house saison bottling, vizcaino notes, fixing barrel leaks

last week, while topping off airlocks in the fermentation room, I noticed that yet another six months had passed since my last house saison started fermenting.

  • after grabbing some bottles and other goodies from south bay brewing supply, I cleaned out a corny keg, blasted everything with sanitizer, and got to filling.  the saison finished at 1.004 for a final ABV of 7.5%.  the beer is light gold, crystal clear, and has nice acidity as well as a strong tropical fruit aroma.  I’m considering serving this through a randall stuffed with bright citrus hops or blending some of it with a standard saison.

I also got around to tasting my first batch of vizcaino that had been in the bottle for two months:

  • appearance: pale gold, fine but thorough effervescence, 1/4″ head that manages to stick around as the beer warms
  • aroma: fresh cut fruit/melon with slight esters and brett in back
  • taste: vanilla oak with a warming alcohol finish, slight bit of earthy brett funk in there as well
  • overall: although this beer lacked significant sourness due to a low mash temp and late lacto/pedio additions, the fruit and funk brought in by the brett do complement the overall package, although I’m not sure it was worth a year’s worth of aging…

I also noticed a slight leak at the bottom perimeter of one side of the head in my solera barrel that had slowly worsened to the point where a few ounces of beer had escaped (much to the delight of some fruit flies).

  • instead of waiting for some barrel wax in the mail, I tapped into some homebrewer ingenuity and rolled a small piece of warm water surf wax into a cylinder, which I then pressed into the seam of the barrel head with a pen tip and smoothed out by running the head of a small allen wrench along the seam.  worked like a charm!




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