Friday, November 4, 2016

Tasting Notes for Spur, a Bière de Garde

Tasting notes of my beer Spur.  Quick recap to what this beer is and how it came about.  Basically it's a "spur of the moment" clean up the specialty grain bin Bière de Garde.  For this one I had some Golden Naked Oats, Special B and Caramunich III that I need to use before they got too old.  I've been wanting to brew a lot more Bière de Garde and those grains sounded like they would be perfect for that.  I also had a pack of Wyeast Canadian/Belgian Ale I needed to use.  What came of all of that was my beer, Spur.

The tasting notes are below and the brew day post can be found here for those that would like to read more in depth.




Drinking on 11-3-16

Stats:
ABV: 6.15%
SG:  1.057 or 14.04°P
FG:  1.010 or 2.05°P
Apparent Attenuation:  83%
Actual Attenuation:  67%


Appearance:  Deep red, almost mahogany in color.  Slightly cloudy but that should go away with more conditioning time.  As of right now it hasn't been in the bottle for quite a month yet.  Off white almost tan head with great tight bubbles and pretty decent retention.  Also a bit of lacing on the glass.  Carbonation is running up the sides of the glass as it sits and even more when I swirl it.  I really like the look of this one.  Reminds me of a Belgian Dubbel in appearance.


Closer pic shows more red tones.  Mahogany wood was the first
thing that came to mind.



Aroma:  Firs thing I notice is the maltiness.  It doesn't seem sweet but the malt aromas are coming through.  Just a touch of fruity character in the way of dark cherries or something like that.  Some dried wood aroma, hint of pepper like spice and the faintest of clove may be there.  Hints of the Belgian yeast but definitely not dominant.  Clean maltiness is the star and that's what I want.


Lighting sucks on this pic but the head was full of tight tiny bubbles.
Naturally carbonation beers always produces that for me.



Flavor:  Malt is again the star with the grains shinning through.  Even close to chewing raw grain but not overly sweet.  Just a minor touch of sweetness to compliment it.  A bit of pepper spice on the back end but again not overly so as to say Belgian or Saison even.  Pretty clean and dry on the finish.


Mouthfeel:  Medium to almost medium full.  The carbonation cuts through some of it.  This one is right around 2.8-3 vol of CO2 and I'm pretty happy with that level.  I may push the keg up to 3.2 just to see how I like that.




Overall:  This may be my new favorite clean Bière de Garde that I've brewed.  I like it better than the first one I did and the flavor of the Avant Garde style one I did before I added brett to it.  I think the amount of specialty grains did well without leaving the beer seeming to sweet or cloying at all.  The base grain bill is pretty nice for those that want to try something like that.  Of course this being my "spur of the moment" Bière de Garde, my next brew of it may be pretty different.  I've got some rye and buckwheat I need to use soon.  I'm thinking of trying that out with another Belgian strain that is pretty clean.

For changes, I don't really know what I'd change on this one.  If I were to brew it again, I may put it in cold storage just a bit longer.  It wouldn't hurt to pitch some more yeast at packaging either.  Brewing with different strains makes that a bit tougher but I'll figure something out for the next one.

Good things!

Andrew "Gus" Addkison
gusaddkison@gmail.com
@aaddkison on Twitter
on UnTappd:
Gus_13
on Instagram:
farmhouseobsession

Monday, October 17, 2016

Tasting Notes for Avant Garde style Bière de Garde


This beer took inspiration from Lost Abbey's Avant Garde but I added a bit of my own things into the brew as well.  I've been trying to nail some of the flavors that are often familiar with commercial examples of Bière de Garde.  I've said many times that I believe this beer gets the signature musty cellar aromas from a hint of brettanomyces and not just from long storage with a cork.  I wanted to simulate those characters in my beer.  I may be way off but, in the same regard, I may come out with something quite enjoyable.  You can find the brew day notes and recipe here.




