winter saison; tap handles

after more than a month of weekend trips and get-togethers, I was itching to head out to the garage and get a boil going.

  • my timing couldn’t have been better – it was closing in on six months since I brewed my saison, so my plan was to bottle and keg it and pitch its successor onto the yeast cake.
  • I decided on a slight variation of the last saison recipe, and included some carafa II to add a slight roastiness that was a big hit in my black lager:
    • 0.50 lb Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 2.04 %
      18.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM) Grain 73.47 %
      1.50 lb Munich Malt – 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 6.12 %
      1.50 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 6.12 %
      1.25 lb Carafa II (412.0 SRM) Grain 5.10 %
      0.25 lb Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 1.02 %
      3.00 oz Spalter [3.00 %] (70 min) Hops 13.0 IBU
      1.50 oz Spalter [3.00 %] (0 min) Hops
      1.50 lb Honey (1.0 SRM) Sugar 6.12 %
  • as shown above, I also subbed in local PV wildflower honey for the candi sugar (added at flameout for a final OG of 1.063.), used lower AA hops for a total of 13 IBUs, mashed higher at 151F, and didn’t oxygenate before racking onto the cake.  the last three tweaks were made in the hopes of giving my bugs a little extra help over the long run.
  • speaking of bugs, the WLP566, WLP655, and the series of fantome dregs I added (noel at 2 days and saison at 5 months into fermentation) did some great work on my summer saison – the end result had a tropical fruity aroma with some assertive funk and slight sourness in the sample I took while bottling.  I couldn’t help but let out a sigh of relief when I popped the carboy cap and was welcomed by a funky pellicle and fruity, sour aroma.
  • additionally, I collected four gallons of additional runoff from my mash tun and added 1.5 lbs of honey to make what I’ll call a “small braggot.”  I boiled it down to 3 gallons (at an OG of 1.033), hopped it proportionately to the winter saison, and pitched a small slurry of my saison blend into the results.
  • after a day or so of anxiety, both the winter saison and the braggot took off vigorously.  at least I’ll have 10 gallons of summer saison to keep me company while I wait six more months for this one!

In addition to my brew session, I also got around to putting together a custom tap handle for my keezer.

  • after sourcing a wood insert nut at lowe’s, I drilled a hole into a smooth piece of driftwood I picked up from wright’s beach and threaded the nut in.  this handle will signify the “wild” tap of my keezer, which will soon be pouring my wild patersbier and saison.

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