Monday, March 14, 2011

Threat Level Midnight

So my birthday is next Saturday and I wanted to brew something fun. I've had plans for a Belgian inspired Imperial Russian Stout. I want to do something inspired by Jolly Pumpkin's Madrugada Obscura. So what I'm planning on doing is brewing a normal IRS that I made once before, ferment it with Belgian Ardennes and then after primary fermentation is complete throw in some Roeselare Blend for some souring. I plan to let it bulk age and mature for 6 months before bottling.

Here's the rundown.

Threat Level Midnight
Belgian Imperial Stout

O.G. 1.089
F.G. 1.015
Anticipated ABV: 9.9%
IBUs: 53

14lbs. Continental Pils
8oz. Roasted Barley
8oz. Chocolate Malt
8oz. Crystal Malt 60L
4oz. Crystal Malt 20L
4oz. Special B 180L

1oz. Target 8%AA - First Wort Hop
2oz. Brewers Gold 8%AA - 60 Min.

Wyeast Belgian Ardennes - 3522 - The biggest starter EVAR!
Wyeast Roeselare Blend - Secondary

Monday, March 7, 2011

Born to be Mild

I've been on a kick of sessionable beers as of late. The Nelson Sauvin Saison clocked in just a bit over 5% ABV. This guy is a shade over 3%. The base is American two-row with some 60L Crystal and Chocolate Malt. There's no hops in the boil. Just 1oz. of Target as a first wort hop. Despite the low ABV this is going to be a very flavorful beer.

It made for an extremely easy brew day. Hit all of my temps on the button and the O.G. was just where I expected it to be.

Born to be Mild
American Dark Mild Ale

5 Gallons
O.G. 1.032
IBUs 22


5lbs. American 2-Row
8oz. Chocolate Malt
8oz. 60L American Crystal

1 oz. Target 8% AA - first wort hop addition

Dry Nottingham

Mashed at 152 for an hour. Collected just a shade over 5 gallons of wort. Add hops in while collecting first runnings. Only boiled for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nelson Sauvin Saison - First Tasting

I should say that this actually is the third tasting, but I just got internet hooked up in my new house so... deal with it. The recipe for this can be found here.

I'll start off by saying that this is a really solid beer. I opted not to do any souring. However I did decide to dry hop for 7 days with the Nelson Sauvin hops. The hops are really assertive, a touch overwhelming actually. There's lots of over ripe pineapple with fresh passion fruit in the nose, all from the hops. I think these hops would be great in something that is something more straight forward and less complex... like a pale ale or IPA. Anyway... here's the rundown.

Appearance - Golden orangish in color with pale straw highlights. The head poured rocky and chunky, just like you would expect in a saison. It's nice and cloudy, which is how I prefer my saisons. I don't really like them to be crystal clear. Leaves some bad ass lacing.

Nose - Even though the hops are dominant, the first thing I get is a candy sweetness (from the pilsner malt). That really helps to accent the hop profile. Over ripe pineapple followed by mangos and passion fruit. Behind that is a bit of spice, lemon peel then orange, finished with a slight breadiness (from the two - row).

Mouthfeel - I carbed this up to a shade over 3 volumes (3.2 actually) so it's very spritzy and full. The bubbles are very fine which just adds to the sprity mouthfeel. It has a nice bit of silkiness too, I find that you get this a lot with that Wyeast 3711 French Saison.

Taste - I'm going to start with the finish on this one... which is long and dry. That's actually my favorite thing about a good saison, a long and dry finish. At first you get that impression of candy sweetness. In the middle there's a lot of the same that you get in the nose, but in different order. The spiciness is first followed by lemon and orange. The passion fruit comes next followed by the hop bitterness which is just enough to hold the beer up and keep it in balance. Right at the back you get the pineapple and mango then that candy sweetness impression that fades into the long finish.

Overall - This beer is solid. I can't say that I like it any more or less than my regular saison. It's just much different. I think that the dry hops are just a little too much, but if I let it set for about 2 months it should come out just right.