Stats:
ABV: 7.35%
SG:  1.060 or 14.74°P
FG:  1.004 or 1.03°P
Apparent Attenuation:  93.33%
Actual Attenuation:  75.97%



Appearance:  Dark amber in color with some golden hues.  Pours slightly hazy but could have been a touch of chill haze.  Head was white with tight bubbles but it immediately dissipated.  No lacing at all but there is a good bit of carbonation visible.  From time to time I see beers with brett not have much in the way of head retention.  I'll work on that going forward in my Bière de Garde brewing.




Aroma:  Malt up front with a hint of fruitiness.  Nothing really stands out in the nose but as it warms there is definitely an earthy funk in there.  Almost mushroom like when I think about it.  Maybe a touch of grain and that's pretty much it.


Flavor:  Just a touch more malt character in the flavor than in the aroma.  That's what I'm looking for.  The earthiness is also there.  This is more of the yeast earthiness that I've gotten in WLP072 before.  It may be a touch higher with the addition of the brett but not really pronounced.  The beer does finish dry like I wanted it to. 




Mouthfeel:  Medium mouthfeel and a spring of carbonation as you drink.  There is more carbonation than in the appearance since there is no head retention.


Overall:  I think my girlfriend said it best when describing this beer.  She said, "I mean, I'd drink it."  It's somewhat of an uneventful beer but it does have the makings of a good beer and actually did get a bit of the earthiness I was looking to get out of it.  Otherwise, it's not really special but it definitely isn't bad.  I think the lack of head retention really throws me off too.

I think this beer is on the right track.  I'll swap to a different yeast next time to maybe get a bit more character.  I think if there were some esters created by the primary yeast, the brettanomyces may have more to work with.  I believe this strain of brett is well suited for the style so I'll be experimenting with it more.  Maybe adding some oak to it for some time will bring up the complexity.  I'm still very interested in figuring out Bière de Garde and what all it entails.

*Sorry for the lack of photos on this one.  But in all honesty, it wasn't a super interesting beer to photograph!

Good things!


Andrew "Gus" Addkison
gusaddkison@gmail.com
@aaddkison on Twitter
on UnTappd:
Gus_13
on Instagram:
farmhouseobsession

Monday, October 3, 2016

2016 Dark Saison

I've been looking forward to this year's dark Saison for a while.  I've had some ideas come and go of what I want to do with this one and I've finally settled on what I think will be a nice entry for 2016.

Last year's beer was pretty good but it never really developed any significant tartness.  That was most likely due to the higher IBUs more than anything.  I plan to do things a little differently this year by dialing back the IBUs and using some different souring microbes.  There wasn't a ton of funk in the 2015 beer either.  That, again, was due to the blend I used.  Gigayeast described the blend as big cherry notes and that's exactly what I got.  I want this year's beer to be a bit more funky and definitely more sour.



Recipe:  Dark Saison 2016
Brewer:  Gus
Batch:  18
Date:  10-1-16

Batch Size:  6.5 gal
Boil Size:  8.63 gal
Post Boil Volume:  6.76 gal  
Estimated OG:  1.051
Actual OG:  1.055
Estimated Color:  31.7 SRM
Estimated IBU:  9.1 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency:  74.60%
Est Mash Efficiency:  74.60%
Boil Time:  75 Minutes

Fermentables:
77.7% Vienna Malt (Avangard)
7.8% Malted Oats (Thomas Fawcett)
7.8% Caramunich III (Weyermann)

3.9% Midnight Wheat 
2.9% Chocolate Rye (Weyermann)

Hops:
9.1 IBUs of EKG @ 60 min
  
Yeast:
Obsession Blend (C2C and ECY-08), White Labs WLP670 American Farmhouse Blend, Bootleg Biology Sour Weapon

Mash Schedule:
Temperature mash of 151F for 75 min with a 10 minute mashout at 168F


