape juice into this recipe. I'm hoping it will add some fruity complexity, but I have to admit I've never brewed with grape juice. Winemakers kind of frown on concord grapes, so I'm kind of rolling the dice on this one. This beer is probably going to turn out awesome...or gross. I'll get some tannins from the grape juice so I'm using debittered malt to try to get color while minimizing any perceived astringency. I've also never used Nelson Sauvin hops, but they are supposed to contribute grape and berry flavors. Here's the recipe as I'm making it:

7.0# Dingmans Pilsner Malt
1.0# Simpsons Golden Naked Oats
6.0 oz Castle De-bittered Malt
4.0 oz Crystal 10
1.0# D-180 Belgian Candi Syrup (0 min)
35g US Goldings (60 Min)
14g Nelson Sauvin (10 min)
2.5g chamomile (5 min)
14g Nelson Sauvin (Whirlpool)
Whirfloc
Yeast Nutrient

96oz of Welch's Farmers Pick Concorde Grape Juice (preservative free) added halfway through fermentation (gravity should be around 1.031).

Mash at 148F, 90 minute boil, start fermentation at 68F then raise temps to 80F over several days.

Update 12/2/2014
Gravity had dropped to almost 1.020 by the time I got home from work today. I was hoping to catch it around 1.030. The krausen is still about two inches deep so I went ahead and carefully added the grape juice.

Update 12/3/2014
Fermentation is very active after adding the juice. It had slowed a bit before adding the grape juice yesterday.

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Baltic Porter - Red Wine Barrel Project

>> Sunday, November 09, 2014

Today I'm brewing a Baltic Porter that's going to spend some time in a red wine barrel. One of my friends from my homebrew club (ZZ HOPS) acquired the barrel and asked for some help filling it. Projects like these are the kinds of fun things that result from participating in a homebrew club.

Here's a link to the original recipe and below is the way I brewed it (adjusted for my system efficiency and available ingredients).

8.5 # Avangard German Munich I
5.375 # Dingemans Pilsner Malt
6 oz Crisp Pale Chocolate Malt
6 oz Crisp Chocolate Malt
6 oz Dingemans Cara 45
6 oz Dingemans Special B
42.5g Magnum (60 min)
28.3g EKG (5 min)
0.5 Whirlfloc
0.5t Yeast Nutrient
WLP001 California Ale Yeast

Mash at 152F, 90 min boil, ferment at 65F

Brewing Notes
No real issues to speak of. My gravity came in a couple points low at 1.088; target was 1.091. My mill jammed as I was milling my grain for this batch. I took it apart and expected to find a pebble. I wasn't able to find the source of the jam and I ran it through for a second crush without any issues. I chilled down to about 70F then transferred to the fermenter and placed it in the ferm chamber set to 65F. I'll let it chill overnight then pitch the yeast.

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Chitty Bang Bang - Oud Bruin

>> Sunday, October 19, 2014

I needed to use up my Wyeast PC Oud Bruin blend so today I brewed up an Oud Bruin-ish beer. I like my Oud Bruins a bit more tart than the classic style guidelines. This style should be tart but not as much as a Flanders Red and they should have a fairly substantial malty backbone. This particular blend is supposed to allow the malt character to shine in the finished beer so I'm anxious to taste the results. As usual, I'm using aged hops in this beer. The recipe as I brewed it:

3 lbs 8.0 oz Crisp Maris Otter
3 lbs 8.0 oz Pilsner Malt
2 lbs 8.0 oz Munich Dark
1 lbs 8.0 oz Chit Malt
10.0 oz Aromatic Malt
8.0 oz Pale Wheat
8.0 oz Special B
1.0 oz Midnight Wheat
1.0 oz Debittered Aged Hops (60.0 min)
PC Oud Bruin Blend (Wyeast #3209)
Yeast Nutrient
Whirlfloc

Mash at 156F for 50 min, 90 minute boil, ferment at 80F.

Brewing Notes
No issues. Hit target O.G. of 1.074 spot on. I whirlpooled down to 80F then transferred to a Better Bottle and pitched the blend. No aeration on this one.

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