Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lug Wrench Brew: Flemish Fisherman, Spiced Belgian Quad

Eight months have wisped past since the last opportunity Tom and I have been able to brew a beer together – the last being the English Barelywine brewed at Thanksgiving.  But this past weekend, the planets shifted into alignment, Tom and I were both in the same place, and the opportunity presented itself. With a large contingent of family decending on Rhode Island for a certain six-year old’s birthday, we weren’t going to miss the chance to add a 4th beer to our collaborative series.

Plans for this brew session have been building for several months. Choosing what to brew was decided back in May – De Struise’s Pannepot. The beer has such depth of complexity, such great flavor, and made such a good impression on us that the idea of brewing a clone rapidly bubbled up to the top of our short list. Furthermore, when we began collaborating with Mike over at The Mad Fermentationist, Mike had already devised a Pannepot Clone (from a translated ingredients list directly from the brewery) and he sent us a few bottles of the clone during our last beer exchange.  This sealed the deal and the ingredients for the Pannepot clone were gathered.

Of course with the 15-20 people crashing my house for the weekend, finding the 6-7 consecutive hours for a brew session was quite the challenge. In the end, after 2 nights of rain delays, we were able to squeeze in the session on the last night of Tom’s visit.

Below are the notes and recipe for the collaborative beer. The notes will be updated as the beer continues to ferment, age, and be tasted. Additionally, a few bottles are due back to Mike for his thoughts and feedback on how the recipe held up in our hands.

Flemish Fisherman, Spiced Belgian Quad
(recipe modified from The Mad Fermentationist's Pannepot Clone)

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 5.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 15.32
OG: 1.094 (target: 1.096)
FG: 1.027 (higher than anticipated)
SRM: 29.7
IBU: 33.5 (Rager)
ABV: 8.8%
Brewhouse Efficiency: 74 %
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

14.0 lbs. Castle Pilsner Malt
0.50 lbs Flaked Corn
0.50 lbs Special B Malt
0.16 lbs Carafa II Special
0.16 lbs Chocolate Malt

1.85 oz Williamette Pellet Hops (4.8% AA) at 45 minutes
0.30 oz Sterling Pellets Hops (6.0% AA) at 20 minutes

2.0 lbs Dark Candi Sugar (80 SRM, 1.032 ppg) added at pre-boil
1.0 Tab Whirlfloc at 15 minutes
0.25 tsp Yeast Nutrient at 15 minutes
1.0 g Cinnamon (dried, pre-ground)
1.0 g Thyme (dried, pre-ground)
3.0 g Coriander (dried, pre-ground)
5.0 g Sweet orange peel (freshly zested)
30 drops of Foam Control in the boil

23 grams – Safbrew T-58, Dry Yeast

Mash Schedule
100 min at 154°F
Batch sparged to get 7 gallons in brew kettle

Brewed on 7/11/10 by the Wallace Brothers. Fourth collaborative session brew.

Due to limitations of the mash tun, the water to grain ratio of the mash was 0.8 – 1.0 qt/lbs. Because the mash was so thick, sparging took an extra long time (consider adding rice hulls to mash if there is room to help lautering).

After the mash and sparge was complete, 1 qt of wort was pulled from the brew kettle. The 2 lbs of Candi Sugar was mixed into the 1 qt until mostly dissolved, after which the mixture was added back to the kettle and a pre-boil gravity was taken.

Originally the recipe called for Saaz hops at the 20 minute addition. However, after checking my inventory, we decided to substitute Sterling hops instead. The change to the beer's flavor profile should be minimal.

Aeration was accomplished via an aquarium pump and diffusion stone, run for 30 minutes.

Aerated wort was placed into the fermentation chamber with the temp control set to 65°F. Once at 65°F, the hydrated yeast was pitched.

Temp was maintained at 65°F for 48 hours, before being allowed to ramp up to 75°F (over a three day period) for the remainder of the fermentation.

Fermentation activity kicked off within 9 hours of pitching. Activity grew so vigorous that it pushed up through the airlock and clogged it. Airlock was replaced and 10 drops of foam control was added to the fermenter to control future foam overs.

7/24/10 - After 5-6 days of no noticeable fermentation activity, the carboy was cold crashed (35°F) for 48 hours and then pulled for racking.  The beer was racked into a clean, sanitized, and CO2 purged keg where the beer will lager for ~6 weeks at 35° - 40°F.  Gravity at this point was 1.027 (8.8% ABV).  The taste was surprisingly smooth given its age, a bit of sweetness to it and only had a brief hint of alcohol.

11/10/10 - While the original intention was to let the beer lager for 6 weeks, I got very busy and forgot about the beer for much longer than that.  So finally, after ~14 weeks of lagering, the beer was bottled.  Using a new packaged of rehydrated T-58 yeast and 4.2 oz of corn sugar (2.8 volumes), the solution was mixed into the keg and 39 bottles were bottled.  Based on the taste (which had the priming sugar in it), the beer is smooth with hints of alcohol, but not many sharp edges.  The biggest concern is the sweetness, which might have been partly from the priming sugar, but we'll have to see in a few weeks when the first carbonated samples are tasted.

7/25/11 - Posted tasting notes more than a year after the beer was brewed.

8/13/11 - Flemish Fisherman gets a silver medal at the 2011 Dominion Cup.

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