Tuesday, May 22, 2012
La Rouge and Pomegranate Kolsch
Brew Day 4/20/12
Another seat of my pants brew.
I have a hard time with being a little over-stimulated when it comes to planning recipes, and I have learned from experience that I need to have a very specific plan layed out for brewing a beer, or else I'm just overcome with GREAT ideas and usually end up smashing way too many of them together last min. The result is usually fine, thanks to a decent level of self-restraint in recipe formulation (I feel that it is easy to muddle up a beer with too many ingredients. I totally think the key to nice depth and drinkability is a focused, simple recipe), but I often end up using up an idea I am really looking forward to in another context (like the Simcoe/ Chinook/ Centennial combo that I had set aside for an IPA but ended up using in my ASB).
I tried to keep this in mind when hen I headed by the LHBS to buy the ingredients for a Smoked Mild/ Honey Porter that I have been thinking about for a few weeks now only to find that they were out of almost every specialty ingredient that I was looking for. This time, instead of picking and choosing from random inspirations, I just took a look in the fridge for any interesting yeasts or hops and took it from there. The only rule was that I couldn't steal from any of my up-coming recipes.
La Rouge-(Rustic Hoppy Amber Farmhouse, the main event for this brew day)- Miracously, the shop had a lot of Citra hops on hands. Sweet! Then, in the back I found a lone packet of WY3711 French Saison yeast which I had been hearing some great things about.
Tropical fruity/ citrusy hops? Check.
Spicy/ rustic yeast? Check.
From there I put together a malt bill that i thought would compliment the Citra hops and French yeast... Mostly pils as I wanted this to be a Saison at heart, with some Munich, Caravienne, and Special B to give it a nice color and some malty sweetness to fill out the dryness from the uber-high attenuation levels that this yeast achieves and balance the big Citra hops. I also grabbed a vile of Brett C because I love the added layer of funk that my favorite Farmhouse/ Saisons have. EDIT: After drinking a few I decided it is not a Saison. Farmhouse, sure. Biere De Garde, maybe. Saison, not so much.
Pomegranate Kolsch- (Table Beer with Pomegranate, second fiddle)- The shop had some WY2565 Kolsch yeast on hand, which I have been curious about but didn't have any solid plans to brew with. I like the idea of the subtle apricot and white wine fruitiness that show through an otherwise very neutral fermentation. Sounded like a good choice for a light, low gravity summer beer. I figured it would work well enough with the malt base and hopping schedule of the Saison. I grabbed a few oz of Sorachi Ace hops to add to the portion of the wort that would be the Kolsch-- the lemony descriptions of the hops sounded like it would be interesting here, but annoying in the Saison.
The pomegranate idea was born of necessity. After 3 weeks in primary fermentation it was a little lost. The super low gravity and neutral yeast made for a pretty bland beer, and although the lemon notes did come through in a nice way from the Sorachi Ace hops they were accompanied by a distracting dill taste in the background. So, I decided to try and emphasize the slight tartness that the yeast provided and added pure pomegranate juice. Hopefully it covers the dill, compliments the lemon, and brings the acidity up. Keep your fingers crossed.
The Recipe (for 8.25 gal):
14 lbs Belgian Pilsner Malt-74%
3 lbs Munich Malt-16%
1 lb Caravienne-5%
1 lb Special B-5%
Whole batch got 1oz Warrior for 60min boil
Whole batch got 2oz Amarillo for 15min boil
La Rouge got 2oz Citra at F/O
Pomegranate got 2oz Sorachi Ace at F/O
**I diverted 3.5 gal of wort into .5 gal ice water at F/O to bring the Kolsch to my target lower gravity and IBUs, and to be able to give different F/O hop dosages to each beer**
La Rouge got 1 vile each of WY3711 French Saison and WL Brett C
Pomegranate got 1 packet of WY2656 Kolsch yeast
Single infusion mash at 152F for 2 hours thanks to surprise visitors :(
Batch OG (before splitting and adding water): 1.051=63% efficiency
Farmhouse OG (4.25 gal after boil): 1.051 ---FG:1.002= 6.4%ABV **Woah 3711!**
Pomegranate OG (after splitting wort and adding ~2l water): 1.040 FG:--1.010=4.5ish%ABV after POM juice.
SRM: 13ish La Rouge, 16ish Kolsch after POM juice
IBUs: 37ish La Rouge, 30ish Kolsch
EXTRAS: Pomegranate got 8 oz pure pomegranate concentrate in secondary.
4/20- Brewed at night with way too many distractions from the neighbors. Ended up being so late I didn't use my wort chiller. Just sat overnight and I pitched in the morning.
4/29- Kolsch down to 1.012 and Saison down to 1.006. Kolsch tastes bad. Dill like crazy.
5/15- Bottled La Rouge @ 1.002 with carbonation drops. Looking for a pretty high CO2 level.
5/20- Racked Kolsch onto 8 oz pomegranate concentrate and didn't take a gravity reading. Will bottle in two weeks.
6/7- Bottled POM @ 1.010 into a case of bombers using 2 carb drops per bottle. Looking for a high CO2 level to compliment the tartness. Still tasting some dill, but very faint at this point (I'm hoping with some time in bottles wil clear it up). **Had a problem with my racking cane while transfering from the carboy to the bottling bucket. The hose clamp connecting the tubing to the cane wasn't tight enough and it let ALOT of air in for the first .5 gal or so. Hopefully we can drink it all before it tastes like cardbaoard from oxidation. **
6/14- La Rouge First tasting is much differnt than expected. Spicy and tropical but needs time. It is now officially a Biere De Garde.
7/11- The Pomegranite Beer took a while to clean up, but it is quite good now. Tart and refreshing. The Kolsch yeast, Sorachi Ace hop, and Fruit combo deserves a rebrew with a paler malt base.
3/3/13- La Rouge Revisited. Came around nicely once the hops faded and the Brett worked it's magic.