Friday, September 12, 2014

The Gambler (Sorachi Saison) -- Brew Day

The nice part about moving to a new section of Philly is exploring all of the local bars in the immediate neighborhood that I never would have ventured to check out given I was previously living across the city.  There are a bunch of great beer bars in the area that see some good attention and cycle through draft lists quickly.  Plus they have fucking great burgers.

Burgers aside, one a recent dinner outing, I ordered a tulip of Brooklyn's Sorachi Ace.  I've known about this beer for a long time, and I could have sworn I'd had it, as it's one of the more popular saisons alongside DuPont and Hennepin as well as the signature showcase of the under-utilized Sorachi Ace hop.  The beer, on draft, was just fantastic.  It had a fantastic body to it and the bright, lemon character for which Sorachi is so famous.

There are numerous recipes floating around for this online, I believe as the result of a "clone" published in BYO a few years back.  The alcohol content was a little high for my tastes given that I've been brewing 7-8% beers recently, so I knocked out the 1lb sugar addition.  Given this mash schedule, the beer should be light-bodied enough without the boost from the sugar.  In addition, I added a pound of Carapils to ensure some head retention and used a vial of Westmalle yeast that I had laying around.

I've never been a fan of step infusion mashes as I don't brew with a direct-fired mash tun.  I've found it hard to rely on strike temps indicated by brewing software and other calculators but I would say this mash went along fine.  I tend to over heat my strike water and have some ice cubes handy to fine tune settled temperatures.

The Gambler (Sorachi Saison)
5.5 gallon batch - 90 minute boil
Est OG: 1.060
Est FG: 1.012
Est ABV: 6.3%
IBU: 51
SRM: 4

14lb Pilsner
1lb Carapils

0.50oz Sorachi Ace @ FWH (21 IBU)
0.50oz Sorachi Ace @ 30 min (14 IBU)
5.00oz Sorachi Ace @ Whirlpool 5 min (18 IBU)
2.00oz Sorachi Ace @ Dry Hop 4 Days

1000ml starter WLP500 Trappist Ale

Mash Schedule
Infusion @ 122f for 10 minutes
Infusion @ 146f for 60 minutes
Infusion @ 152f for 15 minutes

9/10/2014 -- Brewed by myself.  Efficiency came in decent at 72%.  Sorachi smells awesome.  Ended up with 5.5 gallons of 1.058 wort.  A tad low, but whatever.  Fermenting away at around 74f.

9/22/2014 -- Added dry hops.

9/25/2014 -- Bottled 4.75 gallons with 5.1oz corn sugar for 2.8vol CO2.  Had some trub get over into the bottling bucket because I forgot to affix my paint strainer bag at first.  Taste was okay, we'll see how it ages.

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