Tuesday, August 16, 2016

All Brett session ipa and COFunk-Ommengang

May have an impromptu brew day on the horizon.  If that's the case lets rebuild our BrettC stash and learn something.  What does Brett C look like with an extrememly high fermentation temp profile throughout.  90 all the way.  Gotta guess it'll push the esters and of course, the attenuation.  For this reason lets up the ante on the mouhtfeel and go for it with the wheat add, 50/50.  The Munich is to pay homage to Chad Yakobsons belief in Brett's love of Munich.  And the Oats for just a final push for mouthfeel/slickness which will be lost at this low ABV.

Target 5% ABV
10G split batch
Pils - 10lbs
White Wheat - 8lbs
Munich - 1lbs
Flaked Oats - 1lbs
Rice Hulls - 2lbs.
Mash 152 for 45 minutes
Boil 30.
Pitch lacto at 130 and place in 90 degree warm water bath.  Split 500ml of starter to sterile jar to store. Pitch Brett at 90 and let her rip to the finish in a pre-warmed water bath of 90.  Hop based on what the beer tells you.  Thinking Equinox or the experimental HBC hop.
Night before.
Collect 5G (main mash) - 2qts/lb
Collect 2.25G (sparge)
Prep water bath and place aquarium heater to max.

Brew Day Plan-of-Action
Strike 167 (no preheat of mash tun...165 with preheat)
Mash 45
Add sparge and run off
Boil 30 (no hops)
Knock out and chill to 130.  Rack to fermenter and have thermometer in fermenter. Place in water bath and add lacto.  Come back and pitch Brett when at 90.

Brew day - 5/6/16
Mash 152
All brett-lacto session ipa: 1038
Into warm water bath (90) at 125.  Pitch multiple lacto sources.  Pitched Brett after 10 hours.  Reduced bath temp to 80.
This beer was beautiful on its own, so much so I kegged it with no hopping just to see how it rolled!  After two weeks in the keg and enjoying a few I decided to hop it.  The beer was nice and had gorgeous fruity esters, a medium body and a bright acididty, but it was lacking in complexity and just wasnt as sessionable as it could be.

Hopped with 3 oz of HBC (experimental with tropical and mint notes - 16% Alpha!!!) and left in the keg overnight...and only one night was needed.  The hops exploded on the scene and I took two of the three hop sacks out immediately.  The combination of acidity and bitterness was on the very top of my flavor threshold for that character, but it worked, and over a few weeks either my pallet adjusted or the beer mellowed, but eitger way its an aromatic hop bomb of gloriousness!  Kerry says she can smell the hops from two feet away when I drink it.  Wat I learned here was to be cognizant of the alpha and not rely on cold temps to keep them in check during a dry hop.  Just ease into any unknown dry hopping especially when a big alpha is being employed.  Also, acidity and bitterness play on the same part of the pallet; they sum one another.  So plan accordingly.  

This beer and the profile used worked beautifully.  10 hours from 125 down to 90 with the lacto gave a BRIGHT acidity.  No need to go higher unless im working with a very deep and dark malt bill, or plan to add lots of acidity reducing fruit.

Ommengang Brett - 1035 - pitches ommengang and co funk at 75.  Into 80 degree room.  Ripping after 12 hours and right at 80. - This was a dump....huge band-aid initially and after 3 months. A poor fermentation - Im guessing the CO Funk did no tlike the initial warm tempos.  Keep CO Funk in the 60s.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tasting Notes from Cascade Brewing, Portland Oregon

So a recent overnight in PDX with a fantastic long layover provided me a unique opportunity to try a few select beers from The House of Sour.  I was obviously impressed by the lineup and the ideas were nothing short of prolific.  The one thing I took away from them was the technique of layering flavor with multiple barrels.  Interestingly enough, I never got a mature Brett funk from any of the beers. This was surprising.  Instead they focused on the malts, the fruit and spice additions and the barrel characters, whether it be just the wood, wine, or spirits.  I loved the beers and will keep this menu and post handy for future brainstorms.

The fruit of note was the Elderberry.  This fruit gave the beer a beautiful fruity character, but without the perceived sweetness.  I really love this approach.  It is ideal for accentuating or contrasting an Earthy approach to a sour.  Also of note on the Elderberry was the roast character they imparted.  I am going out on a limb but Ill guess CarafaIII.  There was a very subtle note of roast, which was balanced and beautiful here.  With the elderberry giving off that kiss of dryness it just worked the pallet!  To me, this particular addition, paired with the Elderberry took the show of the entire series.  It was a stroke of pure flavor genius!

Contrasting the Elderberry was the Naval Orange.  In this example you got HUGE perceived sweetness in the aroma, but not in the flavor.  I think this fruit add has a lot of room to run in beers that have great bones, but lack in the aromatic department, much like my recent straight BrettC-Lacto.  A big Naval orange zest add would have been beautiful there as the acidity was medium plus so upping the nval addition would have balanced it.

Another fun example was their Kriek.  They did not go sweet with the fruit and in the vintage I tasted the Bing Cherry really popped out at you.  It was well attenuated and left a nice cherry character, but without the sweetness of some Krieks.  This beer put Kreik back on the map for me.

Vine was delicious.  Right now I have my double barrel tripel which got 1c per G of unfermented Grenache Grape must and copious bugs 10 months ago...it's conditioning.  I feel this example most closely exemplifies the Cascade Brewhouse character and Vine.  The grapes really come through nicely as an accent piece but not the main show.  This restraint is important in my beers' execution - because - its how I like them.

Sang Royal with its grapes worked well too.  In this example they went with two red wine barrels and the red wine grapes.  RED all the way through.  A very fun and successful process.  I liked how there were layers of oak in this beer to accent the grapes where as in Vine you had more of a simple, linear barrel character.  Makes me think of using a Heavy and Light toast of one wood type, mixing woods, etc.  The possibilities are endless, but I now have a reason to buy a Heavy-toast Oak Spiral.

Sang Rouge was tasty, layered, complex, fun.  I like how they had an example without fruit or spice.  They just let the bugs and barrels run.  It has layers of restrained Brett character and a medium - acidity.  It was a great place to layer in multiple barrels.

I am not a fan of the Ginger, but that's a personal aversion to Ginger in beer.  While the Honey-Ginger, Lime was nice with my Smoked Albacore Tuna Sandwich, I could not drink more than one (unless I was being forced too:-).  The Ginger is just too much for me, although it would be a fun novelty beer idea for the holidays.

Of course the Apricot was amazing and is a great example of how to go Bright (medium plus acidity) with a Sour.  Just using the fruit to play up that big acidity works beautifully here.

OK, that is all for now.