Posts Tagged ‘house saison’

june PG meeting, house saison IV, thrashlab visit

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

last thursday was the third thursday of the month, and as with all third thursdays, I headed up to culver city for pacific gravity’s monthly meeting.

  • I brought along bottles of my imperial stout and vizcaino for some sensory analysis – vizcaino’s bretty/fruity aroma and golden strong characteristics were well received, and the consensus regarding the imperial stout was that lack of carbonation and high finishing gravity hindered the overall package.
  • as a result, after kegging my clean portion of belgian amber and dosing the other portion with brett b, I individually opened each bottle of my imperial stout and re-yeasted them with red star premier cuvee dry wine yeast.  I contemplated trying a dry ale yeast first, but the beer’s high abv made me doubt that method’s success.  I plan on trying a bottle next week and chilling the bottles once adequate carbonation has been achieved to reduce the risk of overcarbonation.

I also got around to brewing the fourth iteration of my house saison after bottling the third batch last week.

  • keeping with my previous strategy of alternating light and dark variations, I strayed slightly from last year’s recipe with a few modifications, including the use of dark, pungent liquid candi sugar and low-alpha hops early in the boil (12 gal recipe):
    • 18 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM) Grain 2 72.7 %
      1 lbs 8.0 oz Munich Malt – 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 3 6.1 %
      1 lbs 8.0 oz Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 4 6.1 %
      1 lbs 4.0 oz Carafa II (412.0 SRM) Grain 5 5.1 %
      1 lbs Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 6 4.0 %
      1 lbs Candi Sugar, Dark (275.0 SRM) Sugar 7 4.0 %
      3.00 oz Saaz [1.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 8 4.1 IBUs
  • I also mashed higher than normal at 156F and hit my target gravity of 1.059 (14.5 brix) exactly due to a smooth sparge/lauter.  I gave my house slurry a couple days head start and then pitched a single vial of WLP566, which took off in a few hours.  after brewing this batch I came to realize that what was once a slight riff on a saison has evolved into sours somewhat comparable to blanc and banning.  as a result, after this batch has been kegged and bottled, I plan on returning to brewing a standard saison (likely with a high finisher like WLP565) with a simple post-fermentation brett addition (maybe some WLP644?).
  • also, during the start of my brew day the crew from thrashlab (specifically, the subculture club derivative) stopped by to film a general homebrewing how-to as well as to interview me about my process/brewing history.  everyone involved was a consummate professional, and filming went fairly smoothly.  it was definitely neat to share my love of homebrewing and hopefully turn some more people on to the hobby.  stay tuned for a link to the final video(s), and be sure to scrutinize all minutiae and call me out on any mistakes…




house saison bottling, vizcaino notes, fixing barrel leaks

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

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!




house saison round 3, dog treats

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

a casual perusal of my sour pipeline last week led me to realize that it had already been six months since the last iteration of my house saison hit the fermenter.  luckily, I had a couple of cases of bottles and a keg ready to take on some brew, and I managed to free up part of the weekend to get some wort going.

  •   I started with my standard recipe that I used for the first batch (which I was very happy with), but made a few (hopefully complementary) tweaks – I upped the mash temp to 150F, adjusted the grain bill a little, added clear candi and cane sugar, brought down the IBU, and ended up with an 80 minute boil:
    • 0.50 lb Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 2.13 %
      18.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM) Grain 76.60 %
      1.50 lb Munich Malt – 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 6.38 %
      1.50 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 6.38 %
      0.50 lb Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 2.13 %
      4.00 oz Hallertauer [2.20 %] (70 min) Hops 12.7 IBU
      2.00 oz Hallertauer [2.20 %] (0 min) Hops
      1.50 lb Candi Sugar, Clear (0.5 SRM) Sugar 6.38 %
  • I ended up with ~12 gals with an OG of 1.062 (15 brix) and an IBU count of around 12.7.  since all my house saisons have varied by one or more elements, I’m thinking about aggressively dry-hopping this beer a few weeks before bottling (but I haven’t ruled out other possibilities, such as racking onto fruit, oak aging, etc.).
  • the winter saison smelled funky and tasted earthy and sour when I bottled and kegged it – the carafa seems to have blended nicely with the bugs.  look for a review in a few weeks.
  • I also baked up some spent grain dog treats using the dog-friendly alternative to my spent grain bars.  even though I burned half the batch by trying to dry them out too quickly, the resulting treats were crunchy and aromatic, and the little brew assistant goes crazy for them.  they make a great christmas gift for dog lovers as well!