Thursday, October 23, 2014

Demeter Facile: Recipe

With this beer being my sixth time using Ambrosia Blend 005 to ferment, I wanted to try something very neutral in order to really pick out the yeast and bacteria profile that I have going.  This meant brewing a beer with a fairly-simple blonde malt profile, keeping the hops in check, and not using any spices or fruit.  Based on this process, I decided to go with "Facile" (French for "simple") as the name for this beer in the Demeter series.  For those who haven't been reading for too long, the Demeter series is a line of saisons using Brettanomyces and/or lactic acid bacteria, and have up until this point contained some sorts of fruit or spicing.  The name of the series comes from Greek mythology, where Demeter is the goddess of the harvest.

With the simple base beer, I'm hoping to be able to pull out fruity aspects that are coming from the yeast and bacteria blend, perhaps with a little bit of spice as well.  While I do appreciate saisons that tend toward the phenolic side, I vastly prefer to brew (and drink) saisons that focus on fruity esters.  I've generally picked out a lot of tropical fruit and citrus notes so far when using Ambrosia Blend 005 to ferment, though I've never been sure how much of that was due to hops and other aroma/flavoring agents I've added to those beers.  Here I use a bit of Centennial for some hop character, but by no means an excessive amount (1.5 ounces per 5 gallons).  For the grist, I used mostly pilsner, adding in some Munich, honey malt, spelt, and wheat to give a little extra flavor and up the mouthfeel a bit.

Here are the full details on the batch:

Batch Number: 95

Brew Date: September 27, 2014
Bottle Date: October 25, 2014
Batch Size: 10 Gallon
OG: 1.044 (est.)

FG: 1.002 (est.)
Fermentation Temperature: ~65*F.  (This is being fermented in the unfinished portion of our basement, which generally hovers in this area, staying warm throughout the winter as the boiler is located in the corner.)
IBU: 29.0 (modified Tinseth from BrewCipher)
ABV: 5.7%
SRM: 5.0

Mash: Single infusion for 60 minutes at 152* F
Boil: 60 minute


14.0 lb Pilsner Malt
1.50 lb Raw Spelt
1.00 lb Flaked Wheat
1.00 lb Munich Malt
1.00 lb Honey Malt

Salts & Water

All salts added to the kettle. Also added 14mL of lactic acid to the mash to get the pH to around 5.24.

5.2g Calcium Chloride
4.3g Gypsum
6.1g Sodium Chloride

Resulting water profile is as follows:

Mash pH (est.): 5.24 (BrewCipher estimate)
Calcium: 77
Magnesium: 12
Sodium: 50
Chloride: 125
Sulfate: 70


1.5 oz Centennial (8.7 AAU), pellet, at 60 minutes
3.0 oz Centennial (8.7 AAU), pellet, at flameout


2.0 tsp. Wyeast Yeast Nutrient at 10 minutes


Full batch used Ambrosia Blend 005 (now the sixth generation) from the cake of  an August 23, 2014 batch of Wallonian Pale Ale.  Each 5-gallon portion got approximately 125mL of dense slurry from that cake.  (Estimate based on 73% viability calculated at  


I'm planning to take a portion of this batch and transfer on top of the spent fruit from two other batches that I currently have going.  The first is a Flanders Red that has been sitting on black raspberries that Amy and I picked in Michigan this summer, and the second is a version of Citrine that has been sitting on whole Montmorency cherries that Amy and I picked up at that same farm.  I stole this idea from Jester King, which uses this method with raspberries (La Vie en Rose) (process) and cherries (Detritivore) (process).

11.01.2014: I ended up not using a portion of this batch on the spent fruit, as the black raspberries had completely come apart, and were creating problems when I tried to bottle Amethyst.  Given that, I'll have to try the "second use" idea next year.  Instead of fruiting the second half of this batch, I blended it with some Citrine to create Science & Art #7.

For the first bucket, which stayed as straight Demeter Facile, I had around 4.5 gallons, so I used 130g of sugar, targeting 3.0 volumes of CO2.  For Science & Art #7, I combined 5 gallons of Demeter Facile and 1 gallon of Citrine, and added 175g of sugar, aiming for 3.0 volumes.

01.27.2015: Tasting notes.