Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Planning a Triple Header

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve brewed and I’m starting to get the itch. My wife is taking our daughters to a Mom and Me Camp at the end of the month and the minute they hit the door that Saturday afternoon, I plan to be mashing in. The three beers I plan to brew that day are:

1. Saison – The saison I brewed last year keeps getting better every time I try a bottle. I’ve really become a fan of this style over the last 2 – 3 years and I can’t wait to brew another one. I plan to use a similar grain bill to last year’s with a few tweaks. For a little complexity, I’ll add a couple pounds of Maris Otter to the pilsner base malt. In addition, I’m planning to add a few ounces of acid malt to lower the mash pH and give it a little twang. After primary fermentation, I’ll probably take a couple of gallons and hit it with Brett. I really like Brett-C, but White Labs is releasing their Brett brux Trois strain (isolated from 3 Fonteinen) in May, so the timing could be perfect to try this new strain.
2. Hefeweizen – This will be the first time I’ve brewed one of these, so I’ll do what I typically due with a new style and base my recipe on the one in Jamil’s Brewing Classic Styles book. Very simple, half German pilsner, half wheat malt and Hefeweizen yeast. I’ll probably use a US Hallertauer hybrid (Mt. Hood or Liberty) but at such a small amount and with only a bittering addition, I think it’ll work out fine.
3. IPA/Imperial IPA – I absolutely fell in love with Bell’s Hopslam this year, so this one is inspired by Hopslam. Bells uses five different hops in the kettle, which I think would be overkill for me. I’ll hit it with a small bittering charge of Warrior and then hop burst it with copious amounts of Amarillo and Simcoe as well as dry hop the heck out of it. I can’t wait to put this one on tap.

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