Doctor Duvel

I'm like a sommelier, but for beer.

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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.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Designing Great Grisettes??

I wanna brew a grisette. Mostly just cuz I like the word. It's an odd style. Apparently grisettes were the rather light, fluffy quasi-saisons that were served to Belgian miners. It's a practically extinct style. Hennepin used to bill itself as a grisette but they seem to have changed their minds and their website now calls it a saison. Why they're "grey" beers is somewhat debatable, but apparently the women who handed them out to the miners wore grey frocks, whatever exactly a frock is, hence they were grey-ettes, or (it sounds better en francais) "grisettes."

At any rate, I have a packet of Wyeast's Forbidden Fruit yeast. I'm building up to a bigger darker beer in the style of Hoegaarden's Verboden Vrucht, but I need a lighter weight beer to kick things off. So, why not a grisette? There are few style parameters to fret over. It should be low gravity, in the vicinity of 1044-6. I can do that. It should be light and refreshing. How 'bout some wheat? They should be refreshingly hoppy, but not all that bitter. I took a rough hop inventory and I could use to move out some Mt. Hood and some Perle. Both would be appropriate I think. On second thought, hold the Perle for something else. This is going to be too subtle a beer for a higher alpha hop. Mt. Hood all the way.

Malt-wise, I'd prefer to hang onto as much pilsner malt as possible, as I have a lot of beers in mind that are gonna need it. So I'll balance the light, fluffy wheat element by using some Vienna to round things out. I love Vienna malt anyway. Here's a recipe:

Forbidden Grisette:

OG 1044
IBU 19

Grain bill:

4 lbs Pils
3.5 lbs Vienna
3 lbs Wheat

Mash at 148 or so.

1.5 oz Mt. Hood at 60
.5 oz at 15
.8 oz at shut-off

With Belgians, simple is almost always good. How bad can it be?


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