Friday, January 16, 2015

MB2015.1 - Sweaty Bretty Petite Redux

My Brother is getting married in a few months and I am providing a few beers for the big event. I brewed a saison (and a couple other beers) for a wedding a few years ago, so it seemed fitting to resurrect that recipe.The goal of this recipe is to be a table beer -- approachable and light for quaffing in quantity, yet flavorful and interesting for pairing with food.

The grain-bill is pretty straightforward and standard because the yeast will be the real star of this beer. For hops I chose Palisade and Sterling partly because I had them on hand, but also because I wanted a bit of a grassy and spicy character. The hop additions are all in the last 20 minutes of the boil to push their aromatics, and I anticipate the bitterness to be a bit higher than calculated below.

Although not in the recipe below, I will be adding Brett C. after primary fermentation. I'll write another post when this time comes, but I am planning to try a bit of an experiment with a home-made grundy valve, where 5 gallons will be "brett-ed" in a keg pressurized to 7 psi or so, while the other 5 will be secondaried without pressure. I'm curious to see how the pressurized environment effects the character of the Brett.

This was the first brew on the revamped system, and aside from forgetting to filter my tap water the day went smoothly. It was a long brew day, mostly because I am still figuring out the rhythm of the new set-up (but also because I was pretty hungover from the employee bottle-share party at The Rare Barrel last night). I'm stoked that my new chilling system worked well, and anticipate ironing out the kinks in the entire system before the next brew day. (I'll write up a separate post on the chilling system soon.)

I do hope that the chloramines in the city water don't impact the final product too much; When living in Albany NY I had to dump some batches because of a band-aid taste--I traced the problem back to the city water, and switched to reverse-osmosis to prevent future problems. While in Albany I could taste the chloramines in the tap-water, here in Oakland I drink directly from the tap and don't taste any chlorine or other chemicals at all.


Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 13.68 gal
Post Boil Volume: 12.48 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 11.00 gal  
Bottling Volume: 10.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.045 SG
Estimated Color: 4.4 SRM
Estimated IBU: 20.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 76.4 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU        
4.0 oz                Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM)                     Adjunct       1        1.3 %        
13 lbs                Pilsner (Best Malz) (2.0 SRM)            Grain         2        67.5 %       
3 lbs                 Munich II (Weyermann) (8.5 SRM)          Grain         3        15.6 %       
3 lbs                 Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM)                Grain         4        15.6 %       
2.00 oz               Sterling [7.50 %] - Boil 20.0 min        Hop           5        15.7 IBUs    
1.00 oz               Palisade [7.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min         Hop           6        2.6 IBUs     
1.00 oz               Sterling [7.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min         Hop           7        2.6 IBUs     
1.00 oz               Palisade [7.50 %] - Steep/Whirlpool  0.0 Hop           8        0.0 IBUs     
1.00 oz               Sterling [7.50 %] - Boil 0.0 min         Hop           9        0.0 IBUs     
1.0 pkg               French Saison (Wyeast Labs #3711) [50.28 Yeast         10       -            

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 19 lbs 4.0 oz
Name                                        Description                             Step Temperat Step Time    
Mash In                                     Add 28.06 qt of water at 155.2 F        145.0 F       75 min       

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (2.63gal, 7.34gal) of 168.0 F water
2015.01.14 - Made 1.031 starter wort

According to, with 1.031 wort and a 2L stirplate starter, I will need an additional 2L unstirred starter to get to the correct pitcing rate. Alternatively, I could make a single 2.5L stirplate starter.

2015.01.16 - Brew Day:
- Pitched Wyeast 3711 packet into 2L 1.031 starter wort in morning. Added to leftover quart of wort from brew at 11 PM. Will split and pitch into carboys tomorrow.

12:50 - Lit MT burner to bring water to temp.
1:33 - Mashed in at 155º (per Beersmith). Mash stabilized at 149º -- 4º too high.
1:43 - Mash at 147º. pH = 5.3 (corrected from 5.0 reading on colorpHast strips).
2:56 - Runoff to kettle. Add sparge water.
3:39 - Preboil gravity = 10º plato. Volume = 13.9 gallons (1 1/4 gallons left in MT -- adjust Beersmith profile!)
4:15 - Boil.
5:26 - 20 min. hop addition. Gravity at 1.046.
5:46 - Flameout.
5:50 - Wort chilled to 165º. Hopstand.
6:10 - Resume chilling.
6:45 - All chilling solution transferred. Wort at 73.5º 1.048 gravity.

Music: Wilco, Ween, White Denim, Sturgill Simpson.

Created with BeerSmith 2 -

1 comment:

  1. Hi Aaron, Best wishes for your brother's wedding. You have made this post special for me because here you described the recipe very well and I will also try it. I have added this blog to my list.

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