Saturday, November 28, 2015

Smokey Chipotle Porter

The Brew Farm Group has a new member that cooks professionally.  She, Dana, has offered her services to create an end of year brewers' gala, and the level of excitement about the project is all-time.  Ethan, Butch, IPA Dan, Ken and myself will each be brewing a batch to pair with a given course.

I have been selected for the slightly smokey day boat scallops with onion relish, and celery saute'!  I couldnt be more pumped to have pulled this course:

"Seared Day-Boat Sea Scallop w Apple Wood Smoked Bacon Powder Рserved on a bed of caramelized onion relish, with red bell pepper and celery saut̩.

Description: strong smoky flavor followed by sweet scallop, and deeper flavored relish – hint of apple cider vinegar in relish"

For my pairing I have decided to go "complimentary," and will be doing a Chipotle Porter with adobo sauce. The trick, as per usual, is balance.  Furthermore, as a pairing, the balance of the beer itself must not overpower the food, but compliment it, as stated above.  Taming the smoke and heat, while balancing to the roast character will be the trick.  Moving on...

I want the beer to be highly approachable, not overbearing, and dry as to not "fill up," my guests; my pairing comes as the second course.  To start off,  I am going with Pilsner Malt, because I want a more crisp canvas to paint this picture on, so I think the Pils will work well here.  It is a bit out of the box for the style and for this reason I am, of course, intrigued.

Deciding that simpler is better, I skipped the Crystal and moved to my dark malts. Referring to my recent Stout, where the roasted malt landed at 3.5%,  I am very happy with the roasted character that imparted.  With that in mind, I am going to roll with it.  Black patent malt has never found its way into my beers, so it's time for a debut.  I want a little bit of that additional bitterness, and coffee character (found at low percentages), again, just lending to my dark malt complexity, so I am going with just a reserved add of .3 lbs... the only problem is the color of the beer still ends quite I saw three options, black patent malt after the main mash to get the color, but not the characters of the malt (which when overdone can go to ashy and unpleasantly acidic). Add some MIdnight Wheat Malt deepening the dark grain complexity of the brew and at just 4 ounces I will get lots of color.  4 ozs black patent in the mash along with .25lbs chocolate wheat malt, and then .25 black patent malt during vorlof and sparge for color.

Other considerations...

Brewing Water - higher relative alkalinity to help the mash pH buffer the dark malts' acidity (that's science). But the overall target will be London water.

Early September - brew
Primary finishes  late September
Early October - add jalepenos
By the 15th of October - final blend of smoke and non-heated base beer if needed
Keg no later than October 21 (leaves 2 weeks to condition)

Mash - 152 - Looking for a dryer beer, but not going Saison crazy.  We need some body as the alcohol content is on the "lower side," for me anyway and with the simple sugars in there I'll just target a middle of the road mash.

Boil - 90 - to allow for the creation of a bit more complexity within the brew. With that said, how fun would it be to roll a 120 minute boil on a Porter made with Pilsen malt!  Just for kicks....Time permitting, I may go for it.

Yeast - 001, or safale 005.  No esters required, this is not a yeast show.

Keg, condition 2 weeks, bottle.

As a result
Stats (on a 90 minute boil)
OG - 1042
FG - 1007
IBU - .5 BUGU (about 1 oz noble hops)
Color - 31 SRM

6 lbs - USA Pilsen (70%)
6 oz - Roasted Malt (4.6%)
.5lbs - Wheat Malt
.25 lbs - Black Patent Malt (full mash) (3%)
.25 lbs - Black Patent Malt (post mash)
.25 lbs - Midnight Wheat Malt
.25 - smoke malt
.5 lbs - Piloncillo Sugar (a nice medium dark and flavorful sugar)

Brew Day Setup

Salts - London profile.  1.5tsp cacl and gypsum.  2tsp Baking Soda

Strike - 3G @ 165, target 152 for 60.

Sparge Volume - 6G and sparge to 7.5G.

Boil - 90, 1oz EKG at 60
World Inside the Wort

Actual Brew

Mash 152 for 60
Capped with uncrushed black patent - oops.

