Friday, August 18, 2017

Brew Days - Petite Brett Saisons


I've started down the session beer path, and I don't think I'm going back. My favorite way to consume beer is to drink many without feeling fuzzy afterwords. This allows for more smells and sips of that precious liquid we all know as beer. I wanted these Brett Saisons to be in the ~4 to 5% ABV range to make them both session-worthy and to allow for them to finish on the lower end of the gravity spectrum. The lower finishing gravity is to avoid bottle bombs as I plan to package these beers somewhat early for beers brewed with Brettanomyces (~2 to 4 weeks in the fermenter).

Erlenmeyer.
Additionally, I designed these beers such that they will develop and change over time. I chose this concept because I'm moving to Rome, Italy in September. I'm following my wife who obtained an amazing pre-doctoral fellowship called the 'Rome Prize.' The opportunity supports her in writing her dissertation while immersing herself in all that is Rome. I plan to continue homebrewing while overseas, and in particular I'm looking forward to trying some fresh European ingredients like British malt, German hops, and whatever I can find that is unique to Italy.

Burn baby burn.

To get some additional input on this concept, I asked my friends on the Saison, Biere de Garde, and Farmhouse Ale Facebook group for their favorite commercial, low ABV, funky beers. These were some of the responses I got: Allagash Little Brett, Green Bench Saison Vert, Green Bench Les Grisettes, Oxbow Sasuga, Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere, 2nd Shift Katy, Crooked Stave Vieille Provision, and Prairie Artisan Ales Prairie-Vous Francais. Using these responses and evaluating my hop inventory, I came up with three beer concepts:

  1. Grisette - Soft, grassy, funky.
  2. Spice and Fruit - An investigation of the intersection between spice and fruit.
  3. Hops - New world, hop-forward.

1. Grisette

Last summer I made a clean, grisette-style beer with The Yeast Bay's Wallonian Farmhouse yeast. The beer was highly carbed, easy on the pallete, and great for the humid months. This year I decided to loosely follow a similar concept, but I decided to funk it up a bit. For the grist I focused on wheat and spelt for a softer grainy character. Classic, noble-type hops are present to emphasize herbal and grassy characteristics. Finally, I pitched Brussels Brettanomyces Blend from the Yeast Bay to milk the funk.

Recipe Specifications:
Estimated O.G.: 1.036
Estimated F.G.: 1.001
Estimated ABV: 4.6%
Estimated IBU: 25
Estimated SRM: 3

Ingredients:
Brewing Liquor:
100% Reverse Osmosis
0.2 g CaCl2/gal finished beer
1.0 g CaSO4/gal finished beer
10% Phosphoric Acid to acidify liquor to ~5.6

Malt:
45.7% Pilsner Malt (Dingemans)
28.6% Flaked Wheat (Briess)
17.1% Malted Spelt (BestMalz)
5.7% Rice Hulls (used as a filter aid)
2.9% Acidulated (BestMalz) (used to reduce mash pH)

Hops:
0.2 oz. / gal finished beer EKG @ 60 min
0.2 oz. / gal finished beer EKG @ 2 min

Yeast:
1 pkg Wyeast 3726 Farmhouse Ale in a 2 L Starter - 1 day stirred (split this in half for pitching)
1 pkg The Yeast Bay Brussels Brettanomyces Blend

Process:
Mash:
1.25 hrs @ 148 F

Batch Sparge:
5 mins @ 170 F

Boil:

75 mins
1 tsp Irish Moss @ 10 mins
1/2 tsp Wyeast Yeast Nutrient @ 10 mins

Cooling:
Cooled to ~70 F

Oxygenation:
0.5 min Pure O2

Fermentation:
Pitched 1 L Wyeast 3726 Farmhouse Ale Starter
Pitched The Yeast Bay Brussels Brettanomyces Blend Package
Controlling temperature at ~70 F

Dry Hops:
0.2 oz. / gal finished beer EKG@ 5 days (intended this to be shorter, but I got busy)
0.2 oz. / gal finished beer Saaz @ 5 days (intended this to be shorter, but I got busy)
0.2 oz. / gal finished beer Saphir @ 1 day (added close to packaging for a "fresher" dry hop aroma)

EKG.

2. Spice and Fruit

After attending Homebrew Con 2017 in Minneapolis I returned home with some hops I had never used before: HBC 342 and Loral. I thought it would be fun to test them out in this recipe. To emphasize the "spice" aspect I chose flaked rye and Loral hops. I've always found that flaked rye provides a very strong earthy character to beer so I tried to soften it with flaked wheat. Loral purportedly provides a nice punch of floral and pepper character so I thought it would lend itself to the spicy element of the beer. Nelson, HBC 342, and Claussenii check the "fruity" box. I had a couple one ounce packages of Nelson hanging around so I decided to use them up. Nelson can provide an amazing complex fruitiness that is nearly impossible to replicate using other varieties. To further amplify the fruitiness I pitched White Lab's Brettanomyces Claussenii, one of the fruitier Brett's available to homebrewers.

