This is my third time going through this recipe, which is a blonde saison that includes lime zest and is hopped with Sorachi Ace. This is my first time adding in a bit of fresh lime juice as well, hoping to get a little more acidity early on without resorting to bacteria.
Half the batch will be getting a pitch of straight Yeast Bay Wallonian Farmhouse (2nd Generation) and the other will also be getting the same second generation plus a nice blend of Brett variants (plus a few other saison strains mixed in an older cake). The portion with only the Wallonian will serve to test something I've been curious about, which is whether my plastic buckets are now just harboring all sorts of Brett and bugs. I'm thinking yes, as I've had cross-contamination on other saisons using loose lids, but so much so that I thought it was in the buckets.
This isn't something I'm shying away from, as I'd love for the buckets to develop a bit of a house culture similar to how oak barrels do. I've been using hard-bristle brushes on the buckets, so expect there to be plenty of places for the bugs to get into. Likewise, I've also been just spraying with StarSan rather than soaking in mixed solution. Generally, I don't want to be dirty, but I would like a little rustic character. Eventually, I'd like to get to the point where I've got a larger temperature controlled shed or portion of my garage where I'll have barrels and beams that are littered with Brett and other bugs, with house character developing.
I go back and forth on exactly how to best achieve the results that I'm looking for (clean primary then finishing with Brett, mixed fermentation throughout, blending clean and Brett/wild) and have so far been experimenting with different methods. Eventually, I'd like to nail down a house process. As of now, I'm thinking my preferred route is fermenting with a mixture of saison yeast and Brett, and then blending in wild/sour beer when I want some acidity, as that's worked out quite well with my "Science & Art" series. (Tasting notes for #1 here and #2 here, with notes #3 coming soon along with reviews from the TalkBeer Homebrew Competition (Saison).)
Here are the full details on the batch:
Batch Number: 89
Brew Date: June 21, 2014
Batch Size: 10 Gallon
OG: 1.045 (est.)
FG: 1.002 (est.)
Fermentation Temperature: 70-80* F
IBU: 35.0 (modified Tinseth)
Mash: Single infusion for 60 minutes at 152* F
Boil: 60 minute
13.0 lb Dingemans Belgian Pilsner
2.5 lb Flaked Wheat
2.0 lb Munich Malt
1.25 lb Flaked Rye
Salts & Water
8.0g Calcium Chloride (all into the kettle)
2.0g Gypsum (all into the kettle)
6mL lactic acid added to the mash
Resulting water profile is as follows:
Mash pH (est.): 5.41
5mL lactic acid added to the sparge water to get it to a pH around 5.5.
0.75 oz. Columbus (leaf) (17.7 AAU) at 60 minutes
5.0 oz. Sorachi Ace (pellet) (12.0 AAU) at flameout
2.0 tsp. Wyeast Yeast Nutrient at 10 minutes
100mL lime juice at flameout
4 Tbsp. lime zest at flameout
5 gallons: Yeast Bay Wallonian Farmhouse
5 gallons: Ambrosia Blend 005 (Yeast Bay Wallonian Farmhouse, East Coast Yeast Farmhouse Brett (Pure Strain) (ECY03-B), and Ambrosia Blend 002)
06.21.2014: Pitched at 70-72*F after 30 seconds of pure oxygen to each 5-gallon bucket.
06.22.2014: Up to 74* F at 24 hours. (All water bath temperatures.)
06.23.2014: Up to 76*F at 36 hours, and 78*F at 48 hours.
06.24.2014: 80*F at 2.5 days.
06.25.2014: Started to drop temperature back down, allowing to fall down to 74*F naturally.
07.06.2014: Transferred both portions to kegs. Heavy pellicle on the bucket that was just the Yeast Bay Wallonian, so definitely Brett living in the buckets. Purged head space and letting sit at room temperature for the Brett to develop further in that one. Intentionally added some extra yeast cake to that keg. Transferred the Wallonian plus (intentional) Brett to a separate keg and began force carbonating. Small pellicle on that one.
08.10.2014: Tasting notes for the keg version for the Wallonian plus intentional Brett (Ambrosia Blend 005).