The Obsession Blend, as I'm calling it, has really been great for a ton of beers for me so far.  I'm not really sure what the ratios of each yeast and the brettanomyces in the blend are anymore but I'm not really worried about that since I like the outcome of the blend each time.  I decided to bump it up a notch with this brew and use another favorite yeast blend and by adding some pediococcus into the mix.  I'll be using the WLP670 American Farmhouse Blend from White Labs that I've used in a few beers now.  I am also adding in the Sour Weapon from Bootleg Biology.  Jeff from Bootleg Biology does recommend using Sour Weapon as a kettle souring bacteria but also states that it will work over a period of time like the standard pedio on the market


 I took some inspiration from some Bruery Tart of Darkness recipes I've seen and lowered the IBUs and subbed in some other malts to get what I am looking for.  I also adjusted the OG a little lower to fit my idea of what I wanted.


I use BeerSmith to create my recipes but when it comes to mashing, now I really go with feel and look for a certain consistency instead of using what it recommends.  That's something I encourage others to do as well.  Find out what works for you and go from there.  With my system, I usually have to add more than the recommended amount due to the false bottom.  I know I can correct that with BeerSmith but I've been getting better and better efficiency going on the consistency.  This mash was semi thick but I ended up adding a touch more water to get the temperature I needed and make up for the lost wort during recirculation.

Everyone loves a recirculation shot.

I collected just over 8.5 gallons and started my 75 minute boil.  The preboil gravity was higher than expected at 1.042 with a target of 1.039.  My extraction is better now that it has been in the past.  I've adjusted my grain mill and now I'm getting a very consistent crush for all the grains.  As a result, my efficiency is going up.  I was around 82% for this beer.  Up from my average of around 75% and from my last brew that was around 78%.

Dark, delicious wort. Dark fruits, malty and a touch of roast.
I boiled for 75 minutes and added my small amount of bittering hops at the 60 minute mark.  When the boil was complete I ran the wort through my heat exchanger to hit a temperature of just under 90F.  Then I pitched the starter of Sour Weapon and covered the fermentor with sanitized aluminum foil.  I made the starter with 600mL of wort and kept it in the oven with the light on.  The temperature stayed at 95-98F the entire time.  Definitely smelled tart and a little sweet when I pitched it.

That's not krausen, it's from pumping the wort into the fermentor.
After 24 hours I pitched the vial of WLP670 and the Obsession Blend from a starter.  The next morning there was definite activity.  I'll be letting this ferment at room temperature (around 72-74F) for the entire time.  I've been getting great results at these temps with no airlock.  When the fermentation slows, I'll add the airlock for it to finish working.

Around 8 hours after pitching.


I'll post back with some updates soon!

 Updates:

10-2-16:  18 hrs after pitching the yeast, full krausen and really active fermentation happening.




Good things!


Andrew "Gus" Addkison
gusaddkison@gmail.com
@aaddkison on Twitter
on UnTappd:
Gus_13
on Instagram:
farmhouseobsession

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tasting Notes for Fluffy (my Wheat Saison)

Tasting notes of my beer Fluffy.  I've been drinking on this beer a while and trying to get carbonation right.  Still not there but it's time for some tasting notes.

Brew day post can be found here.



Drinking on 8-25-16

Stats:
ABV: 6.04%
SG:  1.049 or 12.15°P
FG:  1.003 or 0.77°P
Apparent Attenuation:  94%
Actual Attenuation:  77%


Appearance:  Pale golden in color and super clear.  Off white head but the head isn't exactly what I was expecting.  Few tight bubbles and more sporadically sized bubbles than I usually have.  I attribute this to keg conditioning versus bottle conditioning.  Head dissipates rather quickly.  More work to be done there for sure.  But otherwise, very beautiful beer.


Aroma:  Right up front there is a banana character and a hint of white grape.  Very light spice is pushed back by even more fruit notes.  More fruity than anything in the nose of this one.  I tend to get that with a lot of the Saison yeasts now days and even more so when paired with Brettanomyces that pushes more fruit than funk.  With that note, no real funk character.  I'm very pleased with the nose as it's what I was aiming for. 



