Pomelo Hibiscus Saison

It has been FAR too long since last I posted. Sorry about that,internet!

Beer things have been going on,beer was brewed and consumed,lots of life happend and too much bloody work threw spanners all over the place.

​This brew had been in the planning stages since March.

Now,true to style,I do a write up with only two bottles left. Sorry for the rubbish glassware in the beer shot; I took the pictures at my in-law’s, where all of my good glasses have been broken.

12 litre brew

OG 1.042  FG 1.001  IBUs 36(I like more hops)

35% each Weyermann Pilsner and Vienna malt

10% each table sugar,wheat malt and quick cook oats

30gr Archer whole hops at 60mins and another 20gr at 20 mins.

Yeast; TYB Wallonian Farmhouse

other stuff; 50gr dried Hibiscus flowers steeped at flame out for 15 minutes. Peel of a 2kg Pomelo. 2 Swanson Lacto Plantarum capsules.


Colour; orange/gold with pink/red hue. Would have been crystal clear had it not been shaken up in the car.

​Aroma: yoghurt like tartness,huge Pomelo fruit and peel,wonderful dirty saison yeast character from Wallonian Farmhouse(cannot think of a better way to put it) and a hint of Hibiscus tea. The base beer is still there,but quiet.


Taste; Archer hops come through in a vague hoppy kind of way, paired with the Hibiscus up front,but they give way quite quickly to the Pomelo, which rapidly covers the palate with a special kind of fruit related bitterness,which compliments the hop bitterness,and lingers.

The yeast comes through at every step of the way, but in a way that is harmonious with the other ingredients.

​Brew day went as per usual until the boil. I brought the whole volume to a boil and waited 10 minutes. At this point I took out 4ltr of wort and allowed it to cool to 40c before I sprinkled in the contents of two Swanson Lacto Plantarum capsules. I let this portion of the wort sour for three days.

After three days of souring,the non-hopped piryion was added to the already fermenting 2/3 of the already hopped beer.

Back to the main boil; at flame out I added 50gr of dried Hibiscus flowers,which was going to be 100gr  until I got cold feet.

After 7 days at 21c in the fermentation fridge,the beer was taken out and allowed to come up to 30c.

At day 14 I added the peel of a two kg Pomelo from my father-in-law’s farm. I let ot sit like that for 5 days before bottling.

​Early on I thought that I had gone WAY over the top with the peel and maybe ruined the bloody beer. But after a month in the bottle it is perfect with regards to the Pomelo peel.

This WILL be brewed again, but next time with the original 100gr og flowers I had planned for and I will sour 1/2 of the batch instead of 1/3.

Note; no Lacto was hurt by way of boiling in the production of this beer.

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A mixed culture Saison

Hello again,I am still here.
I recently took a three month break from drinking for Buddhist Lent and have been full on since resuming my interaction with beer.

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This is the starter.
Not just A starter but THE starter for my Saison; Ryeson.
Inspiration for Ryeson came once again from re-reading bearflavored. Derrek is such a great writer and has helped me with a few things.
So,I wanted a Saison to be a few things;
1) not a huge abv monster
2) still have a little kick
3) have an element of sourness to make the flavours zing
4) be a bit of a fermentation mess( I win there)
5) to be a bit of a experiment in which I surrender the majority of the control and just go where it takes me.

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I went to the trouble of tracking down and begging Prosecco bottles for Ryeson.

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I then needed to get a triage bell (29mm) for my capper.

Then,with a recipe in mind,all I had to do was brew and wait a few months.

As you can see from the starter there are oak cubes in,and they went into the bucket with all of the yeast and bugs,for the duration.
Yeast and bugs:
No science here. I knew what I wanted and just threw the kitchen sink at this.
Wallonian Farmhouse
Belle Saison
Lacto Brevis
Brett Drie
Brett Custers
3F dregs and what ever bugs were still in the oak.

Recipe
8 litre batch
OG 1.045
FG 1.000
IBUs: 15 from a single @60 addition of old Herkules whole hops

Grain bill
45% Weyermann Pils
30% Weyermann Vienna
25% TF rye malt

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Tasting notes; Ryeson
Colour; deep golden/orange with a one finger head,down from 2.5 at pouring.
Streaming carbonation from a beer that would liked to have escaped the bottle.

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Aroma;
Fruity,ripe sweet and fleshy,dry cider, a little hodgepodge of funk and some Brettables. Dirty white wine and a hint of acidity.

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Taste;
White wine,both dry and sweet,cider,Champagne and white chocolate mixed with natural yoghurt.
Just a prickly hint of acidity that is very pleasing, but shows up again in the stomach with more volume.
Tangerines/nectarines incream or Carnation milk and a hint of vanilla ice-cream,as it would taste, running down the cone and onto your hand.
As the beer warms a little (served at 12c) the acidity pop and zings a little more, as the Wallonian makes it’s self known at the back of the palate.
Bone dry,yet with an impression of sweetness and a fullness of mouth from the rye malt.

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Not quite what I had expected,but a very pleasing and fantastically drinkable surprise.

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Blackman Saison with A4

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I was re-listening to The Sour Hour whilst on my way to physio during my “summer holiday” this April when I started like a bulldog sitting on a hornet.
I heard very brief mention about a company supplying dried yeast/Lacto/Pedio blends in The States.

Well,I had to find out about this ASAP,and started to obsess,as I am want to do.

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Barrett runs this operation,hell he IS this operation,and a multi award winning homebrewer from Texas!
I managed to make contact with him through Facebook and was redirected to his website.

I ordered a pack each of A4 and B4 to split with Mr Styles and kept on bugging Barrett for info along the way. Lucky for me he is a great bloke who was forthcoming with answers to all my questions.

