Doctor Duvel

I'm like a sommelier, but for beer.

My Photo
Location: Upstate New York, United States

Favorite Beers: Orval, Samuel Smith, Duvel, Hennepin, Oude Gueze, Chimay, Dogfish Head, Anchor Steam, and anything made by Trappist monks.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Too much beer

So I've planned too many beers to make and the next couple weeks are going to be a little interesting. Since I've got to get this thermostat ordered today, I'll need a couple other things to complete the picture of chaos. I've got everything I need to brew my XX Bitter-ish beer, my Wheat Doppelbock, and Holly's Chair. I've got the specialty malts for the dreaded 1856 Imperial Stout. It's only dreaded because of the volume problem--I'm borrowing a friend's sparge bucket and help in managing a double sparge. Anyway, I need the base malt for that.

There's two other beers in my head I need to sort out and work in somewhere.

A) My Belgian pale has finished primary, needs to be racked, and should go in a keg in very short order. This frees up a cake of La Chouffe yeast. I'm still feeling hapless on this one. I want it to be a genuinely dark Belgian, but not a stout. I have tons of Belgian specialty malts kicking around the basement. I think it should involve some dark sugars, some spicing (coriander, orange, thyme), and lots of malt. I thought about using a little rauch malt, but that somehow feels like cheating right now. We'll see what the yeast does instead. Sometime I should do a conceptual McChouffe, by designing a Scotch ale grain bill as authentically as possible and then using Belgian yeast, but for now I'm thinking loosely in the vein of N'Ice Chouffe, but however I want at the time. Using the data on N'Ice Chouffe from the importer, it'd be around 1099 (yikes), might also involve vanilla, and definitely needs dark candi sugar. And it's hopped with Golding and Saaz. Shit, this is too complicated. I'm going to get a pound of dark candi sugar and 10 lbs of Belgian pils and sort out the rest later. Saaz I have--Goldings I might need slightly more of. Note that after converting the imperial stout to pellets, I should have an ounce or two to spare for one of these.

B) Since I have Roeslare yeast and Saison Dupont yeast in the house, I thought I'd mix the two, using just a teeny bit of the Roeslare too allow very delicate, gradual souring. This would be used to ferment a beer after the manner of Saison de Pipaix, a spiced Saison that can age and turn a little lambic-y. For this I would need, some Belgian Pilsner malt, some Vienna, and some Amber. I've already got the last, plus spices and Hallertauer. This leaves some combination of Goldings, East Kent and Styrian. Not sure about IBU's on this, by the way. Maybe 25? Not so much that they shout out the spices--but then the spices need to be subtle. I'll figure that out later.

Shopping list:

One analog temperature controller
14 lbs good British Pale (Maris Otter?)--for Imperial
10 lbs Belgian Pilsner--for Chouffe-ish thing
1 lb dark candi sugar
4 oz. Styrian Goldings
7 lbs Belgian Pilsner--for Pipaix-ish thing
5 lbs Vienna

Done. That oughta hold me for a while. Other than ironing out the details and making several beers, the next priority is to come up with top drawer recipes for an ESB and a porter. I'm getting pretty well stocked with over-complicated Belgians that won't be ready forever. Oh, but then when the weather's a little cooler, it is lambic-time. Blast.


Blogger Trina said...

All this talk about yeast has encouraged me to bake a loaf of bread. I think I'll use Red Star Yeast. Unless you think I really need to use the La Chouffe to get a proper bouquet?

4:10 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Funny you should say that. In a brewing article the other day, I bumped into a reference from a guy who had spiked a bread dough with lambic dregs as a yeast source. He said it was great.

11:06 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home