Monday, March 17, 2014

Hibiscus Saison Brewday

This is an experiment that I’ve been meaning to do for a while, but am only finally getting to it now. Nothing like adult obligations to put your life into perspective. Anyway, I am declaring this my Spring saisonal, the second saisonal of the year and the fourth beer in the ever-growing Great Saison Chain of Being. That beer does look a bit creepy in the carboy, doesn’t it?

173. Hibiscus Saison
3 lbs. Dingemanns Pilsner
3 lbs. Best Malz Spelt
2 ¼ lbs MFB Pilsner
1 lb. Weyermann Acidulated
½ lb. flaked barley

Mash @ 151° F for 80 minutes w/ 3 gallons RO water & 5 g. gypsum; collected 1 ½ gallons @ 1.072
Batch sparge @ 168° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water & 5 g. gypsum; collected 4 gallons @ 1.024

Collected 5 ½ gallons; topped off to 6 ¾ gallons, brought to a boil (70 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: 1 ½ oz. Willamette leaf 7.8% AA

w/15 to go: 1 oz. Styrian Golding pellet 2.0% AA

w/10 to go: 3 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient

½ lb. table sugar

w/0 to go: Styrian Golding pellet 2.0% AA
2.5 oz. hibiscus leaves

Let sit for 20 minutes; chilled and racked onto Yeast Bay Wallonian Farmhouse from 172. Saison

Primary: 3/17/2014 @ 72° F
Secondary: 4/12/2014 @ 1.004
Bottled: 6/2/2014 w/ 4 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.044
FG: 1.004

Tasting Notes: The idea behind this beer—using hibiscus in a saison—is good, but this particular version is not that good. I don’t like the Wallonian Farmhouse yeast (I didn’t like it much in 172 either), which probably colors my perception, although the hibiscus does cover over some of the burnt phenolics I get from the yeast in the other beer with this yeast. The beer pours a dirty pink, with a voluminous, long-lasting head that carries a slight pink hint. The nose is floral with a slight fruit tartness—I’d call it hibiscus, but that is a bit obvious—and some slight creaminess backed with pepper. The beer is bright and tart on the tongue—from both the hibiscus and the acidulated malt—with just a hint of body after the crisp bite from the carbonation. Flavors open with a floral fruitiness that is slightly cherry, and transition into pepper and dry cracker. The finish is rustic and a bit uneven—it is slightly scratchy via the carbonation, and not as clean as it needs to be, although there is a bit of lingering hibiscus sourness that makes up for it. There are some flavor components in the final third that I can’t quite put my finger on—a slight burnt flavor mixed with what I’ll labeling the intangible yeast elements—that make me label this beer pedestrian. The hibiscus components are solid; I’ll certainly revisit that part of this beer, as well as the grain bill. I’m just going to find another yeast to try, and maybe add something small like a couple grams of grains of paradise at flameout with the last hop addition. So close to wonderful, but missing that element that brings it all together. Stupid Wallonian Farmhouse. 

No comments:

Post a Comment