Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cherry Saison w/ Brett B Brewday

Thus far this year, I have officially brewed more beers than Kevin Lolli has made posts on For Beer’s Sake. That’s right. That means I’ve dedicated more days to brewing that he has hours to writing posts. And if we want to include the time I spend here, well then, poor ol’ Kevin Lolli just looks like a turd on a stick. Should I even bother to google that image and see what comes up? You know I can’t resist the siren-call of Google image search... Anyway, sure he’s attending Law School, blah blah blah, and all that. But he lives in Chicago, and has plenty of opportunities that he should be exploiting. You hear me Lolli? Get busy. And the rest of you, don’t be afraid to click on those links. After all, I know you want to...

Anyway. Back to the beer.

Today’s delicious repast was inspired by the Reverse Osmosis machine at Krogers. Seriously. Because one day, after all of the time I’ve spent standing there and waiting for my 5 gallons jugs to fill, I looked to the right instead of aimlessly staring at the water slowly filling the bottle. And there it was: Fruit Fast Montmorency Tart Cherry concentrate. Just sitting there. Waiting for me. So after about another 15 trips to Kroger—yes, my muse is slow—I finally knew what I had to do. So here we are.

113. Cherry Saison w/ Brett B
8 lbs. MFB Pale
1 ¾ lbs. Muntons Pale (Pearl)
1 lb. Weyerman Acidulated
1 lb. Breiss Wheat

Mashed @ 152° F w/4 gallons of RO water and 2 g. gypsum for 70 minutes; collected 2 ½ gallons @ 1.070
Batch sparged @ 167° F w/4 gallons RO water and 2 g. gypsum for 20 minutes; collected 4 gallons @ 1.028

Collected 6 ½ gallons; brought to a boil (60 minutes) & added:
w/60 to go: 1 ½ oz. U.S. Magnum pellet 10% AA

w/15 to go: 1 tsp. Irish Moss

w/10 to go: 1 oz. New Zealand Hallertau pellet

w/5 to go: 1 oz. New Zealand Hallertau pellet

Chilled, racked to carboy; added 32 oz. Fruit Fast Montmorency Tart Cherry concentrate; pitched mason jar of Wyeast 3711 French Saison & 5112 Brettanomyces bruxellensis from 106. Saison w/ Brett B

Brewed: 4/12/2012 @ 72° F
Secondary: 5/1/2012 @ 1.010
Bottled: 12/1/2012 w/ 4.75 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.052 (prior to cherry concentrate addition)
FG: 1.002

Tasting Notes (2/22/2012): This beer is turning out better than I anticipated. It pours a crystal clear pinkish tan—I expected more color from the tart cherry concentrate, so I am guessing that I’ll need to use whole fruit if I want more of that—with a white creamy head that is laced with hints of pink as well. The nose is sweet fruit and malt combined with a dry tart brut; there is some earthy mustiness via the Brett b, and the cherry tartness, while muted, is present in the background. Flavors start with cherry, candy, and tartness before transitioning into the musty and earthy middle, which is dry enough to create the impression of sucking the moisture out of your mouth. The finish is slightly crackery with a mineral tang—the 3711 is there lurking, but the combination of the Brett dryness and cherry is covering it over pretty well. There is a lingering touch of alcohol warmth in the back of the mouth accompanied by musty cherry tartness—both hang on pleasantly—and the body is, as noted before, dry dry dry. The dryness gives it hints of the bite of brut champagne, which plays quite well with the cherry and Brett flavors. All in all, a delightful beer right now; I look forward to seeing what happens to it over time.

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