Flavor:  Definitely more classic Saison character in the flavor.  More spice and some citrus notes in the beginning but it finishes with a bit of the banana and white grape flavors almost like white wine.  Dry and spicy on the very end.  Fresh there was less spice and more fruit so I'm assuming that's what the conditioning has brought out.  Just a bit of malt character coming through in the form of a light breadiness.  

Mouthfeel:  Medium.  That's about it.  Not full at all and not thin for how dry it is.  

Overall:  I definitely have some ideas for a few changes to this beer.  I think bottle conditioning is definitely going to bring out more character.  I will definitely add some darker wheat for a bit more character.  Maybe ferment a little warmer and then package quicker as well.  I was a bit lazy in getting this in the keg then I had some issues with the carbonation and the regulator on the CO2 tank.


For my first beer with the C2C blend from Omega, I really like it.  I plan on using it a lot more and actually have used it in combination with ECY08 in a batch of Kathleen.

Good things!

Andrew "Gus" Addkison
gusaddkison@gmail.com
@aaddkison on Twitter
on UnTappd:
Gus_13
on Instagram:
farmhouseobsession

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tasting Notes for Rye Saison with Pekko Hops

Here we are!  Tasting notes for a beer I was really excited about brewing.  Using hops from one of my favorite local brews and using a yeast I hadn't used in a very long time.  I wanted to do something simple but not boring.  These new age hops can really shine if you showcase them but I didn't want to overpower the other characteristics of the beer.  I wanted to see what the yeast would give me as well as still get some of the malt flavors and aromas I love.  Let's see how I did.

Brew day post can be found here.

Pekko Rye

View of the cul-de-sac where my beers are made.

Drinking on 8-25-16

Stats:
ABV: 6.04%
SG:  1.049 or 12.15°P
FG:  1.003 or 0.77°P
Apparent Attenuation:  94%
Actual Attenuation:  77%




Appearance:  Yellow golden in color with a great white creamy looking head.  Rye really does great things for foam in beer.  Slight chill haze out of the keg but it clears up over time.  The head does eventually give way to a patch of frothy bubbles and carbonation steadily streams up the glass.  It's a beautifully beer really deserving of a stemmed glass for sure.



Aroma:  Herbal and pepper character is up front.  Then a very light citrus and pear note come in. The mint quality is definitely there that I've gotten with this hop before.  It isn't something huge about it but it's very nice to pick up.  The yeast offers up some nice white pepper and even a light woody tone.  Maybe something like cedar or something in the fir family.  It's hard to put a finger on.  A nice graininess is there too.  Very pleasant aroma for a nice Summer beer.




Flavor:  Definitely classic Saison notes.  Less fruit than other yeast strains I've used but there is a slight fruit quality from the hops.  Slight citrus but not overly so.  More of the herbal and pepper qualities I really enjoy.  These are some great hops for sure.  One of the newer hop varietals that screams Saison IMO.  The beer finishes really dry but has just a very light sweetness that gives it character.  If someone else were to drink this I don't know if they would pick up the sweetness because it is so dry.   I really think it's the grain flavor from the Pilsner and rye malts more than it is actual sweetness.


Mouthfeel:  Medium mouthfeel for such a dry beer due to the carbonation levels.  I still want it to be a little bit higher in carbonation but I am working on changing some things in my keezer to accomidate higher carbonation levels.  Finishes really nice and dry and is supremely drinkable for sure.  




Overall:  The first time I had this hop, I loved it.  It screamed Saison and I had to brew with it.  Luckily I found a place I could get some and I'm really glad I did.  I think I will be using this in some other brews but I'm definitely re-brewing this same beer with a few tweaks to this recipe.  I do want to add a bit more bitterness and maybe even a strain of brett.  I think Brett C or Drei would work wonderfully with this hop.  But, I'm glad I brewed a clean Saison with it first.  I often overlook brewing clean beers for my love of funky/tart beers.

