Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Citra Red Saison

America the bold, meet Belgium the wild. The classic tail of the steadfast American man falling for the impetuous European woman; it's like a romance movie beer. I got the inspiration for this from the home brew board at Beer Advocate. It made me start exploring the idea of saisons more. They are made with a few characteristic yeast strains one of which is the French strain which has a more balanced flavor then the Belgian strains offered by white labs or wyeast. This saison is designed to be a deep copper to red, the healthy dose of American hops should accentuate the fruity french saison yeast.

(Read more after the break.)

Saisons and wit beers can have citrus flavors ranging from gentle to strong, so I guess this is sort of a hybrid. It's a Belgian saison beer with a strong citra hopped flavor; sort of like a wit with with a saison yeast and a bit more caramel malt. This beer falls within the specs for a saison with the exception of the ibu's exceeding the upper end of the style by about 20%.

Recipe:
9.8 oz Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) 31.4 %
7.4 oz Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) 23.6 %
7.3 oz Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) 23.6 %
3.3 oz Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) 10.5 %
1.4 oz Carared (20.0 SRM) 4.4 %
1.4 oz Melanoiden Malt (20.0 SRM) 4.4 %
0.7 oz Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) 2.2 %
0.10 oz Citra [12.00 %] - 60.0 min 23.7 IBUs
0.15 oz Citra [12.00 %] - 15.0 min 17.7 IBUs
0.45 oz Citra [12.00 %] - 0.0 min 0.0 IBUs
0.5 pkg French Saison (Wyeast Labs #3711)

Mash:
Saccharification Add 6.13 qt of water at 158.5 F 152.0 F 75 min
Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 7 min 168.0 F 10 min 

Stats:
Boil Size: 1.5 gal
Estimated OG: 1.051 SG
Estimated FG: 1.009 SG
Estimated Color: 10.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 41.4 IBUs

Brew Thoughts:
The mash went well, everything went right on schedule, hops, chilling, etc. My only beef is that the red color didn't come through. I guess the red malts at ~11 SRM didn't yield a dark enough beer.  It's regrettable that it didn't get to the color I wanted but if the flavor I want comes through I won't complain much. In the video below you can see the airlocks, the faster bubble is the darker beer and this one is the slower bubble.

video 

Update:
It's too early to post a review of this beer because the sample I took was not carbonated, but was still really good. The color of the beer turned out to be just right and the flavor was spot on. The nose of the still beer was just a bit spicy with restrained citra hops, the flavor was a bit hoppy a bit citrusy and all saison. The color was just right as far as I am concerned. Pictures added.

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