Monday, January 19, 2015

RyGasm Saison 1 (2015)

RyGasm could be viewed as the first beer I’ve reworked within the same year.  Apparently it takes pure frustration in order to get my bones in gear to dial in a recipe.  Nonetheless here we are.  As we saw in my Rye Saison post from not so long ago, I was inspired by a spicey and balanced Rye Saison I had in CA. My attempt at this brew fell far short of my personal mark, and I blamed my extract recipe for this, mostly.  Ironically, I am still doing a partial mash brew here as I have a can of PIlsner Malt burning a hole in my fridge, and this is the perfect time to get it in the mix (pun intended).
In the meantime I did some more research in an effort to unlock this magical grain and discovered a great little ditty in Radical Brewing which described a few fun facts and tips:

  1. Glucans - the sticky stuff which can make Rye a lautering nightmare
  2. Capping at 20% grist is common, above this and you’ll have to employ all your best techniques to get the wort to the kettle.
  3. Unmalted Rye is best utilized by cooking separately.  Other sources state the use of a crockpot is highly efficient in extracting the character of the grain.
  4. If mashing directly, a 30 minute 95-100 degree F glucan rest is ideal
  5. Use rice hulls and sparge slowly. (Or if you forgot rice hulls like I did just add a couple pounds of uncrushed 2-row and mix.  Worked like a charm...but still take your time)
  6. Keep that mash temp at 170 as long as possible to make the wort as “slick” as possible.

Moving forward I decided to really go for it on this brew, why not!  Unfortunately my Crystal Rye didn’t show up in time (it got there 3 hours late), so I have one more adjustment to make for the next version of this brew - perhaps a lucky twist of fate.  That aside let’s begin.

OG - 1052
FG - 1008
IBU - 18
BU:GU - .35
Color - 7


Pilsen Extract - 3.3 lbs (35%)
2-Row - 3 lbs (32%)
Rye Malt - 2 lbs (22%)
Flaked Rye - 1 lbs (10%)
Homemade Candi Sugar (Amber) - .5 lbs (5%) *note to self. Always have simple sugars prepared before boil begins.

Fuggles (4.5%) - 1 oz - 60
Yeast - WLP 565 - 100ml of slurry straight from zero gen starter.  400ml of thick slurry from second gen off last Rye Saison.

Water - 2.5 tsp Gypsum

Mash  - 1.5 qt/lbs - 147 - 75 minutes

Boil - 90 minutes

Candi Sugar - using straight lemons you want 18x’s the request for pure citric acid. So 1/8th tsp citric acid equates to 2.25 tsp real lemon juice. This was added to .5 lbs dissolved sugar in water.  Simmer until you get desired color, in this case about 20 minutes did the trick.  Then straight to the boil.

On the fermentation I called in for advice from an excellent brewer I have come to know as the Cool Fermentationist.  This cat has been “experimenting” with sub 60 degree Ale fermentations since the beginning of Winter with great success!  The beers he is turning out are clean”er” as you would expect, but when it comes to a yeast like Saison, what you find is the scales tipping more to a light citrus and spice character, which I think brings the peppery spice more to the forefront.  Rye, spice, perfect, lets do this!  

How do you get a Saison yeast to finish in such cool conditions?  Pitch a Lager sized pitch of Ale yeast for your cool fermentation and let them ride! He says it takes maybe an extra week or two, but to have faith.  

The profile he suggested was a room temp pitch and when you have activity move ASAP to your cool fermentation station.  In my case this is my basement which is sitting at 61 degrees.  Ferment to terminal FG (min 3 weeks) and then move to room temp again for at least 48 hours (diacetyl rest).

So thats what I did.  In my case I pitched at 80 and after 12 hours I was already at high krausen (I was sleeping when they perked up so this was my ASAP).  Moved the beer to the basement and after another 12 hours she was sitting at 64 degrees in a 61 degree room.  And there she sits.

I’m hopeful to find myself with a Saison that is dry per the style, and having found a balance between the citrus and spice of the yeast and the Rye spice.  I am happy about the 50/50 base malts as I find Pilsner to have a little too much “bite” as I like to call it.  Something a little more rounded suits me just fine.  And lastly, I will of course be throwing Brett at some of it as well, because Brett is always a good idea.

Brew Day

1/8/14 - With Mikey Brubaker.  Details above but 147 (75 mins), slow lauter (used 2-row to aid in grain bed filtering), got great efficiency due to reset of crush.  90 min boil. Cooled to 80, BIG pitch and quick start.  

12 hours - high krausen and huge activity - off to 61 degree room.

D1 - 5 - 65 (in 61 degree room) - added blow off tube.
D6 - 1 - 61
D10 - 0 - 61, plan to take first gravity at 21 days. (1/29 min). Once terminal bring upstairs and warm to 70 (if possible, for 3 days).

2/5/15 - brix: 6.6 ... FG 1010! - Up to 65 degree room.
2/10/15 - kegged. Yeast harvested.

Tasting Notes
2/10 - force Carbed at 30psi and shook 5 min then left at 40degreed at 16 psi targeting 3L. Needs time. Initial tasting after carb the brew is beautiful and the yeast character restrained but not subtle. I can't pick out the rye, once again...also it's not quite as dark as expected but a nice dark Orange-Amber hue. 

3/5/15 Added 1.5 mango puree and squeeze of one like to 1G pull.

3/12/15 - bottled remaining of keg. Kegged mango. DELISH! Need I say more? Poured mango beer through muslin bag direct to keg and purged/Carbed to 16.

Tasting Notes by The Cool Fermentationist - 3/18/15 - 
It was beautiful, vibrant orange with a huge white head.
The bottle was a bit of a gusher, but once I got it in the glass it was fine.
I really liked the high carbonation. I think it helped to dry out the beer a little.
Perfect saison aroma. Slight tropical fruit aroma, which I would’ve thought came from the hops had I not known about the mango.
Bits of mango, hops and yeast quickly settled out. I don’t mind that kind of thing as a drinker, but if it had been filtered I probably would have kept trying to figure out what was in it.
I would've guessed heavy on the Citra. What did you use for hops?
I love the spice yeast bite. That is followed by the sweet, but surprisingly earthy flavor of the mango.
When it was coldest, that bite and flavor were very balanced.
As it warmed up, the sweetness started to take over.
I’d be really curious to see where this would go with an earthy, pungent hop like your Chinook.
If this came in 6 packs - I’d be buying it!
Very well done.

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