I really enjoyed the flavors and aromas the Barke Pilsner brought too.  More grain characteristic than I've had in a lot of my beers and I like that.  I'll be using it on a lot of beers coming up.

I am also really impressed with this yeast strain.  I think 566 often gets overlooked due to it's cousins in 565 and 3724.  It's definitely let fruity and has great pepper and even a woody tone.  I'm anxious to brew more beers with this one.  I'll be using it in a beer I'm working on to be a tribute to Saison de Pipaix.  I've been talking with Dave Janssen of Hors Catégorie Brewing about designing this one so be on the look out for that.


Good things!


Andrew "Gus" Addkison
gusaddkison@gmail.com
@aaddkison on Twitter
on UnTappd:
Gus_13
on Instagram:
farmhouseobsession

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Rye Saison with Pekko Hops

New world hops have brought many things to brewing.  Whether it's creating American Pale Ales and IPAs, dry hopped sours, or the new "it" beer, the Northeast IPA, there are so many new flavors coming to us from recent hop varieties.  Something I've really enjoyed is using these new hops in Saison brewing.  With Kathleen I've always used Amarillo hops because that's one of my favorite.  It's definitely not a traditional hop for Saison but it's my spin on brewing them.  I've also had great success with Australian or NZ varietals like Nelson Sauvin or Galaxy.  Hallertau Blanc from Germany has also become a staple as a dry hop for me.  I really love all the additions all of those lend to Saison.

Some time ago a local brewery, Lucky Town Brewery, put out a Saison for a Jackson Zoo benefit called Saison de Zoo.  In that beer the head brewer, Lucas Simmons, used a relatively new at the time hop called Pekko.  It was a phenomenal Saison and one of the best I've had brewed locally from any of the MS breweries.  It had awesome herbal qualities and young had a fantastic mint quality.  As the beer aged (I drank it everywhere it was on tap for as long as I could) it began to open up.  The mint faded but there was a really great citrus and earthy quality after that.  I knew I wanted to use them in a beer and Lucas was kind enough to give me a couple ounces to work with.

Here's the recipe:


Recipe:  Rye Saison
Brewer:  Gus
Batch:  16
Date:  7-31-16

Batch Size:  6.5 gal
Boil Size:  8.63 gal
Post Boil Volume:  6.76 gal  
Estimated OG:  1.053
Actual OG:  1.049 (I believe the flaked rye was pretty old and didn't help efficiency at all)
Estimated Color:  4.1 SRM
Estimated IBU:  31 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency:  74.60% (around 68.2% for this brew)
Est Mash Efficiency:  74.60%
Boil Time:  75 Minutes

Fermentables:
72% Barke Pilsner Malt (Weyermann)
20% Flaked Rye (Briess)  
4% Malted Oats (Thomas Fawcett)
4% Table Sugar (added @ 5 min)

Hops:
12.0 IBUs of Crystal (3.8% AA) @ 60 min
10.3 IBUs of Pekko (15.4% AA) @ 5 min 
8.5 IBUs 15 min Whirlpool with Pekko (15.4% AA)

Yeast:
White Labs WLP566 Belgian Saison II

Mash Schedule:
Temperature mash of 149F for 75 min with a 10 minute mashout at 168F


Getting the hops and sugar weighed out. Was actually 5 min addition not 15.

I really wanted to use this hop with some rye.  I thought the two would work well together and came up with the above recipe rather quickly.  I intended to use rye malt but I discovered on brew day that my bag had become infested with some weevils.  Always store your grain in proper containers folks.  A brown paper bag is not proper.  I luckily had some flaked rye to use for this brew but next time I buy some rye malt I'll be storing it in an airtight container.  The flaked rye was pretty old so I'm thinking that was one thing that gave me the hit in efficiency.

Had to audible to flaked rye do to some invasive weevils int the malted.