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Following Barrett’s recipe advice I threw together a “Saison-esque” recipe for an eight litre batch.

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Shooting for an OG of 1.050 (which I hit on the head);
Pilsner malt 26%
Vienna malt 54%
Wheat malt 14%
Oats(fine cut) 6%
Hops; 18 IBUs of Herkules,15@60 minutes and 3@ 20 minutes.

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I brewed at night,removed the hops and let the wort cool overnight. The following morning I used an ice bath to cool the wort down to 18c ,pitched and set the FVs in my fermentation fridge set at 21c.
It sat thus for one week.
In Barrett’s original advice I had been told to primary for a week and then bring up to room temperature for a couple of weeks for “acid production”.
At the one week mark I took both FVs out and let raise to ambient temperatures in my house-29.5c for two weeks.

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I then cocked up by forgetting to tske FG readings and bottled in 630ml bottles with 3.6gr of table sugar per bottle.

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Initial tastings were a let down to say the least. But,I do tend to get into my beer early on,so one or two weeks in the bottle may not have been enough.
It tasted like a cross over between P.J Fruh and hefeweizen. No tartness to be found.

A week later I gave a few bottles to my in-laws. They loved it. They picked up tartness where I did not.
I may have suffered from a lactic acid perception shift.

I had the last bottle last weekend and it was coming along nicely. The carbonation was way up. The tartness was there,yet to me very subdued.

I will rebrew and pitch the slurry,this time taking the primary temps up and giving it longer to bulk age.

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Bkackman Saison tasting notes

Colour; pale golden with absolute clarity,not unlike a lager.

Aroma; clean malt/cereal with hints of sweetness and a mix of Witbier(changed a little) and PJ Fruh.
Hint of banana,a la Hefeweizen.

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Flavour; sweet yet dry and quenching with clear taste of Vienna/Pils malt.
Great carbonation washes over the palate,bringing with it just a hint of tartness,banana,clove,breakfast cereal and maice.
Non of the flavours linger for long,leaving the sweet malt alone at last.

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Three way split Brett mix tasting

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So, here we are, the third of the Brett aged beers.

This one was a mix of Brett C, Brett B Trois and Orval Brett B.

I am not even going to bore you with colour, as it seems that the colour wasn’t changed enough for my poor eyes to notice.

Aroma: damp hay /toffee /wet whole wheat bread/ over ripe orange/ coffee walnut cake/ a slight bite which I think of as acidic.

Taste: Big coffee/ fruit cake initially, slight tart zing and hint of over ripe oranges, moving on to over baked raisin oatmeal cookies.

This version has the BIGGEST mouth feel of the three. It feels very thick and creamy( sour cream).

The tartness clings to the palate and the mustiness of the other two is there, but very subtle and seems to combine with chocolate coated nuts( no porn or South Park puns please).

It reminds me ever so slightly of the smell of a bikers pub on the morning after; stale Newcastle brown ale, but in a good way and combined with beef and mushroom pie and a pint of Theakstons Old Pec.

There is also a hint of overly diluted honey/lemon /scotch.

The after taste is nowhere near as long lasting as the other two stand alone Brett strains, but it has the tartness as it’s biggest feature and this makes it enjoyable in a very different way.

 

I am surprised that it’s less complex, given that it contains three Brett strains and the hops seem to have vanished altogether from aroma and flavour, which did not happen with the others.

So, it has lasting tartness but not much else to keep you masticating, so a glass of this goes very quickly and seems to get forgotten.Image

Three way split, Brett C tasting

ImageThis has been a long time coming and I am very excited to be posting the tasting notes. The brew day notes can be found here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/memories-yeast-356624/

On the eyes: the way I see it is deep copper, brown/red mahogany/amber with brilliant clarity.

On the nose: Vienna malt is in your face followed be ripe fruit; pineapple, mango, papaya. There is a slight musty impression and a hint of tartness.

On the tongue: warm bread in the background with a slight lingering tartness which increases with breathing. A faint memory of EKG melding with pineapple/ date/ fig/ sherry, all giving the impression of having not long swallowed a boozy Christmas cake with the tartness taking the form of old toffee apples and a slight alcohol warmth.

On bottling day this was my favourite even warm and flat. It had a very complex wine aroma and I almost didn’t want to carbonate it for fear of ruining it.

Overall: a warming, reassuring, tart Brett aged ale with memories of the fairground  and Christmas. Reminds me ( I am known for being strange) very much of Orval, and I can think of a great many worse beers the be reminded of.

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The last bottle

The last bottle

Well today I am sad to say goodbye to the last bottle of my experiment “Berliner weisseryish”
This was a very simple grain bill of a few hundred grams of pilsner malt and a few hundred grams of flaked wheat.
I boiled it for 15 minutes,after a 60 minute mash at 67c,with 250gr of mulberries.

Fermentation was at room temperature( aroud 37c) with a home made lacto culture for 36 hours and then for 4 weeks with a big pitch of Brett B Trois which I cultured from oak cubes very kindly sent to me by Jeff over at http://jeffreycrane.blogspot.com/.

Looks: deep yet bright pink/red with a very fine short lived head

Aroma: hmmmmmm,sourness,ripe fruit,funk,ash

Taste: to say it was a disappointment would take away from the fact that this was a very enjoyable beer. A nice level of tartness with a hint of the fruit coming through and some underlying tones of the famous Brett B Trois fruit and some funk. But there was also something I can only liken to ash in a wood fire,which I am want to attribute to the acidulated malt.

Will I do it that way again? No
Was it worth it ? Hell yes!
What did I learn from it? Do no chicken out when waiting for lacto!

PS, ignore the date my faulty old camera gives out.
Lee