Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saison de Triton

After my English ale fermentation  failure, I decided to go with something I couldn't ruin with my swelteringly hot 68 degree ambient temperature..  That pretty much leaves the Belgians and maybe Australian ales.Its gonna be hot soon so the obvious choice for a fan of saisons is a Saison! After way too much deliberation I settled on a simple grist and hop bill. I went with Wyeast 3711 French Saison because everyone whines so much about the Dupont strain.  The aforementioned English ale fermentation scarred me and I did not want to deal with yeast issues again. For similar reasons I didn't do a yeast starter and kept the gravity reasonably low. Another reason for not doing a yeast starter was that I found lots of people recommending underpitching.. we will see if they are right.

I used the trial version of BeerSmith for this to give it a whirl. Quite nice. This is on the frankenstein net book running xubuntu w/o a working keyboard or trackpad..
From The Happy Newt

This was the first run of the new MLT. I really like it except for how big it is.. guess I didn't think it through. oh well. 10gal batches sound better anyway.

From The Happy Newt

And the manifold - the two ends on the right are crimped closed. Jigsaw slits in the bottom. The only soldered piece is the the first 90 from the 1/2" connection.
From The Happy Newt

Bulkhead from bargain fittings and valve from hardware store. dont remember if this was the cooler kit or the keg kit as I originally got for my other MLT. Regardless it works well with one washer

From The Happy Newt

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tasting Newt Hearted 1.0

From The Happy Newt

Eye: Orange straw, considerable chill haze, nice head that leaves lacing with moderate longevity.

Nose: Juniper, rosemary, grapefruit, bread, very little yeast character but some alcohol as it approaches room temp.

Mouth: Big chewy body, low-medium carbonation w/ full on pour. Hop character similar to nose but muted behind a wall of bread and toast. Medium bitterness that is both balanced and drawn out by malt/body. Body confuses perception of definite dryness. The 'feel' of smoke on exhale that I get from Widmer's Hefe - I don't know how to describe it more accurately. Malt flavor is definitely the dominate character.

Brain: I love it. I really haven't had an American Pale Ale that I'd have over this. Certainly not as hoppy as was intended. This malt bill could handle much much more. I would like to do this again with all Vienna as base malt instead of split with american 2-row. And with a lager yeast as a cal common or just with tons of noble hops and a Bavarian/Czech yeast. If I were to alter it to match my original intent I would scale back the grist proportionally to get 3-3.5% abv and double the flavor and aroma hops.

A few bottles got left in a car that got too hot and the yeast dumped their diacetyl. It was then a piney piece of buttered toast and not that great but not horrible. May be worth remembering for a butter beer clone..

Here are the comments from the first taster.. this will contrast nicely with my glowing happy review.

Appearence: Cloudy, tiger-orange, little head.
Sniff: My sniffer is off today, don't smell much. Generally , not sterile, smell/lack of smell.
Taste: Bitter like a grapefruit, especially when cold. The citrus lingers for awhile then turns very bitter, more peel than fruit.
Generally: bright and newty! B+
Note: I'm eating dried currents at the same time. Takes out all the flavor. 
Mouthfeel: Covers this inside of my mouth like butter. 
Extranote: I took FishOil supplement before drinking. My burps are not fishy. Miracle.