Friday, November 27, 2009

Stupid Flanders: Deel Twee

Stupid Flanders was pretty good and has been getting excellent feedback.  Unlike the sources of its inspiration, this guy was only aged for 4 months in glass.  Tradition warrants longer aging in oak barrels.  Tough to get the refreshing tartness sans the age and the barrels.  We are doing it again with a few modifications that are listed below the recipe.

4.0 lbs. Pilsner
4.25 lbs. Munich (dark)
3.25 lbs. Vienna (German)
0.75 lbs. Crystal 120L (European)  First recipe contained a typo.  Cara Pils is very different from Crystal 120L, which used to be called Cara (caramel).

Single infusion at 153 for 60 min.

Hop schedule:
1.0 oz Goldings 4% AA at 60 min

20oz frozen seedless organic cherries 15 min

Yeast:  Belgian Ale/Belgian Sour Mix

O.G. 1.052

Changes over the last Flanders:

1.  Half a pound increase in the overall grain bill.  Since we are going longer on the aging, we're upping what's available for the yeasts to play with.
2.  Cherries added to the boil then filtered out prior to fermentation.
3.  Two separate yeast additions.  The Belgian Ale yeast will have a 1 qt. starter and will be the primary mechanism to get from OG to FG.  Initial fermentation was very active and required a blow-off tube.  When this settled (after about 2 days), we added the Belgian Sour Mix.  Ideally, this takes the workhorse pressure off of the bugs and lets them do their thing (souring) when they previously did double duty.
4.  Longer primary fermentation time.  Normally we find a few days where the gravity doesn't change then move it to the secondary.  This time, we'll let the wort sit on the yeast for a bit longer.  
5.  We had some left over oak chips from the Imperial Porter, these are currently soaking in Ironstone Old Vine Zin that was procured in Murphy's on the way back from Yosemite.  Good wines and even better value.  These oak chips will be strained before adding to the secondary in hopes of providing a subtle layer of flavor.

Recipe aside, these are some pretty significant process changes.  This one will take no less than six months so expect nothing on this one for months unless we get some interesting happenings during secondary fermentation.