Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Local Home brew store Brewday: Desir Tripel and Flower Child Saison

Brew Lab in Overland Park, Ks. 
So Saturday the gang was all back together.  But there was a twist.  We were all together, but we were brewing at our Local Home Brew store.  I have been to many home brew stores across this great land. And I have to say, for brewing beer, BrewLab in Overland Park, Kansas is one of the very best.   BrewLab has anything you could need to brew anything you want to brew.   If you live anywhere near Kansas City, or if you are just passing through and want to try a beer, stop by the Brew Lab.

BrewLab Selection of Grains!  There are more under the
counter in 5 g Rubbermaid containers. 
Their selection of grains is with out match in this area, and they sell them down to the 1/10th of a lbs.   The hops are available prepackaged, or in bulk.  And again you can buy down to 1/10th of an ounce.   Pretty Dang Cool. But the coolest thing about BrewLab is that they have 2 fantastic electric HERMs 3 vessel systems.   Andrew, invited us to come brew with him.   So, we did. But we are Counterbrew and we wanted to stick with what we have said in previous posts. So, rather than using his fancy systems, we used our 100 quart mash tun for mashing, and used his stuff for heating water, and boiling.

27.7 lbs of grain.
fills a 5g bucket
Our goal today was to re brew our belgian tripel inspired Desir et la Nuit.   We all love this beer.   It is a Belgian Tripel made with orange peel, and honey.  The resulting beer is fantastic the strong malt profile of a tripel, with a remembrance of honey and orange.  Strong but graceful.   The manager of BrewLab Andrew had the water de-chlorinated, heating and ready when we got there.  But there was one challenge, the water in old Overland Park is very high pH.   The pH meter read 9.2... Holy Hard water Batman! So we had to use some acid, some gypsum, and some Epsom to get it where we wanted.  Our grain bill has 12 ounces of acidulated malt, so once we got to 6.2 pH, we trusted the grain bill to take it the rest of the way.   Our grain bill was 27.7 lbs of grain and 4 lbs of organic local honey.  That is a lot of grain.  And our predicted OG was 1.082. So we decided to partigyle the grains and make a Saison  with the second running.  The Saison was inspired by Boulevard's Spring Belle Saison.   (More on that later... floral hops, floral additions... should be amazing).

Jake and Ben, hanging out and talking during the mash.
The 100 qt cooler has a door on top for stirring and additions.
Once the water was adjusted, we set up to dough in.  Doughing in this much grain is a 2 person job. But once doughed in we hit our target rest temperature of 115 F.   This is a step mash.  We began with a beta glucan rest. The wort turned milky over the next 15 minutes.  Our next rest was achieved by adding boiling water to take the mash to 132 F.   Where we again rested for 20 minutes while our next infusion heated to a boil.   So far so good, everything was going smoothly...

One of 2 eHERMs systems at BrewLab KC
And here is where we goofed up.  We were impatient on the next addition.  It was probably only at about 200 F when we added it.  The laws of thermo dynamics are not something to be trifled with.  So rather than rising to 146 F as we had hoped, we rose to 139 to 142 F.  Well Damn! Still firmly in Beta Amylase Saccharification range, but seriously?  There is really no curing this screw up.  We could have pulled a decoction and brought it to temperature, but this was supposed to be a tripel, we didn't really want that color to change. So we just went forward.   Our next addition (final addition) brought the mash to 148 F.  Where we rested for 30 minutes.   To get closer to mash out, and to get the deep golden color we wanted, we pulled a 4 gallon thin mash (no grain) decoction, boiled it and brought the temperature back up to 158 F.

the tripel boiling in
a 20 gallon kettle
We collected 13 gallons of wort (mout) as we had predicted.  The boil on their system is fast and awesome.    We knew that after kettle loss and boil off we would package around 11 gallons of wort.  We did meet one challenge in the boil,  our preferred hop for this brew is Styrian Golding.  Unfortunately, Styrian Golding is 1.4% Alpha Acid this year.  To get our bittering IBUs we would have had to add 7.8 ounces of hops for 60 minutes, and 4 ounces for flavor.   And that would have made a grassy, grassy beer.  So we switched the bittering hops to Willamette.  At 10 minutes we added 4lbs of local organic honey.  We pitched T58 and BE265 (abbaye) into well aerated wort.    This should be amazing beer, if it is anywhere close to our last batch of this, well be in for a treat.

The Saison boiling in a 20 gallon
kettle.  Looks so small.
Here's a quandry,  what do you do with 27.7 lbs of grain on a infusion mash/ no sparge brew day?   I mean, they are just sitting there.  They still have loads of sugar in them.   Here's an idea,  Partigyle.   If you are unfamiliar with partigyling a batch of beer, it just means this.   After you have collected your wort,  you add more water to the mash tun and collect a second batch of wort.   We knew that in a beer that was generating 1.062 wort for our first batch, if we just added 7 gallons of 168 F water to the mash tun, we would collect a 1.031 wort 15 minutes later.   You see there is till a lot of sugar in the grains.  And as long as your pH is in line and your temperatures are not too high, you can still collect this wort and make a beer out of it.   It was a common practice among English brewers of old.  We'll be exploring this more in a future post.   But on this day, we used the second runnings to make a Flower Child Saison. A saison hopped with Noble Hops, and flavored with Heather, Chamomile, Corriander, and Black Pepper.   I'm almost as excited about that batch as I am for the tripel.   If you're in Kansas City in about a month stop by the BrewLab and give it a try.  BrewLab can not sell you a beer, but they can let you try a sample.  They usually have some pretty cool stuff on tap.  Ever tried a Cascadian IPA and a  Pliny the Younger Clone, on the same day?

Overall it was a fun brew day.  But our next batch is going to be a simple straight forward single infusion mash.   No complications, no decoctions, no step mash, just simple straight forward beer.  I think we all need a break from complication for a while.   I think were leaning toward an americanized ESB  that John Designed, or maybe a Centennial Blonde.   But for you brew geeks, don't worry, Mark and I will be doing another crazy small batch soon, and probably some wine.

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