 I added the milled Pilsner and malted oats in the mash tun and spread the flaked rye over the top.  Then I underlet the mash and held a temp of 148-149F over 75 minutes.  I then mashed out at 168F for 10 min and started collecting my first runnings.  I sparged with 170F degree water to get a boil volume of 8.75 gallons.  This probably hit my efficiency a little as well since the target boil volume is 8.63 gallons but I'm happy with where the gravity ended up with this one at 1.049.

Fly sparging.

The Pekko hops really have an awesome aroma in the bag.  Herbal, mint, orange juice is what I'd use to describe it.  I used a late addition of 30g at 5 minutes with the table sugar and then added another 20g at flameout for a 15 minute whirlpool.  After that I rant he wort through the wort chiller and cooled to 66F.  I pitched my starter of White Labs WLP566 Belgian Saison II and left at room temp (around 71F) for fermentation to begin.

Rolling but controlled boil.

I'm using WLP566 for this beer after not having used this yeast for a long time.  I'm not sure why I never used it again because if I remember correctly, I really enjoyed the beer I made with it.  The last time I used it was a simple Saison with 90% Belgian pale malt and 10% wheat malt with Styrian Goldings and EKG hops.  So I thought I'd give it another go and keep the culture around for a few other projects.  This one will most likely be kegged with maybe a few bottles to see how it develops over time.

Room temperature fermentation.  Averaging 72-74F mostly.

Updates:

7-31-16:  By 6PM fermentation was underway.  Steady activity of off gassing through the airlock.

8-9-16:  Gravity at 1.003 and the beer was already pretty clear.  Kegged it up and set it in the keezer to carbonate.  Sample had lots of herbal qualities and I really dug it. 

Tasting notes here!

Good things!

Andrew "Gus" Addkison
gusaddkison@gmail.com
@aaddkison on Twitter
on UnTappd:
Gus_13
on Instagram:
farmhouseobsession

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Foraged Yeast Brew Day

Earlier this year I decided I wanted to try some yeast capturing again.  Last year I had some pretty bad experiences that resulted in lots of mold and some terrible smelling Mason jars around the house.  My original technique was to make a batch of extract wort and place the jars covered in cheese cloth around my yard in various places.  That seemed to be how a lot of people were doing it.  Well in two attempts, I have been very unsuccessful that way.  I'm sure it had to do with my technique as well as the microbes around my house.


After those failed attempts I decided to try another way recommended by Jeff Mello of Bootleg Biology.  This is also the technique that I spoke with Gerard Olson from Forest and Main Brewing Co. when I visited there earlier this year.  Basically you use foraged objects like flowers and fruits (among other things) to try and capture a wild yeast culture.  I recently wrote a small primer article for Craft Commander on foraging for wild yeast.  You can take a look at that here.  It's not exactly scientific but it covers the basic steps I used in capturing my culture I used in this beer.


For my culture I decided to user clover flowers from my front yard.  The afternoon I picked the flowers there was a ton of activity.  A mild breeze was blowing and bees were visible all over the flowers.  Hopefully I'll get something really nice out of this!



Recipe:  Foraged Yeast Beer
Brewer:  Gus
Batch:  15
Date:  7-9-16

Batch Size:  4.0 gal
Boil Size:  6.04 gal
Post Boil Volume:  4.16 gal  
Estimated OG:  1.042
Actual OG:  1.044
Estimated Color:  3.0 SRM
Estimated IBU:  20.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency:  74.60%
Est Mash Efficiency:  74.60%
Boil Time:  75 Minutes

Fermentables:
100% Pilsner Malt (Avangard)

Hops:
24.6 IBUs of Aramis @ 60 min


Yeast:
Foraged Yeast from Clover Flowers

Mash Schedule:
Temperature mash of 149F for 75 min with a 10 minute mashout at 168F


100% Avangard Pilsner malt

I mashed in for 75 min with the temperature of 149F.  I wanted to get something really fermentable and give the foraged culture something easy to work with.  100% Pilsner should give a good base to let whatever I've capture shine through.


Love seeing clear wort.

