Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Spicy Saison w/ Saaz - Low ABV continued.

Saison is one of my favorite styles to drink, simply because very few are alike. Not that this is a catch all style but it does lend to interpretation. American Breweries have really took this style up a notch in the past few years. Lately I have been really enjoying New Holland's "Golden Cap Saison". It has a great tart finish that makes it extra quaffable. As much as I love that Saison, I decided to take this batch in an all together different direction.

I am going for a spicy, hoppy ale with a dry finish and low ABV. Saaz additions throughout, with a TOUCH of Grains Of Paradise at knock out. The Grains Of Paradise combined with the French Saison yeast should give it a great peppery aroma and flavor. Belgian Pils malt with White Wheat, Dark Wheat and Dark Munich for the grist. I am spiking the mash with 2 oz of black malt for color during sparge. There will be a dry hopping during the last day of fermentation into the short conditioning phase.

PG: 1.042
OG: 1.049
FG: 1.010 (going for 1.005)
ABV: 5%
IBU: 30
SRM: 9.6
EFF: 85%
BOIL: 70 min

Belgian Pils 5lb
White Wheat 2lb
Dark Wheat 1lb
Dark Munich 1lb
Black Malt 2 oz (on grain bed during sparge)

Rest at 125F for 15 min, Rest at 149F for 30 min, Rest at 156F for 15 min

All Saaz

28g First Wort Hops
7g 30 min
7g 10 min
14g Knockout
28 G Dry Hop after high krausen

3g Grains of Paradise Knockout

Ferment at ambient temperature. I am not temp controlling this.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cream Ale - Low ABV Styles Part 1

It's finally Summer in Chicago, which means everyone is OUT DOORS! Festivals every weekend, the beach, al fresco drinking or just hanging out on the porch. The object is to get as much outdoor activity in before out famous Winter comes through again. Unfortunately my Home Brew situation is all imperial styles at the moment, not exactly easy drinkers in the heat. So I am taking these month's to brew up some low ABV styles which I can get from carboy to keg quickly. This week we are starting with a Cream Ale.

Cream Ale, despite the name, has little to do with Cream. Although in the UK this style is often served with a co2/nitrogen blend, which will give a creamy mouth feel. This style is a hybrid ale akin to American Light Lager except fermented with a top fermenting yeast or a blend of both Lager and Ale Yeasts. The grist is often 6 Row or 2 Row Barley with Rice or Corn Adjuncts to lighten up the body. This ale with have a pale straw to amber color. Hop Profile is balanced with noble hops appropriate. You can find more hop assertive versions but not in the sense of a American IPA. Many Lager at below 40 degrees for a few weeks post fermentation. This is not necessary but will clean up the flavor and increase clarity. Cream Ale is served a higher carbonation level then your standard ale.

This being my first foray in Cream Ale I am relying heavily on Jamil Zainasheff's recipe. Making some small modifications for my system and preferences.

This recipe yields 5.5 Gal and 75% Mash Efficiency. Mashing at 149 F for 90 minutes to insure rice conversion. I might do a step mash, undecided. Fermenting with Wyeast 1056 for a neutrality and attenuation. I am on the fence as far as lagering. This might go right to keg.

Pre Boil Gravity: 1.035
Original Gravity: 1.051
Final Gravity: 1.009
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 19
SRM: 2.6
Boil: 90 Min
Ferment: 64 F

4 lbs 2 Row
4 lbs Pilsner
1 lbs Flaked Rice
12 oz Dextrous Sugar

1 oz Liberty 90 Min
1 oz Liberty 1 Min