Last summer I brewed up a pair of farmhouse style ales, the dark version picked up what seems to be a lacto infection at bottling, I think the culprit was a bottling spigot as it tasted clean at bottling time, however I’m uncertain. The simpler recipe, however, fermented quite nicely and I was quite happy with, so after having some time so sit in bottles, and as I consider my plans to re-brew it (with a few changes) I wrote up some tasting notes.
Batch Vol: 4 gal
Initial gravity: 1.063
Final gravity: 1.011
7lb Pilsner Malt 79%
1lb Turbinado Sugar 11% (added w/ 15 min left in boil)
5oz Flaked Oats 4%
5oz Crystal 60l 4%
3oz Dextrine Malt 2%
1.5oz Czech Saaz @60 min
Fermented: Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saison
a poor photograph of a poor pour of a decent beer
(Please excuse the poor photograph, I’ll add a better one if I remember or something)
Appearance-Pours a golden yellow, voluminous head which stuck around for a good portion of the glass. The initial pour was quite clear and crisp in appearance, however vigorous foaming required a second pour, thus the cloudy appearance, not in fact the fault of the beer but operator error on my part.
Smell-Spicy and malty, hop aroma essentially nonexistent.
Taste-Yeast flavor clearly dominates, somewhat to a fault. If/when I rebrew I think I’ll try more vigilantly to keep fermentation temperature low. The malt profile, though simple, is certainly noticeable, albeit quite subdued. Fruity and spicy dominates. Hop bitterness also present though quite minimal.
Mouthfeel-Appropriately dry, though no so much as to be unpleasant.
What would I do different?
Overall I’m quite happy with the beer, it’s refreshing, interesting enough to make me happy to be able to drink it again, and generally quite pleasant. However, I will make some changes. First, I’d like to bring forward the malt profile a bit, maybe by cutting the pilsner malt and substituting with something a bit more formidable, maybe even some rye. Also cooler fermentation temps, I kept the fermenter in cooled water for the first 24 hours of fermentation, however after this initial activity I removed it and cooled it only with a wet towel, not adequate and the ester profile got a bit inflated. Finally I think a bit of a hop presence might be warranted, perhaps stepping the hop schedule to something like 2oz saaz @ 60min, 1oz saaz at 5min and 1oz saaz dry hop. I’m undecided on the 5 minute addition, but I used some late saaz in the dark saison which was infected and at bottling I was quite happy with it’s impact.
Verdict: I like it, but I’m excited to try again.
I think thats enough beating of a dead horse.
In other news!
I got to taste a sample of a Flanders Red I brewed with an old friend last summer. It was quite good despite only being about 6 months old and I’m really excited to see where it goes. We’re tentatively planning to taste it again this summer and then decide on a course of action.