Thursday, September 1, 2016

Franken-beir: A Belgian Session Ale

Well, I've been saving the spent grains of my single gallon batches in preparation for this day--when I could mix them all together for a second runnings mash and get...something...low gravity.  Because I haven't done any one gallon brew days for a while--then three this week--a couple of them have been in the freezer since December.

I probably should have taken a picture of the gallon ziplock bags of grain to put here....

Anyways, this contains the spent grains from the Rye Trippel, Spruce Quad, the sour topper for the Highwayman old ale, Dark farmhouse wheat, and the Graveyard Gose.  If you want to check them out and calculate the proportions of each grain in there, go ahead--I really don't feel like it.

After mixing almost 15 pounds of grain in my 5.5 gallon kettle, and filling it as full as I could with hot tap water, I started the mash.  Mash in was around 100 degrees, and I applied heat steadily until I reached the target 155 degrees.  Then it got left....for two hours.

After squeezing, I came out with not enough gravity points (only 63 total, so added about 1.5 cups of sugar to boost it a little), added a gallon of water for the boil, and predict a OG of 1.030.

Since the wort had a pleasant graininess to it, and I both wanted to preserve that, as well as preferring my beer on the malty end of the spectrum, I decided to stick with maybe 22 IBU, and use up some of the opened packs of hops.  My bittering addition was a cinch--I didn't have very many options there without opening a new packet.  The others actually weren't too difficult either, once I decided that I wanted a Belgian.

.2 oz Sorochi Ace (lemony bittering) at 60 min, and about 1tsp ground ginger
.2 oz Styrian Goldings leaf (continental but not noble) at 20
.2 oz of Bitter Orange peel at 20
.3 oz fuggles (to give some earthiness) at 5 (along with the zest of a small orange)
and .2 oz each of Styrian Goldings and Sorochi Ace at 1 minute.

One of my more complicated schedules so far, considering I usually only use one or maybe two varieties.  I may consider dry-hopping as well.

For yeast, I am going with a clean (rather than the wild capture I have ready) saison (the one from 49th State Brewing company, which I've been playing with) to develop some of those Belgian yeast driven flavours.

6-19-16; OG was as predicted, at 1.030.  I fermented hot.

6-26-16; Flavour is okay, but it is extremely thin, at 1.004 FG.  I believe I am going to add malodextrin powder--8-10 gravity points worth. Maybe dry-hop too, if there is a sale on a noble type.

I did dry hop for a couple/few weeks, but have no idea what I used, or how much (it was the leftovers from yet another packet)--I am writing this a month later, and I didn't take notes.
2-3 weeks ago I racked it off the trub and hops, and put it in the fridge to cold crash.

8-28-16; Bottled, adding 2.3oz of sugar, 4.3oz of malodextrin to add body, and boiled 4 bay leaves with the bottling sugar.  The bay leaves were decided on when I tasted at racking--my taste buds pretty much said "it needs this".

9-2-16; Opened a first bottle on a whim--it's at least partially carbonated already.  Flavour is nice, with bay leaf on the front, hops in the middle, and with a slight bitter bite at the end.  Not as malty as I would have liked, but that's not a surprise.  Zero head retention.

© John Frey, 2016. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material.  The recipes and other contents therein may not be used for any commercial purposes.

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