Brewing Update

So, since I last made my post about my homebrews and the tasting notes, I have made 3 batches of beer.

The first batch I made is kind of a dark saison.  It is a bastardization of the homebrew store’s recipe for a dunkelweizen. I added about a pound and a half of Goodflow honey, a half ounce of Willamette hops as aroma hops, and a half ounce of Willamette hops as dry hops.  The beer is a strong, dark, and hoppy interesting beer that is about 8% ABV.  I tasted it 3 weeks after bottling and the hop aroma dominated everything and it wasn’t very good, but after 6 weeks, the hop aroma had subsided quite a bit and became delicious.

The next 2 batches are of something which I am calling the G series.  I am making several different beers using the same recipe and different yeasts, all Belgian golden ales.  I am using 7 pounds of extra pale malt extract, a half pound of clear candi sugar, half ounce of Nelson Sauvin hops for bittering, and another half ounce of Nelson Sauvin for aroma.  A Simple recipe, and makes about 4.5 gallons of beer at 1.060 OG.

The G1 used the Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes yeast. It fermented a little better than I expected to 1.010, putting the final ABV at about 6.5%.  One of the reasons I wanted to try that yeast was because I read it had a high flocculation rate, and it ended up with a very clear beer which I was interested in, because I am brewing without any sort of  filteration system.  The beer turned out very good, it is both very crisp and spicy, with a really great finish to it.  It is definitely something that would be very good on a summers day, it manages to be both crisp and refreshing, and still have a lot of flavor.

For the G2, I used the Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saison yeast. I’m always interested in saisons, so I thought I would give it a shot and try and make one.  I just bottled it the other day, so I haven’t had a chance to try it like that, but I’m not feeling good about it.  I waited an extra week to move it to the secondary fermenter, because it continued to slowly bubble and ferment, and I’m not sure if I should have waited longer.  The gravity when I put it in the secondary was still pretty high at 1.030  much higher than the 1.010 I had from the G1, not a great sign.  I thought about what I know of Saison Dupont, and tried to force the issue.  I put the carboy in hot water trying to get the temperature up to 90 degrees.  I could see that it was working at first, but that the fermentation would stop as the water cooled, and did that several times over a couple of days.  I eventually got the gravity to 1.020, but couldn’t get it to go much lower, and decided to bottle it.  I have tasted it with my forced carbonation method and it is pretty good.  It has a lot of flavor up front, but quickly disappears.  I will try it in a month, but I feel that this is a beer that is going to take a bit more time in the bottles to get a good flavor.  I’m not expecting a lot, but am hoping for the best.

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