Saturday, November 10, 2012

Farmhouse Brett Saison w/ Comet Brewday

This beer is not Brettanomyces-only, but the idea is still a delicious one. This is a partial remake of the previous 126. Saison w/ Comet, which also featured East Coast Yeast. And that beer was delicious. And by delicious, I mean I almost drank all of it before I realized it was gone. That good. Comet would be one of the new hops that should do well; I’m remaking this beer, and I already bought another pound of Comet hops. Again, yes, that good. Think zesty citrus and orange with bright spicy floral notes. Hops Direct says they have a wild, American aroma,which also works. I’m hoarding the last couple of bottles, one of which I will use to write a review. Shortly. Or not. You can just wait for it. While dreams of sugar-plums dance in your head.

133. Farmhouse Brett Saison w/ Comet
Mash:
4 lbs. Weyerman Pilsener
4 lbs. MFB Special Aromatic
1 lb. Breiss White Wheat
½ lb. Dingemans Cara 20
½ lb. Weyerman Dark Munich
½ lb. Old Fashioned Oatmeal

Mash @ 148° F for 90 minutes w/ 3 ½ gallons of RO water & 2 g. gypsum; collected 2 ¼ gallons @ 1.076
Batch sparge @ 166° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 ½ gallons RO water & 2 g. gypsum; collected 4 ½ gallons @ 1.024

Collected 6 ¾ gallons; brought to a boil (60 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: 1 oz Comet leaf 11.0% AA

w/15 to go: 1 oz. Comet leaf 11.0% AA & 1 tsp. Irish Moss

w/5 to go: 1 oz. Comet leaf 11.0% AA
8 oz. table sugar
4 g. crushed coriander
2 g. crushed seed of paradise

w/0 to go: 1 oz. Comet leaf 11.0% AA

Rested 5 minutes, chilled, racked to carboy, & pitched ECY03 Farmhouse Brett (Saison Blend)

Brewed: 11/10/2012
Secondary: 12/6/2012 @ 1.014; dry hop w/ 1 oz. Comet leaf 11.0% AA
Bottled: 2/28/2013 w/ 4.0 oz. table sugar
OG: 1.056
FG: 1.004

Tasting Notes (4/27/2013): This is a combined tasting of 133. ECY Farmhouse Brett Saison w/ Comet and 142. Rockit Cup Single Hop Session IPA w/ Comet: I wanted to see how Comet compared in the two styles. Both beers pour different shades of tan; the Saison is clearer and has more tan in it, while the IPA is slightly hazy and more of a dull gold. Both have a white head, with the saison having better retention and coverage—it is silkier and provides Belgian lacing on the glass. The nose of the Saison is a mix of resin and citrus, which includes mineral, lemon zest, orange flower, and dried orange as well as some spicy earthiness and just the hint of brett leather beginning to show. The IPA is more citrus forward, with peach, mango, passion fruit, and over-ripe pear—it much more tangy, although the spicy earthiness is lurking in the background. The Saison opens with cracker and toast malt with mineral hop tang and citrus; it further dries out in the middle and has a gentle cleansing bitterness that lingers into the finish. The earthiness and lemon zest start in the middle and run into the finish, and there is slight tart lemon citrus bite in the finish followed by the lingering bitterness and an earthy brett dryness. The carbonation is lively but not bright, although the beer itself has bright, crisp flavors even with the dry body. With the IPA, opening flavors are a kiss of caramel and orange marmalade; there is the same mineral tang as in the saison, but this one has more of a resin citrus bite to it. The middle is spicy resin bitterness mixed with pear and mango before giving way to bright, clean finish that features an ever-so-faint evergreen tang along with a gentle but assertive bitterness. This beer has more body and more hop flavor, but the underlying bitterness is strikingly similar between the two. I do get a slight gumminess from the wheat in the IPA that I don’t find in the Saison, which is surprising given that there is twice the wheat (1 lb. as compared to ½ lb.) in the Saison. While both the ½ lb. of oatmeal and the more attenuative yeast in the Saison helps account for the difference, the perception on the palate is still interesting to contemplate in relation to the differences in the malt profile. Still, when focusing on the shared hop between these two beers, I think that Comet has components that make it equally viable in both styles. There is a slight earthy gaminess behind the citrus and tropical fruit that may throw off some people, but it still finishes clean and bright. While I want to say I prefer the Saison to the IPA, I can’t honestly admit that: each beer plays to different strengths in regards to this hop. The Saison foregrounds the earthy components of the hop (and it is a bit longer in the tooth), while the IPA highlights the complex citrus and tropical fruit aspects of it. Either way, I’m hooked: Comet is the hop de jour at this house.

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