Jul 24, 2006

What's brewing? 7/24/06

As promised on 6/19, I'm working on Belgian styles this summer, starting with an Orval clone using recultured yeast from an Orval bottle.
The partial mash and boil on 7/15 began with a grain bill of

- 2.5lb Belgian pale malt
- 1/2lb 40L crystal malt
- 8oz Cara-pils malt

The Cara-pils was an ad hoc substitute for the Belgian Cara-vienne called for in the recipe. (More accurately, it was a mistake brought on by my not knowing one Cara- from the next.) This may reduce the gravity a bit, hopefully not much.

This time I shot for a single infusion at 150F for 90 minutes. At dough in, the temperature was spot on. But about an hour in, after opening the mash tun to stir a few times, it dropped to around 145F. To raise the temp a little, and as a lead in to the mash-out, I tried a little decoction. This involves the removal of some grist and hot water, which are then brought to a boil and re-introduced to the mash. Did this twice, then sparged with 1.5gal water at 180F and began boil. At 60 minutes, added

- 3.3lb Bierkeller light malt extract syrup
- 1lb extra-light DME
- 1lb Belgian clear candi sugar
- 1/2lb amber candi sugar
- 1oz Styrian Goldings 5% AA bittering hops
- 1oz Hallertau Hersbrucker 3.5% AA bittering hops

Added water to 2.5gal in the brew kettle. After 45 minutes, added

- 1oz Styrian Goldings flavor hops
- 1/2oz bitter orange peel
- 1tsp ground coriander
- 1tsp Irish moss

After another 12 minutes, added

- 1/2oz UK First Gold aroma hops
- 1/2oz bitter orange peel
- 1/2tsp ground coriander

Boiled for 3 more minutes, and strained wort into primary fermenter. Original gravity: 1.057. Again, a little lower than the target range (1.059-1.062), possibly due to poor mash efficiency or my grain substitution.

This time I was able to pitch soon after adding cold water to the primary. I was a little nervous about the Orval yeast, since this was my first stab at reconditioning commercial yeast, but when we awoke the next morning the beer was happily bubbling away. Yeast activity was vigorous for a full two days, then slowed down considerably.

Racked to the secondary on 7/19, dry-hopping the prescribed 1/2oz Styrian Goldings. Gravity at transfer was 1.012, nestled soundly within the target final gravity range (1.010-1.013). Good sign. And it still seems to be very slowly fermenting, with some nice lacy foam in the neck of the carboy.

This beer is supposed to sit in the secondary for 3-4 weeks, so I will probably start another batch in the meantime. After all, I've got three packets of yeast in the fridge and - what timing! - a surprise copy of Farmhouse Ales just arrived in the mail.

My brewing advisor and former supplier in Omaha informs me that the substitution of carapils for caravienne will:
1) lighten the color
2) lighten some malt aromatics/flavor profile
3) slightly 'dry' out the mouth feel
Thanks, Frank!


Post a Comment

<< Home