Boil - 120. FW dark brown sugar Ekg, 1oz at 60, nutrient,  whirlfloc, chiller at 10, rinsed and split chipotle at 5.  

OG - 1043.  

Rehydrated 1 pack safale 005 at 95 degrees in 250 ml sterile water for over an hour with nutrient.

Pitched at 72ish

9/15 - added .3oz smoked and dehydrated chipotles in hop bag
9/16 - removed chipotles.   A bit too much already.  Into fridge for a week, then secondary to get beer off the peppers.  Tastes awesome, just a couple notches over what I was aiming for.

11/21/15 - in the homestretch the berr came through.   Kerry calls it, Spicy Guiness.  It had a nice depth for a smaller brew.  Dark brew with an off white head and excellent retention through the experience and beyond.   The roast is light to medium and compliments the chipotles beautifully.   The heat is dissipating with time and the taste of the peppers themselves continues to emerge.  Mouthfeel is medium-light.  Overall the berr is a win.  It's imperative to always give these beers plenty of leeway to allow the character you're going for to emerge, and not expect it to hit spot on from first  being kegged.  

A week ago I blended 
50% - porter
25% - funky lambic
12% - Yogurtweisse (acidity)
12% - raspberry funk brew
Degassed and stabilized with Camden tab.  Will add CLEAN yeast and tabs to carb.

12/2/15 - added french saison slurry and sugar tabs to bottles then racked beer on top.

Ciderfest 2015

Ok, it's time to diversify.  There is an entire universe of simple ciders to make and I have had a few experiences with people showing up that just didnt want beer...and I am getting more funky all the time, so my beer offerings may not suit many pallets in years to come. With that said, let's play.

Imagining a tart, highly spritzy cider with a nice depth from the pomegranate and fresh apples, plus a beautiful crisp finish and brilliant pink in the glass.

Let's Begin
5G pasteurized apple juice
1 pint pure pomegranate juice
1 lbs white sugar
Thin sliced fresh apples and pomegranate in the keg
Brew Day 8/5/2015
Organic Juice (without preservatives) to fermenter with sugar boiled in water. Add rehydrated yeast in the low 60s.
Fermenting between 72-76 all of August/september.

9/1/15 - Far from ready.  Sulphury, green.  Purged with CO2.

11/21/15 - yahtzee!  added a second pint of pom juice to keg.  Carbed to 4!  This is delicious.   Dry and crisp.  The Apple character is there but not too forward.  The pomegranate adds a depth and light complimentary tartness.  The base recipe is excellent and there are many variations to explore!  A winner!

11/25/15 - popped first brett carbed cider.  Carb is in place, no Brett.  Will wait till next summer for next tasting on these.

Could try adding 2L of Cider on week 6.  Could add a nice spice and leave additional apple character in the nose.

Other cider ideas
DH with orange zest
DH with Nelson hops
Oak and Sherry
Straight oak
Oak and Sav Blanc
Black Currant
Christmas: Cranberry (maybe touch of all spice)

Friday, November 27, 2015

Rye-Chocolate Saison

No story to tell, just a brew to get a brew in and to build up the French Saison yeast for future buggy fun.

Rye Extract - 6.6 lbs 
Steeped: 1lbs wheat, 1lbs Pale chocolate

10/6/15: Brewed with Casey and Macy
60 minute boil
1 NewFarm Cascade hop shot at 20.
1 oz home grown cascade hops at 5. Pitched Wyeast French Saison at 65. 1058 OG.
Fermented at 73ish.
A great resource on Dark and Funky Saisons
10/19/15 - 6.4 brix.  1016. It all comes through.   Some wood may be in order. 
11/4/15 - pretty dam fine beer.  Sample needs a solid week to let the quick force carb settle in, but we are on the right track.  Aroma tends towards a balance of raisin and chocolate.  Saison phenolic push through and compliment.  No idea about the rye per usual.  Maybe pick up some rye bread and do a side by side sniff test....official verbiage.
Medium body - dry finish.  More to come.  Will pull a gallon and add Brett (cuz that's what I do), let her roll for a couple months then bottle.
Too much chocolate.   Would have been nice to add as a nuance, not a bold statement.