Sunday, January 23, 2011

Demeter Noir: Recipe

RETRO: Post written July 24, 2014.  Set as being posted at time of brew session.

This was the first batch of saison that I brewed way back in early 2011 (I brewed my first beer on January 1, 2011).  The initial plan was a clean base and then to split off a portion to age with wine-soaked oak cubes and dregs, but I ended up using dregs on the entire batch as the initial flavor of the clean beer was too banana heavy for me.

The recipe for the full batch is as follows:

Batch Number: 05
Brew Date: January 23, 2011
Bottle/Keg Date: [Not Recorded]
Batch Size: 5 Gallon
OG: 1.071 (estimate)
FG: 1.002 (estimate)
Fermentation Temperature: 65-70*F
IBU: 22.0
ABV: 8.1% (est.)
SRM: 5.5

Mash (from original notes): "Use a step infusion mash, which will emphasize the maximum production of fermentable sugars.  Start with a ferulic rest at 113 F for 30 minutes.  Follow this with a protein rest at 131 F for 15 minutes.  This is then raised to 144 F for a 30 minute saccharification rest.  Finally, perform a 15 minute dextrine rest at 154 F before mashing out at 165 F.  The total mash is thus 90 minutes."

Boil: 60 minute


10lb 8oz Pilsner Malt
12oz Munich Malt
12oz White Wheat Malt
2oz CaraMunich Malt

In the boil: 1lb Table Sugar

Salts & Water

At this point I wasn't doing anything besides filtering the water and adding 5.2 buffer, though per the notes below, apparently forgot 5.2 buffer for this one.


1.5oz Hallertauer (3.8 AAU) at 60 minutes
.75oz Hallertauer (3.8 AAU) at flameout


2 tsp. Yeast Nutrient
1oz Red Wine-Soaked Medium Toast Hungarian Oak Cubes


Wyeast French Saison (WY3711)
Wyeast Brettanomyces Bruxellensis (WY5112)
Russian River Temptation Dregs


01.23.2011 - BREWDAY

Mash:  For the ferulic acid rest, hit the grain with 9.7 quarts of 125.3 F water.  The temperature was a bit high, so I added .5 quarts of 50 F water to bring the temperature to 113 F.  Rested here for 30 minutes.  Added 2.7 quarts of 212 F water to bring the mash up to the next step.  Overshot warm and then overshot back too cold.  Too many adjustments led to a temperature of 127 F after quite a few minutes.  Added a total of 2.5 extra quarts so that the total infusion was 5.2 quarts.  Hit with 5.5 quarts of 212 F water.  The temperature only reached 140-41 F.  Let it be and rested for 35 minutes instead of the 30 that was called for to make up the diference.  Added 4.5 quarts of 212 F water.  This only brought the temperature up to 149 F.  Let this rest for 20 minutes.  After this, mashed out with 170 F water.   Used 12 quarts for this, adding half, stirring, and then draining.  Added the second half without stirring, then drained.

* Realized during drain-off that I did not add buffer.  Tested pH of mash and first runnings is approximately 5.5 to 5.6.  According to the Homebrew Wiki, the preferred mash pH range is 5.2 to 5.5, so this should be okay. 

01.24.2011 - About 14 hours after pitching the yeast, there is a healthy kraeusen on top of the beer--about 1.5 inches.  Good bubbling in the blowoff bucket.  Yeast was pitched at room temperature, 67-70 F.

*** Make sure to aerate aggressively for this style

*** Use double the normal amount of yeast nutrient

01.24.2011 - After a little over 24 hours in the fermenter, temperature is a bit over 70 F.  Room temperature is between 67 and 68 F.  Carboy is resting in a tub with a grey t-shirt covering it.  Fermentation was pretty strong this morning with a health krausen.

* After primary fermentation, the plan for the batch was to split into two 3-gallon carboys, one of which would receive Brettanomyces Bruxellensis and red-wine-soaked Hungarian Oak chips (medium toast).

Make sure to "warm age" at fermentation temperatures or higher for 3-8 weeks.  See Phil Markowski, Farmhouse Ales 175 (2004)

01.30.2011 - Took a sample.  Gravity is currently 1.008.  Taste is a bit plain without too much yeast presence.  There are some banana notes.  Perhaps fermentation never really got warm enough.  Will be interesting to see how this develops.  If the yeast doesn't build more character, the entire batch will likely get the oak, wine, and Brett treatment.  The oak and wine started today.  Soaking 0.5 ounce of Hungarian Oak in Klee Pinot Noir ($19.99 at Rick's).  Put in a bowl and filled with enough wine to cover.  The plan is to use this for 2.5 gallons of the saison.

01.31.2011 - Doubled up on the Hungarian cubes and now plan to use the soaked cubes for the entire batch.  The sample taken just didn't have enough yeast character.  There was a bit of banana and some mild spice, but nothing that would make for a particularly-good saison

02.01.2011 - Added a package of Wyeast Brett B.  This was partially frozen during transit from Northern Brewer, so we'll see how things turn out.

02.14.2011 – No apparent activity from the Brett, though I will check again soon.  Added the wine-soaked oak cubes in a hop bag after transferring to a keg.

02.28.2011 – Added dregs from a 375 mL bottle (Batch 005xF) of Russian River Temptation.  Gravity check reveals that the beer is at 1.003.  Still no real oak presence.