Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A Racking and Bottling we go...

This past Sunday was a busy day for brewing -- well, not brewing per se -- but racking and bottling. I bottled the Red IPA and it's turned out a bit thin, which is probably due to the low finishing gravity -- which is probably due to the extra long mash (almost two hours.) I dry hopped the IPA with two ounces of pellets and that seemed to muck things up quite a bit. I had to leave about a half gallon of beer because of all the floating and settled hops. I was a little bummed out about this, but it was kind of expected, and the four gallons I did bottle should have an alcohol of 6.5 percent by volume -- so less of a stronger than expected beer.

Once I bottled the IPA, I racked the saison in the empty carboy. It had a much higher gravity of 1.018, so I decided to go through with my plan for adding an additional yeast to dry the beer. I was a bit surprised at the amount of fermentation activity (about a half inch of foam) and how quickly the yeast sprung into action. It will be interesting to see how far the gravity drops in this beer. I also added an ounce of Styrian Goldings pellets. I'll probably give the beer a couple weeks for the hops to settle out.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Saison Season

Time to brew!

It's saison season (kind of redundant if your French). It's still cold outside, but in order to enjoy a tasty saison-style ale in mid- to late summer, it must be brewed in March. I've been brewing a Saison (think: Saison DuPont) for the last several years. Each year the beer is a little different; sometimes I use spices, sometimes I don't. This year, I didn't use any spices, but I added sugar. My goal for this summer's saison is to make a very dry beer. The sugar I've added to this batch should aid in accomplishing this, as well the additional yeast I plan on adding after primary fermentation. The first strain I'm using is the one I've always used, White Labs Saison. The second strain I'll be using to "dry" the beer, will be Safbrew T-58. I used the Safbrew T-58 last year to make a wheat beer and it turned out pretty good. With the saison, I'll be using this yeast to attempt a further attenuation of the beer, with a goal of a final gravity of 1.008 or lower. To this end, I also adjusted the length of the mash (in an effort to produce more sugars), which is something I did with the last beer I brewed. That beer, a red IPA, achieved a relative degree of attenuation of 88 percent, which translated to a finishing gravity of 1.004-6.
Here are the details for Saison Morency:

Batch Size (Gal): 5.00 Wort Size (Gal): 3.00
Total Grain (Lbs): 12.00
Anticipated OG: 1.055 Plato: 13.66
Anticipated SRM: 8.1
Anticipated IBU: 36.5
Brewhouse Efficiency: 50 %
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain:
8.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row)
2.00 lbs. Jaggery (Gur)
1.00 lbs. CaraVienne Malt
1.00 lbs. Torrefied Wheat
Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.

Hops:
1.00 oz. Styrian Goldings Whole 5.20 AA First Wort
1.00 oz. Styrian Goldings Whole 5.20 AA 60 min.
1.00 oz. Styrian Goldings Pellet 5.25 AA Dry Hop

Yeast:
White Labs Saison I

Mash Schedule:
Mash Type: Single Step Infusion
Qts Water Per Lbs Grain: 1.00
Saccharification Rest Temp: 158
Sparge Temp: 175
Total Mash Volume Gal: 3.30 - Dough-In Infusion Only

All temperature measurements are degrees Fahrenheit.