Jul 31, 2012




1.049 - 1.005

5.7% ABV

26 IBU

Grisette is a type of Saison that was specifically marketed to miners in the Hainaut region of Belgium in the late 1800s (they did not want to be associated with a farm hand's beer). The name comes from the word for an independent working-class women (in some contexts it means "prostitute") who usually wore undyed (inexpensive) fabric (gris=grey). It is said that one of these ladies would usually be the server who had the tray of beers for the miners as they exited the mine. The server and the style of beer she had became synonymous. At one point during the height of the Belgian mining industry, there were 30 commercial examples of Grisette. My recipe is faithful to my research - with a couple DSB tweaks.

The Malts:
15 lbs Belgian Pilsner
6 lbs Flaked Wheat
1 lb Piloncillo

1oz Centennial (8.8%) - 60min - 17.27 IBU
1oz Saaz (4%) - 30min - 5.35 IBU
1oz Hallertaur (4.8%) - 5min - 1.76 IBU
1oz Saaz (4%) - 5min - 1.47 IBU

Wyeast Beire de Garde

8.5 gal strike
2.6 absorbed
8.5 gal sparge (more than enough. Run until 14 gal)

30 @ 122
60 @ 140 - ph 4.7
20 @ 158 - ph 4.7 - 1.070
5 @ 168

First runnings : 1.075 only about 4g when I was expecting 6.5 or so. Added more sparge water.

Second runnings : 1.029
Preboil: 1.040

O.G. 1.049

7.31.12 -- Pitched 1.75qt starter into each fermenter
8.5.12 -- (Laundry room cool box) gravity down to around 1.024. Still tastes pretty sweet, as I would imagine. I am going to stop adding ice and let the temperature rise in both boxes to help finish this off. This tastes like it will be a good beer with complementary hop flavor, but the finish (too sweet now) is what should improve with further fermentation.
8.11.12 -- Gravity down to 1.005. This yeast has really restrained esters as far as I can tell, which goes well with the aroma and flavor hops. Nice dry finish. Imagining what this will taste like once it is cold and carbonated has me encouraged. Kegged and put in the chest freezer for cold conditioning.
12.31.12 -- Removed from freezer (conditioned 4.5 months (around 40 degrees))
 2.3.13 --
Tasting Grisette:

Appearance: Dark yellow with a little bit of haze. Many bubbles rising through the beer. Head is fluffy stiff an white. Head retains quite well.
Aroma: Grainy pils malt aroma up front with some lemon-citrus aromas as well. Malt aroma is a bit rustic: grainier than other beers (unmalted wheat).  Light spicy hop aromas. All aromas are pretty delicate -- nothing jumps out and smacks you around. No diacetyl -- slight DMS.
Flavor: Medium-light grainy malt flavors followed by lemony esters and some spicy phenols. Yeast characteristics are lighter than other Belgian beers, but their delicate nature goes well with the malt profile. Hop bitterness balances the malt profile well, and some of the spicy hop flavors linger into the aftertaste with the phenols to provide a complex spicy finish. Finish is moderately dry with a small hint of sweetness. Very slight sulfur flavors that are not a distraction.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. No alcohol warmth with slight creamy texture. Spicyness leaves a little bite on the tongue. Not astringent.
Overall: A very delicate and refreshing beer. I am very pleased with this, but pause at the notion of entering it into a competition because it would qualify as a Saison, and I know most other Saison entries would be much different. I really do not have the faith in judges to enter something so unlike the other entries or something so delicate. I really like the contribution from the unmalted wheat, which is becoming one of my favorite ingredients.

Sour Grisette Notes:

8.18.12 -- Second five gallons racked into a carboy with the dregs from one bottle of Russian River Consecration and then the dregs from a large bottle of Dirty Blonde
8.25.12 -- Added dregs from a bottle of Boon Geuze Mariage Parfait.
11.21.13 -- Added one ounce medium toast oak cubes
3.10.14 -- Bottled at 4 volumes carbonation. Renamed Bie´re de Lorette.

Jul 16, 2012

Ugly American Yella Beer

Ugly American Yella Beer
1.045 - 1.0??
44 IBU

6.5 lbs 6-row
2.5 lbs Flaked Maize

1 oz Cluster (6.8% AA) -- 60 min
1 oz Saaz (3% AA) -- 30 min
1 oz Saaz (3% AA) -- 15 min (with whirlfloc)

US-05 Dry

The Mash:
20 min 125 -- ph 5.3
30 min 146 -- ph 4.8
30 min 152 -- ph 6.6
10 min 168

7.16.12 -- Pitched yeast
7.20.12 -- Most active fermentation seems to have passed (62-68F)


11.3.12 -- Okay, so dumb ass me can't find where I wrote down the final gravity, though I know I took a reading and wrote it somewhere. I remember this being in the high 80s as far as attenuation goes. Initially, this beer had a sour-ish off-flavor that I could not place, but it also should be noted that I took this one out of cold conditioning much sooner (perhaps a month) than the other Ugly American(s) (1911 too). The lesson learned here is that this beer needs at least two months of cold conditioning. I had a couple glass of this last night, and it was much improved from the first pulls almost a month ago when I hooked it up.

Captured Wild Yeast Test Beer

4 Gal
1.053 - 1.0??

Cool ship

Malts: (Extract)
3 lbs Dry Pilsner
3 lbs Dry Wheat

.4 oz Centennial (8.8% AA) -- 60 min

3qt Starter of yeast captured on June 7-8, chilled and decanted

7.16.12 -- Pitched yeast -- as I was decanting the starter there was a Belgain-esque aroma, albeit with some band-aid-like phenols as well. I tried a small sip of the starter beer and it also has a little bit of a cidery presence. Of course this wort did stay outdoors and uncovered for 18 hours, so that could have something to do with that.
7.19.12 -- After about 30 hours (60-65F), visible yeast activity. Big fluffy krausen.
7.22.12 -- Yesterday the fluffy krausen gave way to chunkier cheese curd looking chunks which are beginning to drop out today. The fermentation is kicking off some foul odors, but the beer inside the carboy still smells okay, but by no means "clean"
7.22.12 (later) -- The cheese curd looking krausen has completely dropped, and it has been replaced by a seemingly newer billowy krausen.
8.25.12 -- Gravity down to 1.003. Sample starts off with some nice Belgian-esque phenols, followed by some cidery flavors, then ultimately finishes with a funkyness that is still a little bit harsh, but not terribly unpleasant. I think with a little more maturity, especially when the Brettanomyces becomes active, this could still develop a little more.