Thursday, June 16, 2016

Brewery Trial Review: Session Saison: Tragic Magic

I recently tried using a fining agent on my beers to see if they would impact the flavor of the finished product.  Specifically, I took my Saison and split it at packaging.  Half went into the keg on the fining and was then racked off the fining onto the dryhops in a second keg.  The other half was dryhopped before being racked into a second keg with the fining agent.  The attempt was to see if dryhopping prior to fining or after fining altered the dryhop contribution at all.  My blend of yeast has a tendency to transform hop oils so the thought was if I removed the yeast it would have less impact on the hops.  As far as the Noble hops on this Saison, the results were rather negligible.  There is no discernible flavor or aroma difference.  The only real difference is the appearance.  The dryhopped after fining beer has, well, hops in it.  After a few weeks of sitting in the keezer, the hop particles in the bottom of the keg keep on coming.  They don't seem to be compacting on the bottom and staying there. 

Pours a clear pale gold with a hint of orange under a dense and tight white head that falls way too quick for a Saison.  Thin ring leaves mild splattering on the glass.  Bubbles flutter up the glass.

Herbal and floral hops with a hint of spiciness lead the charge giving way to an earthy yeast note.  Pears and citrus with a touch of pineapple esters and a rosey alcohol float atop crackery malts and wheat with a light rye.

Pears and citrus give way to earthy phenols and a rye bite.  Crackery and rustic malt rear up behind notes of floral and spicy hops.  Bitterness is high and a little off putting as well as the hop flavor.  Complex to say the least.  The malt is medium low while everything else fires on medium high.  Lots of flavor for such a small beer.  No astringency.

Light body with bone dry and very bitter finish.  Bubbles dance on the tongue, no alcohol bite.

Crushable high flavor session beer.  The complexity is right where it should be for a Saison.  The bitterness and hop flavor are a little too high as they linger too long into the finish instead of cleansing the palate.  The head needs better retention for sure.  These kegs have had some issues with foam which I think I have fixed with by insulating the collar on the keezer.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Brewery Trial Recipe - Session Saison: Tragic Magic 4.0

It's been awhile since the last time I posted about this beer recipe, but yet this is only the next iteration.  Something about a 4.5% ABV Session Saison that didn't scream rebrew me during the cold months of Winter.  Over the past versions of this recipe there was just something less authentic about this beer, especially in the hopping.  I recently did a Super Saison with all Noble hops as a test batch and really like the results, although the amount of Vienna in the base on that one made it a little too malty.  For this trial recipe I wanted to try to pull in a little more rusticness and some spiciness so I swapped out the Flaked Oats for Flaked Rye and kicked up the percentage to double what I had used with the oats.  I also subbed in some German Dark Wheat for some added foam and color as well as a little more rustic bite.  I also went with Noble type hops on this run using Saaz for its spicy floral tones, and Hallertau and Tettnang for there floral, spice, and herbal notes.  So far the gravity samples are much more in line with where I want this beer to be.  Much more rustic, some herbal spiciness, dry, crisp, medium level maltiness, bitter finish, and lots of complex fruitiness.