Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Saint Louis Witbier

So in my second annual Saint Louis brew session Kyle and I brewed a Belgian white beer. I really enjoy Allagash White so my recipe was heavily inspired by a clone recipe I saw for that beer online. I left out the mild lactic finish that I perceive in Allagash's brew.

A Belgian White is a style of brew that is gaining popularity for it's light footprint and surprising flavors. After nearly dying out in the 1950's the wit was revived by Pierre Celis at Hoegaarden. The beer is moderately sweet, very pale in color, and has a signature spice note. The spices in the style include orange, coriander, and a 'sweet' spice such as anise, ginger, cinnamon, or vanilla. The BJCP guidelines for Witbier are also informative.

(read more after the break.)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Berliner Update

So I wanted some Berliner refermented with fruit and some normal Berliner Weisse. Fruiting isn't exactly to style but I thought it would be a nice style with a mild lactic sourness to combine with the sweetness and natural tartness of bramble fruit. Bramble Fruit is the family of fruits that includes raspberries, blackberries, dewberries, and their various descendants. Oregon Fruits and Vintner's Harvest both produce fine aseptic fruit purees.

On the right you'll see the fruited portion of the beer. I fruited this beer at a rate of 2 pounds of aseptic fruit puree per gallon of Berliner. This is on the high end for fruiting a beer. Given the reasonably low flavor of the base beer I expect the fruit to dominate. I sampled the base beer that I had left to settle covered in aluminum in my moms fridge and it had a soft beer flavor and very little lactic acid. Dominated by fruit but hopefully with the lactic acid and brewer's yeast. I am hoping that the lactic acid bacteria can draw down the sweetness and add that lactic back bone.I hope that I'll have a winner of a fruit beer.

Updated Statistics - Fruited Berliner:

Recipe (as if it were 2.5 gallons):
15.0 oz DME Golden Light (Briess) (2.0 SRM) 11.9 %
15.0 oz DME Wheat Bavarian (Briess) (8.0 SRM) 11.9 %
0.23 oz Saaz [4.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min 4.2 IBUs
0.6 pkg European Ale (White Labs #WLP011)
0.6 pkg Lactobacillus Bacteria (White Labs)
3 lbs Fruit - Blackberry (0.0 SRM) 38.1 %
3 lbs Fruit - Raspberry (0.0 SRM) 38.1 % 

Estimated OG: 1.038 SG
Estimated ABV: 3.8%

Friday, May 18, 2012

Orange Pepper Saison

I collaborated on this beer with my pal Derek. In our trio of friends he has the second most brewing experiance behind me. I always have several brewing ideas kicking around in my head but I wanted to get derek more involved and invested in brewing so I offered to brew a beer with him. I gave him the choice of premium East Coast Yeasts I purchased for my summer brew sessions. He chose the Saison Brasserie Blend (ECY08). As part of the deal he had to design a beer, take the fermentor home in his car, and keg the beer. We brewed the beer on a saturday and while the beer was still in growth phase he took it home. After the break I've parsed his comments with some of my own thoughts. His writing will be in italics, with mine in green.

(read more after the break.)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sanctification Clone

I am in love with the Russian River sour beers. They inspire me. Vinnie has created a line of sours that are fermented with Brettanomyces and other bacteria. This line includes Sanctification, Supplication, Consecration, Beatification, and Temptation. Sanctification is the least wild of the bunch in that it's not aged in special oak barrels. It's refermented in the bottle and carries the great flavors and funk of brettanomyces. I have a bottle of this I am saving for when my clone/inspired by fermentation is over. Beer Advocate reviewers say that the flavors should be reminicent of sour grapes, sour apples, funky brettanomyces. I would agree with this, I don't have tasting notes from the amazing beer flight from pliny day but I remember finding this beer good and drinkable.

Awhile ago I found an article online at Embrace the Funk where Vinnie reveals the grain bill and yeast composition of sanctification's recipe. His grain bill is 85% Pale, 5% Vienna, 5% Acidulate, and 5% Wheat. The yeast measures out at 50% Brux, 10% Clau, 10% Lamb, and 30% Funky Blend (house culture; can be cultured up from beatification dregs). Hops are Styrian Golding 90 minute and Sterling 15 minutes. OG: 1.058 TG: 1.010-1.006 IBU: 25. This got me thinking that I could brew that or a beer close to that and use that as the base for my sour program.

(read more after the break.)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Maple Triple

I love the flavor of maple syrup and my Belgian triple was my best Belgian of all. With some East Coast Yeast - 13 Trappist Ale in hand I am setting about another Belgian experiment replacing candi sugar in my triple with grade B maple syrup.

This beer is loosely inspired by a beer I've never had from Lawson's Finest Liquids; a nano brewery in Vermont which produces many beers. Some of their beers are made from maple sap and offer up as a characteristic flavor maple. This beer is aged in oak/maple/liqueur barrels. I've had Acer Quercus from Lawson's/Bruery and they did a decent job of getting maple flavor into that beer so I can only imagine what their signature maple beers are like. I'll be bottling this in champagne bottles so that I can carbonate them at an appropriate level and cork and cage them for aging. I might as well just buy a champagne corker with the lambics and Belgians I hope to make. I'll see what renting one costs as I can already anticipate needing it at least annually.

(read more after the break.)