Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dark Belgian "Archaic Beer"

On May 1st, some of the members of our local homebrew club, the Belle City Brewers and Vintners, got together at our local homebrewing store to brew together. It was a fun day with a few people doing their first all-grain batches (one of which was a RIS. What a way to start into all-grain!) Actually, last year when I went to my first big brew day, I was inspired to start doing all-grain as well after seeing how much easier it was than I'd imagined.

I recently got a chance to try the 2007 vintage of De Struise's Pannepot. This is officially one of my new favorite beers! It has tons of dark fruit flavors, a bit of coffee, and more. Between drinking Pannepot, De Dolle's Oerbier, and De Dolle's export stout recently, a beer in this vein has been something on mind mind to brew for quite awhile. (I had a bottle of Thomas Hardy recently as well, which I hadn't had in a year or two, and although it is coming from a different sort of place, I've gotta say those dark, complex Old Ales are very much along similar lines, at least to my taste.)

My friend, Jesse, and I polished off all 3 bottles of Pannepot I picked up and I pitched the dregs into a starter. Since it was a roughly 3 year old vintage, I built up the starter repeatedly, until it was just under 2 liters, to get the yeast going again. I plan to culture up more yeast from dregs in the future, as it is pretty easy. (I'm currently growing a starter from dregs of a Fantome Printemps. I haven't decided what to do with it yet.)

After taking a look at the Wild Brews recipe for Donkere Geneeskunde, and browsing various recipes on the web, I settled on a slight adaption of a collaboration recipe between De Struise and Sean Paxton.

Belgian Dark Archaic

brewed on: 5/1/10
expected OG: 1.080 (Since I got a late start and this ended up being a long boil I only boiled it down to a bit under 6 gallons, but the gravity was not too far shy of what I was shooting for. The OG was between 1.075 and 1.080.)

Expected IBUs: 26
mash temp: 153F

6 lb US 2-row
5 lb Belgian Pale malt
1 lb Maris Otter
1.5 lb flaked oats (the store was out, but I sent my brother to the grocery store and used Quaker oats instead.)
1 lb CaraMunich II
.75 lb flaked barley
.75 lb flaked wheat
.5 lb Crystal 20
6 oz debittered black malt
1.25 oz Crystal 120

1 lb Piloncillo sugar - start of boil

2.5 oz E. Kent Golding @ 4.8

Wyeast 3538 Leuven Pale Ale cake &
1.5 liter starter from dregs of 3 bottles of 2007 Pannepot

Fermented at 66-68F.

5/25/10 - Racked to secondary (62F). SG: 1.014
8/22/10 - SG: 1.011 aroma: alcohol & raisins. Flavor:raisins, sweet.
10/4/10 - SG: ~1.012 (temp change?) aroma: fruity & sour. flavor: chocolate, dried fruit, a hint of subtle sourness.
11/30/10 - Kegged and force carbed

Brett Pale

It's been several weeks since I posted last. I've been brewing, but haven't posted the last two batches yet since I've been busy with the onset of Spring. Having moved to a new house, we just put in a garden. I also planted some hop rhizomes! 3 Cascade, and 1 Willamette. I put in a Chinook from a friend as well, but it was more of a sprout than a rhizome and died pretty quick.

A fellow brewer that lives nearby recently did an all-brett beer and saved some of the slurry for me. I wasn't sure what I was going to brew until the last minute, but settled on a pale wort with brett in the secondary. I decided to use the grain bill from the Flanders Pale in Jeff Sparrow's Wild Brews. However, since I wasn't going for a sour ale on this one, instead of pitching Roselare or a lambic mix as suggested in the recipe, I used the Wyeast special release Leuven Ale yeast. Once it was done fermenting and transferred to the secondary, I pitched the brett slurry, which was a mixture of Wyeast Bretts - Bruxellensis and Lambicus. It quickly formed a small dusty pellicle after a couple days in the seconday.

Belgian Pale w/ Brett

brewed on: 4/23/10
expected OG: 1.059

Expected IBUs: 27
mash temp: 151F

10 lb Belgian Pils
1lb 14oz German Carahell

2 oz Czech Saaz @ 2.8%
- 60 minutes
1 oz German Hallertauer @ 2.8% - 60 minutes

Primary Yeast:
Wyeast 3538 - Leuven Pale Ale

Secondary Yeast:
slurry of WY Brett Brux & WY Brett Lamb.

Fermented at 68F.

5/4/10 - moved to secondary @ 62F. Added Brett slurry (WY Brett B & WY Brett L)
7/19/10 - added dregs of JP Oro de Calabaza
8/22/10 - SG 1.002 leathery nose w/ hints of pear. Thin body, astringent. Consider adding a bit of oak for vanillins.
10/5/10 - SG @ 1.002 - Sour fruit, brett. Dry, astringent mouthfeel.
1/21/11 - Tasted this while giving some friends a tour of the sour beer carboys the other night. Astringency has backed off some and it is turning out like a nice, somewhat aged Orval. Nice cherry and leather brett character has developed.

2/21/11 - Kegged and force carbing!