Well, I’m back to brewing, finally. I had to put it off for a while, but now that I’m back at it, it feels good.
Today’s brew was simply a Saison, the first of the summer — I plan on a few more — and has a bit of a twist. I mean, beyond the twist of using blue agave for my adjunct; I always use some kind of adjunct to dry out my Saisons, because I like them to fement down as far as possible, and normally get down to about 1.001 or 1.002 no matter what the starting gravity.
No, the twist on this Saison is that it has a bunch of interesting-sounding grains in it: Kamut, Khorasan Wheat, Oats, Spelt, Barley, Millet, and Quinoa. Not that you can get these grains for brewing, not in Korea (and in some cases, not anywhere). But you can get this cereal (at Costco), which is supposedly 100% organic, preservative free, and pretty tasty (the only non-grain additives are a little sea salt, which I doubt is in large enough amounts to impact the beer seriously) and honey (which is fine). When I was in Rome, I tasted a number of Saisons made with spelt, and while I couldn’t quite pick out what was different about them, something was… and really liked what I tasted.
So for this brewday, I decided to chuck in some of this cereal to see how it would contribute to the brew.
The grist is very simple and straightforward, with equal parts of Pilsner, Vienna, Munich, and Wheat malt, and the flaked cereal. (I went with 1.2kg of each, more or less — it was more like 1.1kg of the cereal, and 1.3 kg of Munich, but that’s close enough for me.)
The hopping is simple: whatever bittering hop I dig up, about 18 IBUs worth at 60 minutes, throw in two mini-bottles of blue agave nectar (1.332 kg) at 20 min left in the boil, and and then some Strisselspalt at 5 minutes for a touch of aroma. I’m not adding any spice in the boil, though I may put some pink pepper or fruit into a half batch if I feel like it once it’s fermented out, and I transfer it to secondary; I may also put that half onto souring bugs instead, to see how I like a sour Saison, since I have a couple of sour beers ready to bottle next week.
I was thinking about also doing a long boil on this batch, but I think I’ll wait for my next Saison to try that; after all, I’m only now running off the mash and it’s already 6:30pm, and I have two brewdays back-to-back to attend this weekend. Therefore, I’m probably just going to go with a 90 minute boil, chill it as quickly as I can, and call it a day.
Here’s a recipe. I’ll post an update when it’s done.
UPDATE: Ended up using 28 grams of Citra (from a dry hopping usage) and 10 grams of Mt. Hood for bittering, to bring it up to 19.5 IBUs total including the Strisselspalt addition at the end… and the boil was longer than I expected, about 2.5 hours! (Not counting the 20 or 30 minutes it took to get back up to boiling temps once I added about 2.5 gallons of water to get it back up to the right volume, that is.)
UPDATE (8 Jul 2012): The French Saison yeasted batch was bubbling last night, but the Belgian wasn’t, so I pitched more yeast and agitated it again… now, its fermenting harder than the French one is! However, though there was no airlock activity, I suspect the yeast might have been on the verge of krausening, so I don’t know whether I inadvertently oxygenated when I shouldn’t have. In any case, I’m hoping the second batch of yeast pitched into the brew ate up that oxygen and then got to work…