Friday, March 30, 2012

Saison w/ White Peppercorn, Orange Peel, Vanilla & Orange Blossom Honey

Wort, fermending on day 2
I came up with this idea while reading descriptions of other saisons which won medals at various festivals. Some of the popular saisons had peppercorns; pink, green, or a medley. One of my favorite peppercorns is the white peppercorn. I enjoy the flavor, and subtile spiciness. I find white pepper milder flavor than black pepper, the differences between the two have to do with ripeness at the time of picking and preparation methods. Additionally I'll be adding a bit of sweet orange peel to add a citrus note, and adding orange blossom honey at high krausen to up the gravity and add a bit of rich honey goodness.. The spices should add a complex depth to the french saison yeast, the honey should increase the citrus aromatics of the beer in a different way than is usual. At the last minute I decided to add a touch of ground vanilla bean. Ground beans have a spicier vanilla flavor than the caviar of the beans.

(read more after the break.)

The grain bill; looks delicious.
Brew Stats:
Boil Size: 1.14 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 1.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.069 SG
Estimated Color: 9.6 SRM
Estimated IBU: 25.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

10.0 oz Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) 25.6 %
10.0 oz White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) 25.6 %
6.2 oz Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) 15.7 %
3.0 oz Wheat - Red Malt (Briess) (2.3 SRM) 7.6 %
2.0 oz Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM)  5.1 %
0.20 oz Citra [12.00 %] - Boil 17.0 min 25.6 IBUs
0.50 tsp Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 0.0 mins)
0.25 tsp White Pepper (Boil 0.0 mins) 
0.10 tsp Vanilla Bean (Boil 0.0 mins)
1.0 pkg French Saison (Wyeast Labs #3711)
8.0 oz Orange Blossom Honey (1.0 SRM) 20.4 %

Mash Schedule:
Saccharification Add 6.11 qt of water at 162.7 F 156.0 F 60 min
Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 7 min 168.0 F 10 min

Brew day(3/25/12):
This went alright, I had to adjust things a bit because I only had 10 oz of Vienna malt. I had to sub in Munich malt, which was no worries for me. This change will add just a touch of complexity to the malt flavor. I also had originally planned to use Cara-Munich III instead of Cara-Munich I but I hadn't bought any by the time of brewing. All in all the changes left me with an unchanged original gravity and a 2 srm darker recipe.

(3/26/12) The fermentation wasn't vigorous this morning, it had no outward signs of fermentation. I attribute this to the temp dropping in my apartment last night to very chilly temps. It was so nice when I went to bed I had the window open. When I woke up it was near freezing. So I turned the heat back on, closed the window, and shook the fermentor.

(3/27/12) Fermentation had picked up by this morning and there was an inch of krausen on the top. I sanatized the bottle of honey and added 8 oz to the fermentor. I hope it all fits once fermentation kicks back up. The picture was from before work, and I added the honey after I got home. The Honey smelled wonderful, I'd like to make a gallon of mead sometime with orange blossum honey.

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