I boiled the wort for 75 min and added around 14g of Aramis hops at 60 minutes.  With this batch being so small I wasn't able to use my stainless hop spider so I put the hops in a nylon hop bag.


Nylon hop bag and 14g or so of Aramis hops

After the boil I recirculated the wort for about 15 minutes and then ran it through my heat exchanger to get the wort down to 68F.  I collected just under 4 gallons in the carboy and pitched my culture while keeping back a small bit for further propagation.  If this beer turns out well, I'll send some of the yeast slurry over to Jeff Mello.  I covered the top of the carboy with sanitized aluminum foil as I do with most of my beers.  I'll add a bung and airlock after activity starts to slow.

Now it's time for some fermentation!

Super simple brew day.  The smallest batch I've done on my system so far.  I didn't even have enough in the mash tun to use the thermometer in the side.  This wasn't a problem as I rely on the temperature probe I have in the outlet to regulate my mash temps.  I'm really looking forward to the outcome of this beer!  I'll also be foraging some more cultures very soon!

Updates:

7-10-16:  6AM krausen has already formed and fermentation is under way!



7-11-16:  Very active.  At least 3 inches of thick krausen on top and a nice yeasty smell coming from the carboy.



7-12-16:  Activity has slowed just a bit.  I swapped the foil for a bung and airlock but steady CO2 off gassing came through the 3 piece airlock when I added the Star-San solution to it.  Looking really promising.  The aroma was very similar to the starters.  Hints of honey, light tartness and a bit of citrus seemed to come through too.


7-24-16:  All signs of fermentation have stopped.  Looks like it has even flocculated really well.  I'll be packaging soon!

9-7-16:  Bottled the batch.

10-7-16:  Tasted one bottle.  Slight bit of THP there so I'm going to give it some more time before I do tasting notes.

Final tasting notes here!

Good things!

Andrew "Gus" Addkison
gusaddkison@gmail.com
@aaddkison on Twitter
on UnTappd:
Gus_13
on Instagram:
farmhouseobsession

Friday, July 8, 2016

Spur of the Moment Bière de Garde

There comes a day in every homebrewer's time brewing where there are some extra grains lying around.  Usually it isn't enough to play a big role in a beer but sometimes it could be the perfect amount.  I had a few things left over from past beers and received some new yeast I wanted to brew with so I decided to make a spur of the moment Bière de Garde.

I have used Golden Naked Oats in another Bière de Garde and IPA late last year and earlier this year.  I still have a few pounds of it left.  I also had some Caramunich and a little Special B.  I thought these may be some perfect specialty malts to make a nice amber biere that I can drink late in the Summer into early Fall.


Recipe:  Spur
Brewer:  Gus
Batch:  14
Date:  7-1-16

Batch Size:  6.5 gal
Boil Size:  9.76 gal
Post Boil Volume:  6.76 gal  
Estimated OG:  1.056
Actual OG:  1.057
Estimated Color:  14.6 SRM
Estimated IBU:  23.2 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency:  74.60% (about 78% on this brew)
Est Mash Efficiency:  74.60%
Boil Time:  120 Minutes

Fermentables:
81.5% Pilsner Malt (Avangard)
7.4% Golden Naked Oats (Simpson's)
5.6% Special B (Dingeman's)
5.6% Caramunich III Malt (Weyermann)

Hops:
23.2 IBUs of Aramis @ 60 min

Yeast:
Wyeast 3864-PC Canadian/Belgian Ale

Mash Schedule:
Temperature mash of 149F for 75 min with a 10 minute mash out at 168F


Check out the contrast in the different grains.  Pretty cool.

This is my first time using a Belgian strain to ferment a Bière de Garde.  With Wyeast having Canadian/Belgian Ale 3864 out now as a PC strain, I decided to use it.  I'm hoping I can ferment in the mid 60s to keep any esters at bay and create a semi clean beer.  After primary fermentation is done, I will set it to lager for 4-6 weeks before bottling.  This time I also plan to use the same yeast to bottle condition the beer.  I'll do the same practice as with Bob's technique but this time using the Belgian strain.

