Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Planning Next Brew (total french beer!)

Not much brewing here... ugh promised myself I would never use that... totally ashamed.

Quick status update: Had family party and was pretty successful. As it relates to brewing, Inefficient Witbier keg is almost kicked and the girls (and a few of the guys (including me)) liked the cider. Fortunately I think I got most of the raisin skins out in the sample glasses I had, so I think I saved myself the embarrassment of having to explain what the chunks were... Witbier 2.0 is still in the fermentor. I plan on racking soon, honestly kinda forgotten about it...

So what's new? Planning my next batch... brand new recipe. French Saison... Borrowed the ingredients and ratios from a recipe posted on the forums... HBT How Rye Am I (Rye Saison), just to give full credit. Changing batch size to fit my system, so exact ratios are not the same. The fun thing about this style is the yeast. Normally ale yeasts like to ferment at around 70 degrees and off flavors start to show up if you go much higher than 75. This obviously presents a challenge in the summer if you don't take measures to control the fermentation temps. But this yeast (Wyeast 3711 French Saison)... I haven't used it yet, this is my first attempt at the style ...this yeast likes it hot (scandal!) you actually get the distinctive flavors of the style by pushing fermentation temps over 80.. even up to 90!!! It's warm in my house but not that warm... I have a trick I use in the winter to keep my fermentation temps up and I'll use that to crank the temps up for this batch. Stay tuned for that!

So... the way I figured out my ingredients for this batch was with brewing software. There are a lot of options for software. None of it is really expensive, but I am pretty cheap (read I have to explain all beer related purchases to the wife). I use a free website that does not have all the bells and whistles. Still, it's good enough. I know my typical efficiency and boil volumes... Knowing the ratios, OG (original gravity), IBU (hop bitterness), and SRM (color) of the original recipe, I can come close enough to replicating.

So I have my ingredient list... I contacted my LHBS guy on FB (total inside connection!) and asked about the availability of everything. Assuming everything is on hand, I plan on picking up ingredients Thursday to make the yeast starter Thursday night, so that I am ready to brew for Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning. Totally getting excited now... have been wanting to brew this style for six months but have been waitning on warm weather. See you this weekend for an update?? later...

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