Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hoppy Belgian Pale Ale/Saison Brewday

Today’s beer is something of an abomination, at least in terms of brewing strictly with style in mind: we’ve got an American hop profile, a Belgian pale ale malt profile, and all this is getting dumped on a Wyeast 3711 cake that was spiked with brettanomyces from a bottle of Saison de Lente. But since I’ve always been one to flaunt style, we’ll say to hell with it and get down to brass tacks. The goal of this beer is to make something nice and hoppy that will develop some funkiness with age. I’ll keep you posted...

87. Hoppy Belgian Pale Ale/Saison w/Brettanomyces
9 lbs. Dingemans Pilsen
1 ½ lb. Dingemans CaraVienna 20°

Mashed @ 152° F (probably closer to 154° F) w/ 3 gallons of RO water for 60 minutes (@ 168° F)
Sparged @ 168° F (probably closer to 165° F) w/ 2 ¾ gallons RO water for 18 minutes (@ 181° F) (@1.034)

Added to brew kettle, brought to a boil (60 minute) and added:

w/60 to go: 1 oz. Simcoe Leaf 14.1% AA, 2 grams gypsum

w/15 to go: 1 tsp. Irish Moss

w/10 to go: 1 oz. Centennial Leaf 11.5% AA

w/5 to go: 1 oz. Simcoe Leaf 14.1% AA

w/0 to go: 1 oz. Willamette Leaf 4.8% AA

Chilled, racked to carboy, and pitched on yeast cake from batch 74 (3711 and Saison de Lente dregs)

Brewed: 4/7/2011 @ 67° F
Secondary: skipped
Bottled: 5/12/2011 w/5 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.042
FG: 1.000

Tasting Notes (10/12/2011): The beer pours a hazy gold with an effervescent white head—lots of small tiny white streaming bubbles constantly stream up the side of the glass. The nose is developing a game-y funky edge—it is earthy and spicy while still maintaining a slightly spicy hop aroma. It also has a slight fruitiness that smells like cherries. Basically, it’s the best of all worlds here—funky and hoppy and fruity all in one happy package. Flavors start dry and sharp—there is a touch of sweetness that tastes yeast derived and also a carbonic bite in the front. The funk begins in the front; there are slight barnyard and mineral characters that start in the front and continue into the middle. Also in the middle is a fleeting yet enjoyable cherry fruit flavor—it took me half of the beer to identify it, but now it seems self-evident and I feel dumb for having missed it earlier. The spicy hop character comes in towards the tail-end of the middle, and lingers through into the finish, blending well with sharp dry brettanomyces character. The finish has a touch of sweetness and a combined lingering funk and bitterness on the palate—I don’t mean to be overly effusive, but this beer is a sweet delight. The body is bone dry and the mouthfeel is dry and lightly mealy. There is also a touch of alcohol warmth; it does, however, mix well with the other characteristics, and is not surprising given the FG. The lingering funkiness in the roof of my mouth and the overall complexity of this beer tells me I should already be mourning the inevitable disappearance of this beer. And I am. But right now, I’m drinking it, and it is all good. Damn.

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