Tuesday, July 23, 2013

UPDATE: Hops, Lagers, Experiments

It has been awhile since I last posted, and wanted to get something up here, including a few things that don't need there own individual posts.  After transplanting the hops after the move and installing irrigation for them, only 3 have any growth: Santiam, Chinook, and Blisk.  The growth is very little, maybe a foot or two max, and very thin.  The rest of the hops aren't producing anything at all.  My understanding is that the late move and time out of the ground shocked the plants and they are going to be fine next year.  Keeping them watered to ensure good roots for the next season.

I haven't posted a recipe in awhile now.  The reason for this is because I have brewed 3 batches that take longer to ferment.  I did an extract Berlinerwiesse fermented with only yogurt.  This beer was intended to be a quick sour.  It was quick, only 4 weeks and it was down to 1.003, but it never really soured.  The Lacto strains in the yogurt created CO2 and alcohol instead of acid, and lots of DMS.  I am still debating what to do with this batch.  I have a few strains of Brett right now that I am thinking of adding to it for a few months, then adding fruit to it as well for next summer.

I also brewed 2 American Pilsners, 1 classic with Saaz, Liberty, and Sterling, the other is New School with Simcoe, Mosaic, and Calypso.  They are just starting to lager now and should be kegged by the weekend.  I have found that brewing lagers isn't really my cup of tea.  I can enjoy them when I finally get to drink them, but they just take so long.  My fermentation fridge is locked up for 5 weeks, then I have to clear kegs for them, and then I have to wait another couple weeks for them to lager before I have 2 kegs to drink through before I can put anything else on.  I also find that by the time they are done fermenting and ready to drink I have had a shift in tastes and don't really want to drink 5 gallons of American Pils.

I am also trying to culture up some Lacto off of grains.  I will have a full write up of the process in a few weeks when it is done, but for now, I am using grains and apple juice in a heating blanket set on high to get a culture going and have had success so far.  I will be stepping it up tonight to get more and hopefully with multiple steps should be able to kill off any enterobacter as the pH drops and some alcohol is produced.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Review: BANGARANG The Twins - Saison

As the heat starts to really set in for the summer, it is always good to have a Saison ready to drink.  As I like to do with my Saisons, this one is bottled with Brett.  I have become a big fan of the Dupont strain and Brett at bottling.  The last time I used this combo I took 2nd place in a BJCP comp 7 months after bottling.  We'll see what happens with this one after another 8 months in the same comp (at 1 year old).  It's twin brother fared well in its category in a recent comp, so this one shouldn't do too bad.  The Twins have the same flaw, not enough bitterness, and a low hop profile, but overall, both drink nicely in the heat, very refreshing.  If you blend the two together, it makes for a lovely beer, akin to a Biere de Garde, earhty, musty, malty, light fruitiness, crisp.

Look: Pours a hazy orange-gold with big white head that fades a little fast to a whisky cap that lasts.  Bubbles flutter up throughout, bits of pellicle float on top.

Smell: smells like tons of over ripe fruits, can't pinpoint, tropical, and bright stone fruits.  Basement funk follows, hints of tea, spices, noble hops are light, hint of compost.

Taste:  Taste follows the smell, big fruits tropical and stone, lemon, tart, spicy, pepper, a lot of other spices I can't pinpoint.  Light toasty malt and Pils sweetness.

Mouthfeel:  Spritzy and light on the tongue, medium body with a bone dry finish.  Bubbly.  Balanced, but needs more bitterness.

Overall:  Nice Saison.  Needs a little more bitterness, just like the Pils that makes up the other half of the Twins.  The depth of fruitiness makes it hard to tell where the Saison yeast ends and the Brett begins.  The spiciness is evident but I can't define it.  Great balance between bright fruits and spices, with a subtle funk starting to take shape.  Enjoyable, light, refreshing, as a Saison should be.