Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rosemary's Baby and Black Steam

Brewed 3/10/12

I am a little too obsessed with the idea of getting more than one beer out of a single brew day. Usually I pick two styles that I want to brew that are similar enough to share the same wort, adjust the recipe to be a good compromise between the ideal versions of each, and then make any necessary adjustments post boil. Options for adjustments are limited, but can provide huge variability between the two beers. Yeast is the most obvious variable, followed by gravity (water down or add sugar during fermentation), and then any secondary ingredients; from dry hopping schedules, to oaking, to wild microbes, to fruit and spices...
This sounds like a great idea and should be a fun way to get a wider variety of new recipes developed, but in reality I end up pretty disappointed in one or more of the "compromises" that I had to make to the base recipe.
Sometimes though, the two styles align beautifully. Case in point: Rosemary's Baby and Black Steam.

Rosemary's Baby-(Dark Saison)- I wanted to brew a big, spicy, fruity, funky saison that would be ready for some nice back yard sippage during the amazingly beautiful evenings we get in late September/ early October. Something big and complex to enjoy on its own or with hearty BBQ, but that isn't too sweet for hot weather. I really like the added smoothness that Bam Noire, and Sublimely Self Righteous have from the mild roast, and I thought the dark color would go well with the spicy flavors.

Black Steam-(Black Steam Beer)- This one was just kind of a wild hare. I wanted to do a "lawn mower" beer for the coming summer months, but I didn't really like the conventional beer-for-drinking-in-the-sun options. Cream Beer is just plain boring, I don't have the set up right now for lagers, and I had a low gravity hoppy beer already lined up for a later brew. So, I just winged it. Smooth, relatively low gravity, mild, and bbq worthy-- A black pseudo-lager.

*Looking back over these recipes, I don't know how I neglected to come up with a good hopping schedule. I ended up just trying to make the best of what I had in the freezer. Oops.*

The Recipe (for 6 gal):
5 lbs 2-Row Pale Malt-37%
3 lbs Vienna-22%
2 lbs White Wheat Malt-15%    
1 lbs De-Husked CarafaII-7%
.5 lbs Crystal 15L-4%
2 lbs LME-15% *added in a pinch because I decided to up the batch sizes last min*

Whole batch got 1oz Willamette for 60min boil
Whole batch got 1oz Cascade for 10min boil
Whole batch got 1oz Amarillo at F/O
*Don't ask me what was up with this hopping sched. Looking back it was totally stupid. Should have been a nice and spicy ~35IBU Saaz for 60min and some more Saaz at F/O*
Rosemary's Baby got 1oz each of Amarillo and Perle DH7days for some floral/ fruity notes
Black Steam got 1oz Mt. Hood DH7days  for some spice/ wood/ herbal notes

Saison got 1 vile of WLP568 "Belgian Saison Blend" *They were out of the DuPont strain : (
Steam got WLP810 "Ca Lager"

Single infusion mash at 150F
Batch OG (before splitting and adding water): 1.072=79% efficiency *very high thanks to LME*
Saison OG (after splitting wort and adding ~2l water): 1.061 ---FG:1.012= 6.3%ABV
Steam OG (after splitting wort and adding ~4l water): 1.050 ---FG:1.010= 5.3%ABV
SRM: 30ish
IBUs: 25ish

EXTRAS: Rosemary's Baby got 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary from the garden at DH7days, and was meant to get fresh ginger and black pepper to taste once the fermentation was done along with some Brett. The Rosemary was seriously about 10x too much and made the whole batch taste like a rosemary-pulp bacon soup, so I didn't follow through with any of the rest of the additions. Batch is ruined (super good pork marinade though!).

Fermented saison for a total of 2 weeks in primary. *Bottled instead of transferring to secondary as planned because the batch was hopeless- just wanted it for marinade.*

Fermented steam 3.5 weeks total in primary to ensure diacytle and sulfur clean-up.

Rosemary bottled 3/25 @ 1.012FG with carb drops.

Black Steam bottled 4/2 @ 1.010FG with honey for target 2.0 vols CO2. *Love the bubbles.*

Black Steam came out much better than expected. It's a Keeper.

I poured Rosemary's Baby down the drain to free up some extra bottles. It sucked bad.

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