Monday, August 13, 2012

Sorachi Ace, Batch #3

Split Batch of 21, Sorachi Ace'd Saison


A couple of months ago was lucky enough to taste Brooklyn Breweries 1, Sorachi Ace Saison.  (You can read about it here)  since then brewing Saison's have dominated my brewing thoughts.  I started to re-listen to all the Brewing Network's Sunday Session shows on Saison's.  They are new to me, crisp and refreshing.

On the BN they interviewed Trinity Brewing from Colorado.  They make world class Saison's in very traditional ways.  Some with bugs and some without.  Kind of a what every happens, happens attitude.  Their "Brain of the Turtle" is world class BTW.  Almost good enough to fly out to Denver on its own.  The owner said something in the interview that changed my perception of Saison's.  He stated, "Saison brewing is a mindset, not a style"  This interests me as a homebrewer.  Brewing a IPA and adding Rosemary would force the beer to Cat 23.  With a Saison, it's inventive and that's just cool.




On the original batch I wanted to use a lot of rye malt to add some pepper notes as I think they work well with the lemon flavors of the Sorachi hop.  With WLP565 as the yeast, the "Saison I" worked great together.  Starting the fermentation in the low 70's also helped create some nice clove notes.  Another thing that struck me on the Trinity show, was the amount of aeration effects the creation of phenol's in the yeast more than the temperature during the pitch.  A proper starter in combination of aeration will control these out of control flavor notes.  Given this is a yeast driven style of beer, this is essential information. 

On the second re-brew of this beer I had to change the yeast do to my LHBS being out of stock.  I opted for the Saison Yeast Blend from White Labs.  The re-brewed recipe was the same except for the yeast change.  The beer turned out OK but lacked the original beers sweet clove and pepper spice that I loved.  So another re-brew was in order for last Saturday.  I opted to use my new 3 gallon square better bottles (I bought 2 of them).  These are going to be moved into lagering when I have the space so I don't have to pull up a 6 gallon glass carboy out of a chest freezer again.  I  went back to the original yeast "Saison I"  from white labs.  I am also going to keep these in primary longer than batch #2 to help with some clarity.

Brew day went off without any problems and the huge starter I had going was tossed into the 2, 3 gallon Better Bottles. 

Striated with active fermentation going on






I had active fermentation within 5 hours, I would have to say the fastest turn-a-round from pitch to krausen I've seen.  I am excited to see how this batch turns out vs the original.  Also if everything goes right I am going to be taking this beer to Kentucky Lake over Labor day and having one side by side with Brooklyn Brewery's 1.  I'm really excited about that tasting.


Original Recipe Batch #1

Original Recipe Tasting Notes Batch #1



Update #1, Aug 19, 2012

I tossed a wrench into the beer this weekend and changed the dry hops in Carboy 12. I did not dry hop with the Sorachi Ace, instead I used Saaz (1 oz) and Rosemary (1 oz) 






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