Sunday, 30 October 2011

Big Bad Belgian Beer or Quad B 1 to 3

Hi All,
I have recently returned from Turkey where i bought a couple of kilos of totally organic figs at the local market. Here's a shot of me in shopping mode!

I love this market as almost all the fruit and veg is organic and locally grown. I know many of the stall owners from the village itself. Think Tom & Barbera from The Good Life and you will be there!

The man i bought the figs from(and a coke bottle full of his pressed olive oil) is about 70 years old. He's fit as a fiddle and an excellent advert for his own produce. Here's the figs!

As i said in the last blog post i had a plan for a Belgian Style beer. It turned out to be a 16 gallon batch with a starting gravity of 1.052 and a known IBU of 55 but god knows after the frozen hop additions.

Quad B Base beer
8kgs Marris Otter
4 kgs Munich
2kgs Wheat malt
1 kg torrified wheat
150 grammes oats
7 oz FWH Cascade hops
Duvel/Chimay cultured yeast 50/50split 2nd generation.
In the past i have advocated the use of 2nd hand dry hops frozen and then used as FWH in further brews. I thought that the 7oz of Cascade hops looked rather lonely in the bottom of the kettle so i added my current stock of frozen ex dry hops. These are a combination of Pacific Gem, Simcoe, Amarillo gold & Cascase hops. The frozen weight was 3Lbs. My relaxed guess is that they were in their dry form around 8oz.

I personally can see no fault in reusing dry hops to extract everything that I paid for from them. Others may disagree which is fair enough but when i smell those Alpha acids that otherwise would have ended up on the compost heap and not in my beer then i know its the way to go!

Anyway, that's quite enough of me banging the frugal brewer drum, back to the figs! In this case i decided to sterilise the figs by boiling. At the same time i would be able to make the figs more suited to the restricted throat of the FV's.
Large knife and pan time.

They look more fungal than fruit to me in this photo.

A lovely dark sweet smell.

Frozen and stored for a couple of days while the Duvel/Chimay split reduced the SG to 1.032 .

The Duvel/Chimay & base beer was fermented at 18 degrees to keep the phenols & esters under control. The last thing i want is pineapple flavoured solvent! As soon as the base beer was started i cultured the Brett C up to a 400 ml sample.

Apologies for the next shot. I know what it looks like but honestly it IS figs. :) I used an ice cream scoop to get them in through the neck of the FV.

At the moment i have 7 gallon of base beer fermenting on the Duvel/Chimay split, 5 gallon on Duvel/Chimay and now with Brett C introduced. The final (and most exciting to me) is the 4 gallon batch with Brett C & 2 kgs of figs. As we know, fruit flavours undergo huge changes during the fermentation process. With this in mind, i can say with hand on heart that i have no idea how Quad B Mk III will turn out! I can see it being a 1 year beer in the making and i can see the introduction of dark chocolate and some dark malts in a couple of months. If the Brett C does its job Quad B Mk III will be my Xmas beer choice for 2012 but only one at a time and small bottles at that as it will be North of 9% ABV..... ho-ho-ho

Thanks for reading the blog and i hope you take something with you from it. A laugh, education, inspiration. Any of these would make me very happy. Cheers! :)

blog counter

Wikio - Top Blogs - Wine and beer

Wikio - Top Blogs