Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Brew Day Double Trouble – Double Chocolate Oatmeal Stout & Electric Citrus Saison – Part 2

And onto the:
Electric Citrus Saison
So this recipe is based around the GF-Orange Honey Ale – Shock Top Clone that was posted by MapleTreeBrewCo on Home Brew Talk.  I liked the idea of doing something that would be really light and refreshing but I wasn’t sure about the flavours and since I had a free 5L carboy I scaled the recipe down and modified it to the ingredients I have available here. 
When I was putting together this recipe I was looking at the various definitions for Sour Ales and trying to define what category this would fall into.  It doesn’t quite fit the description or a Witbier or a Berliner Weiss so the only thing I could possibly compare it to is a Belgian Saison.  A Saison is historically from Wallonia in the French speaking part of Belgium.  It is a summer style that was originally brewed near the end of the cool season to last through the summer months.  Medium to strong in the alcohol department, but not so strong that it isn’t refreshing.  The taste is usually well hopped and dry with a quenching acidity and strong fruity/spicy overtones.  Overall, this intended to be a refreshing beer that can be enjoyed on a patio in the warmer months.
So putting this together I knew I wanted a citrus flavour to be at the forefront, with the hops to back it up.  I chose Cascade and Summit for hops, looking to capitalize on the grapefruit and citrus aromas.  As additional flavours I added in a little bit of lemon and orange juice, some orange zest, cardamom and coriander.  Also, using the Windsor yeast I was hoping to the esters would round out the citrus flavours.  Finally I finished the whole thing with some Acai Blossom honey, hoping that the delicate flavour won’t be lost.
Onto the brewing!!

Electric Citrus Saison

Grain Bill
0.75kg Brown Rice Syrup – Added 60 min remaining in boil
0.15kg Acai Blossom Honey – Added at Flame out

Hop Schedule
4g Cascade Pellet (7.30 %AA) – Added at 40 minutes remaining in boil
4g Summit Pellet (15.50 %AA) – Added at 20 minutes remaining in boil

Misc Ingredients
25ml Lemon Juice – Added at 30 minutes remaining in boil
25ml Orange Juice – Added at 30 minutes remaining in boil
25g Malto-Dextrin for body – Added at 20 minutes remaining in boil
10g Sweet Orange Peel/Zest – Added at 20 minutes remaining in boil
5g Coriander Seeds, Cracked – Added at 20 minutes remaining in boil
5g Irish Moss for clarifying – Added at 10 minutes remaining in boil
5g Cardamom Seed Pods – Added at 10 minutes remaining in boil
3g Yeast Nutrient – Added to yeast slurry
1 pkg Windsor Dry Yeast – Rehydrated and added to cooled wort

Well, I guess I should describe the issues I ran into here:

Number one, I only have the one big stock pot that I have been using, and that was filled with the still cooling Double Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, so instead I grabbed my large Dutch Oven and figured that would work well enough.  I filled the pot with 6 litres of bottled water and added the Rice Syrup.  Now the water level was only about 5cm from the top, so I was trying to keep an eye on the pot.  I fought the boil over down once, twice but it bested me on the third charge and suddenly the kitchen had a burnt sugar smell.  Well I pulled the pot off the heat, ladled off about a litre of the mixture and put it off to the side.  Then I put the pot back on the heat and reset the timer. 
Problem number two, the recipe above was the final recipe that was used, but this wasn’t the original recipe.  Somehow I got twisted around and added the ingredients in the wrong order and in some cases at completely the wrong times.  The orange peel and cardamom were supposed to be added at 10 minutes remaining and the Summit Hops, coriander and Malto-Dextrin should have been added at 5 minutes to go.  They all made it into the pot, but in a different order then planned.  I’m going to move forward with it but maybe I’ll come back and try the original recipe at some point.

The litre of rice syrup and water that I pulled off the boil pot was used to rehydrate the yeast for both this brew and the Double Chocolate Oatmeal Stout.  I split the litre in half in two separate plastic bottles.  I let the bottles cool to about 33°C(91.4°F), added the yeast nutrient and shook them well.  Then I added the respective yeasts, shaking lightly to make sure all the yeast was covered.  Both of these bottles sat off to the side for about 45 minutes while the wort cooled to pitching temperature.

The rest of the brew day went well.  I let the wort cool to about 30°C(86°F) and then poured it through a strainer into a small glass carboy.  I added the yeast and then topped the carboy off to 4.5L, pulled off a test sample and popped on the air lock.  I put the carboy with the other fermenting beer at about 21°C(69.8°F) and left it to do its thing.

Photos courtesy of Mrs. Thirsty