Recipe Specifications:
Estimated O.G.: 1.036
Estimated F.G.: 1.006 (I'm sure this will be lower)
Estimated ABV: 3.9% (I'm sure this will be higher)
Estimated IBU: 28
Estimated SRM: 3

Ingredients:
Brewing Liquor:
100% Reverse Osmosis
0.2 g CaCl2/gal finished beer
1.0 g CaSO4/gal finished beer
10% Phosphoric Acid to acidify liquor to ~5.6

Malt:
45.7% Pilsen 2-Row (Briess)
34.4% Flaked Wheat (Briess)
11.4% Flaked Rye (Briess)
5.7% Rice Hulls (used as a filter aid)
2.9% Acidulated (BestMalz) (used to reduce mash pH)

Hops:
0.1 oz. / gal finished beer Nugget @ 60 min
0.2 oz. / gal finished beer HBC 342 @ 15 min Whirpool
0.2 oz. / gal finished beer Nelson Sauvin @ 15 min Whirlpool

Yeast:
100 mL Wyeast 3726 Farmhouse Ale in a 2 L Starter - 1 day stirred (split this in half for pitching)
1 pkg White Labs Brettanomyces Clausenii

Process:
Mash:
1.25 hrs @ 148 F

Batch Sparge:
5 mins @ 170 F

Boil:

75 mins
1 tsp Irish Moss @ 10 mins
1/2 tsp Wyeast Yeast Nutrient @ 10 mins
15 min Whirlpool

Cooling:
Cooled to ~70 F

Oxygenation:
0.5 min Pure O2

Fermentation:
Pitched 1 L Wyeast 3726 Farmhouse Ale Starter
Pitched White Labs Brettanomyces Clausenii Package
Controlling temperature at ~70 F

Dry Hops:
0.4 oz. / gal finished beer Loral @ 3 days
0.2 oz. / gal finished beer Nelson Sauvin @ 3 days

This photo is your prize for making it this far in the post.

3. Hops

This beer was brewed with my neighbor in mind. We are both moving out of our current apartment in Madison that we've been at for 5 years. He is a lover of hops so I decided to brew this one with him in mind. I've always wanted to brew with Calypso and I chose to emphasize it in this recipe. My neighbor also enjoys Bell's Two Hearted and Lagunitas IPA, so I decided to use some Centennial and Columbus to emphasize the piney and woodsy side of the hop spectrum. The flaked oats are there to help out with the body, and I added some Vienna for complexity.

Recipe Specifications:
Estimated O.G.: 1.037
Estimated F.G.: 1.002
Estimated ABV: 4.5%
Estimated IBU: 28
Estimated SRM: 3

Ingredients:
Brewing Liquor:
100% Reverse Osmosis
0.2 g CaCl2/gal finished beer
1.0 g CaSO4/gal finished beer
10% Phosphoric Acid to acidify liquor to ~5.6

Malt:
45.7% Pilsen 2-Row (Briess)
22.9% Flaked Oats (Briess)
22.9% Goldpils Vienna (Briess)
5.7% Rice Hulls (used as a filter aid)
2.9% Acidulated (BestMalz) (used to reduce mash pH)

Hops:
0.08 oz. / gal finished beer Nugget @ 60 min
0.4 oz. / gal finished beer Calypso @ 15 min Whirpool
0.4 oz. / gal finished beer Meridian @ 15 min Whirlpool

Yeast:
100 mL Wyeast 3726 Farmhouse Ale in a 2 L Starter - 1 day stirred (split this in half for pitching)
1 pkg The Yeast Bay Beersel Brettanomyces Blend

Process:
Mash:
1.25 hrs @ 148 F

Batch Sparge:
5 mins @ 170 F

Boil:

75 mins
1 tsp Irish Moss @ 10 mins
1/2 tsp Wyeast Yeast Nutrient @ 10 mins
15 min Whirlpool

Cooling:
Cooled to ~70 F

Oxygenation:
0.5 min Pure O2

Fermentation:
Pitched 1 L Wyeast 3726 Farmhouse Ale Starter
Pitched The Yeast Bay Beersel Brettanomyces Blend Package
Controlling temperature at ~70 F

Dry Hops:
0.4 oz. / gal finished beer Calypso@ 3 days
0.2 oz. / gal finished beer Centennial @ 3 days
0.2 oz. / gal finished beer Columbus@ 3 days
0.2 oz. / gal finished beer Meridian @ 3 days

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