Archive for April, 2009

Big Brew 2009

Apr 29, 2009

The American Homebrewers Association is celebrating National Homebrew Day by having its annual Big Brew this coming weekend (May 2, 2009).  Everyone is encouraged to brew, spread the word about brewing, and just generally have a good time with the hobby and other brewers .  They even provide three recipes as suggestions for everyone to brew. 

There is a small problem with the Big Brew always being held on the first Saturday in May and that would be The Kentucky Derby is also always on that day.  Or perhaps it is not a problem.  Since we usually do not attend the Derby, we tend to have friends over or attend a Derby Party and what goes great with friends at a Derby Party?  Homebrew, of course.  Last year we hosted the party and sampled five different batches of my beer.  It was fun to have everyone try the different beers and I had enough chilled that they could then choose what they wanted for the evening’s festivities.  This year I wanted to brew one of the recipes suggested for the Big Brew but felt that with all the festivities and general revelry, brewing might not be such a good idea.  So, my version of Saison Du Mont was brewed last weekend and is now happily fermenting in the closet.

I made a couple of changes to the recipe mostly because I ended up not having enough of some ingredients and none at all of others.  Well, and I can’t help myself sometimes when I look at a recipe.  I only had six grams of coriander and I wanted to use fresh orange and grapefruit peel instead of the ugly dried stuff at the homebrew shop.  I’ve read that a mix of orange and grapefruit peel can mimic the sweet and bitter orange peel combination.  I also had a smack-pack of Wyeast #3711 French Saison yeast that I wanted to use instead of the Belgian Saison strain.

What I brewed:

Pre-boil volume: 7 gallons
OG: 1.056
Mash: 152 F

7.5 lb US 2-Row
2 lb Vienna Malt
8 oz Flaked Wheat
8 oz Flaked Oats
13 oz Turbinado Sugar added at 15 min left in the boil 

1 oz East Kent Goldings (60 min)
1 oz Hallertau (1 min)

Spices (0 min)
6 g Coriander
2 g Grains of Paradise
7 g Orange peel
7 g Grapefruit peel

Wyeast #3711 French Saison (1 qt starter made the night before)

All in all I am very pleased with how my second all-grain batch went.  I was aiming for a mash rest temperature of 151 F and I hit 152 F so I just rolled with it.  We’ll see in about six weeks…

The Adequate Brewer