I have to believe that in Northern France where these beers were historically brewed, that there were some farmers/homes using a Belgian strain borrowed from a neighbor who borrowed it from their neighbor who got it from a Belgian brewery.  All that is possible right?  In Phil Markowski's Farmhouse Ales book (get it here if you haven't already) he suggests using clean ale strains to ferment Bières de Garde.  I'm a large fan of White Labs WLP072 French Ale but it being a seasonal Platinum strain it's hard to come by.  I try keeping it around but my culture has definitely taken on a new life and probably has been infected.

Wyeast suggested this yeast for the style in the 2016 release description and I've wanted to use this yeast before when I was making a lot of other Belgian styles.  This way I'm killing two birds as it were.  I've read a few places where Belgian strains are recommended but I have yet to use one myself.  I made a small starter around 800mL for this one the night before.  The next day the flask was full of milky yeast.


Under letting the mash.  I really like doughing in this way.

The mash went very well and I sparged over about an hour to get my boil volume.  I also had better extraction in that my preboil gravity was 1.043 instead of the target 1.038.  Little better mash efficiency.  I boiled this one for 2 hours.  I'm now set on that being the minimum boiling time for the style for me.  I really like the results of going up to 3 hours but I didn't have the time for that this brew day.  I boiled and added the hops with 60 min left in the boil then ran through the heat exchanger and into my Speidel.


Awesome color on the first runnings.

I set the temp to hold at 64F for the first couple of days.  If the beer is slow to start fermenting I'll bump it up.  I'd like to keep the temperatures low to encourage a more clean ferment with lower amounts of esters from the yeast.  I'll ramp as needed to complete fermentation.  I really liked the flavor and aroma of the wort.  Sweet of course but there was some great malt aroma and a nice raisin character that I'm sure came from the Special B malt.


Nothing too exciting on this brew day.  I got to use up some older grains and I'm really liking the color that came out of using them.  I'll let this one sit in cold storage for 4-6 weeks then bottle condition and have tasting notes up soon!


Decent BdG I had on brew day.  A bit sweet and has a grape flavor for me.

Some extra reading that was shared recently on the Farmhouse Facebook can be found here.  I enjoyed reading some brewers talk about Bière de Garde as it's not really a popular subject now.  It could possibly become the new Saison eventually but I doubt it.

https://www.craftbeer.com/craft-beer-muses/biere-de-garde-beer-style-youre-overlooking-shouldnt?src=62416_FB4

Also some pretty good guidelines for Bières de Garde.  I feel these are pretty accurate for the style.  More so than the BJCP's guidelines in the past.

https://www.craftbeer.com/styles/biere-de-garde

Updates:

7-2-16:  Fermentation started by 6AM.  Pretty vigorous fermentation at that!

7-3-16:  Raised temp to 66F.  Fermentation was still going but not as quite as busy as the day before.

7-5-16:  Set temp to 68F to hopefully finish the fermentation.  Still steady activity showing in the airlock.

7-12-16:  CO2 still off gassing from the airlock.  The yeast is still working!

7-31-16:  Pulled my first sample.  Really clear so I'm sure most of the yeast has flocculated out and fermentation is over.  I REALLY enjoyed the flavors of this one.  Malty and just a hint of sweetness but not a ton.  Few esters but nothing you typically get from Belgian yeast.  Gravity was sitting at 1.010 so I set the freezer tempt o 50F to start the lagering process.  I'll bump it down further over the next few days.  I'm thinking a portion of this will go into secondary with some brettanomyces but the majority will be packaged clean.

10-7-16:  Kegged and bottled.  Decided to package all clean with this batch.  Still some dark fruit notes and slight bit of yeast character but definitely seems very clean.

Tasting notes here!

Good things!


Andrew "Gus" Addkison
gusaddkison@gmail.com
@aaddkison on Twitter
on UnTappd:
Gus_13
on Instagram:
farmhouseobsession