Thursday, November 20, 2014

Rye Saison

Inspired by a Rye Saison I had out in CA with Kellen GooTay, Ive decided to test my hand with the mix of flavors.  Until recently I have been somewhat linear in my thinking about recipe creation.  Style brewing definitely inspired, taught and moved my education, but with additional time on the tun, I feel as though my inderstadnign of various ingredients and their effects has gotten better.  Lets throw in a Stout fermented with Saison yeast and bunked with Brett and my world has officially gotten as shaken up a snowglobe by an angry 4 year old.

Enough said about that, this brew does not fall far fro the style tree, but it is a step in the right direction.

The idea is a Saison I can enjoy in the winter months.  Darker and with more of a spicy character than the your average Saison.

The How.  Well I am still on the extract brew kick, albeit Ive done one brew that way and don't know if I can muster many more, nonetheless with all the trial and tribulation (and research) on the math I have come full circle to the standard answer, simpler is better.  So, in engineering this brew I am just going to assume all of the specialty malts will impart zero fermentables and take a pre-boil OG to confirm or disavow.  Adjust hopping and keep on cruising.  Done.

Hopping will be done with Warrior to balance and then Willamette in the whirlpool per a snazzy new technique I recently picked p from a brew club member.  I'm going to chill the brew down to 180 then add the hops and stop cooling, allowing the temp to fall to 160 or let 30 minutes pass, whichever comes first.  The idea is to keep the brew above the bacterial "grab and go" range and allow for a maximized absorption of hop acids (aroma in this case), without blowing them off due to boiling temps.  I'll sample down the road and may add another ounce to the dry hop.

Grist (guided by themadfermentationist)
60 % - Pilsner Extract - 6.6 lbs.
27 % - Rye - 3 lbs.
9 % - Sugar - 1lbs.
4.5 % - White Wheat Malt - .5 lbs.

Warrior - .33oz (27 IBUs, to obtain .5 BUGU based on fermentables only)
Willamette - 1oz in whirlpool from 180-160 degrees.

Pitch warm -  70 then push up to 85

OG - Fermentables (Extract and Sugar ONLY) - 1.053
FG - 1.009 per beer alchemy, but this may end high with the addition of the unfermentable sugars.
ABV - 5.8%
SRM - 4.4

Brew day
11/21/14 - 
water add gypsum 2.5tsp, steeped rye and wheat 45 minutes at 160-170. 
Preboil - 1045 (target for Fermentables only). 90 min boil. Added .33oz warrior at 60 for BUGU - .5 of target OG.

This did not work out.  The Rye does not seem to have come out of the steep with much character whatsoever.  The color of the finished beer is nice, but I am not optimistic about getting much, if any Rye character.  This beer needs to be judged solely on the aroma of the hop.  If you like it then you have done well to choose the Willamette.  Do not judge the beer as a Rye Saison, only as a Saison with a WillAmette aroma hopping.

Starter - 2L - 1500 to wort and 500 to fridge.  Fermenter in chamber with aquarium heater - set to 79 hoping for 75.

D0 - A very quick start
D1 - 73 degrees.  
D2 - D6 - ramped up 2 degrees per day and let the brew at about 80 when I left on a trip.

12/1/14 - FG 1010.  Kegged (no carb, out of CO2 till day after tomorrow)

12/3/14 - Took 9 bombers - 20 drops of Brett C from dropper per MadFermentationist, filled and corked!  Will take 4 weeks to carb, but shouldn't really have first tasting for 3 months (if you can).

Initial tasting from keg.  Very straightforward Saison yeast characteristics.  Solid white head, holds thins near bottom of glass.  Beautiful light bed from the rye.  Can't perceive much on the rye. Not surprised due to hot steep.  Crisp and refreshing.  But if that pils bite, and little to hop character.  Overall it's nice, but not unlike rewvent iterations.  To set it apart:
Increase rye malt to 2lbs, add 1lb flaked rye and .5lb Crystal rye.  May as well go balls to the wall if I'm going to make a rye saison.  Barrel age for added complexity of barrel available.  

12/15/14 - This beer has truly come into its own.  The yeast character has livened up and there is a beautiful light clove character which is now coming through.  The rye spice seems to be more apparent, but is still subdued, nonetheless the beer has improved leading me to understand that this is not a drink ASAP brew, cold condition your Saisons for 2 weeks before judging them from now on. 
1/1/15 - bottled some with 1/8tsp acid blend and Brett C.  Some with just Brett C

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