Sunday, 12 June 2011

Frabjous Saison brewday

Hello everyone,

I will (as is traditional) start with an apology. Sorry, I can't display the exact figures for my IPA departure beer as i went down the Belgian rustic route and to keep in character i was a tad rough with my volumes. Nonetheless, an approximate recipe would be as follows.

Frabjous Saison 16 Gallon Batch
(Cocky for a first time brew, eh)?
5 kgs marris otter malt.
3 kgs Munich malt.
1kg Wheat malt.
FWH Hops Hallertau tradition 3.5 oz.
Steep hops Hallertau tradition 4.2 oz.
20 minutes for the steep hops.
Loads of orange & lemon zest.
2kgs partially liquified but fully frozen so cell burst dried apricots.
900 grmms orange flavoured homemade Belgian Candi Sugar.
Touch of Turkish Red Chilli
Loads and loads of Belgian Saison Yeast(Dupont) Cultured from a sample sent to me by a very nice man from the North.

Quite a different recipe from my normal IPA recipe's. Good fun to brew a tad differently.

The first part of the brewday was a normal(ish) affair.

Mash on for 14 hours(i had just returned from Sweden and had little time so used the evening and night hours for the mash & rest).

Nice clear wort which i recirculated through the grain bed for just over an hour before running off to the copper and sparging.

FirstWortHops and a 90 minute boil went well with business as usual. I then changed direction from my normal brewing practice as i had almost 5kgs frozen weight of apricots,candi sugar and water to deal with. I also had a pressing appointment in The Congo which had to be factored in!

With this in mind i turned out the tub of frozen goods(sterilised in a previous blog post) into the FV.

I then cooled the wort to 85 degrees with the immersion chiller and recirculated through the hop bed at this temperature for a while. While recirculating through the hop bed i transfered a small volume of hot wort onto the frozen goods to start the thawing process. The smell was sensational. Huge citrus wallop with fairground sweets and an apricot backnote (Jilly Goolden take note on how to do it).

After that i matched wort temps to FV temps to achieve full thaw of the goods and transfer of all wort at 40 degrees. Much circulating within the FV was required to achieve this.

The recirculation through the hop bed gave a fantastic clear wort but i'm sure there will be cold break protein in the FV. Essentially, there's only so much i can do with a new style of beer with my current equipment and forgetting about the protafloc tablets didn't help either!

I was very glad of the hopbed recirculation in this batch due to the drive to transfer while hot.

In the end i ended up with a good mixed batch of fermentables at just under 40 degrees, it settled nicely at 34 and i then pitched the yeast.

The yeast took off like a rocket at 34 degrees and dropped to 30 degrees over the next 24 hours. This beer smells of sulphur, cider, oranges, apricots and genral Belgian-ness. Different and wonderful. Time and work dictated that i left the beer fermenting on its own with a 20watt plate heater strapped to the side of the FV.

Starting gravity of the beer is 1.040 on the hydrometer but i think its higher as there are sugars within the fruit that will be worked on over the weeks that are not shown on the hydro sample taken. If it goes as low as this yeast can go i should end up with a very dry 5-6% beer at around 28IBU's with fruit overtones and huge carbonation. Its going to be as close to a champagne style of beer as i can make it. I am currently in The Congo and return home on the 2nd July. The beer will be primed and bottled for a 3 volumes carbonation profile. Stored for Three weeks and then trialed!

Note-2 days after pitching, the yeast had taken the specific gravity to 1.020. The fermentation odours do indeed remind me of a wine. Some debris from the bottom of the conical but surprisingly little. I also harvested two live samples of the yeast, washed them to remove fermetables and they are now in suspension waiting on their next outing. How good a hobby is this? :) 

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