Saturday, March 6, 2010

Variations on a Theme: Annapurna

The third installment in the series.  This version will receive the least amount of meddling of the three.  The base recipe is identical to the previous two with the following addition:

0.75 lb smoked malt added to the grain bill.  This was a straight add rather than a substitution.

In term of process, the only difference is that we used a starter comprised of the late runnings of Thebes.  About a quart was frozen for the week then boiled to give the yeast an exact head start into the recipe.

The level of brown and chocolate malt in the base recipe should prove interesting to see 1.  if the smoke shows up.  2.  how it plays with chocolate malt.  At the gut level, those two elements might not gel, but the levels used impart only subtle character.  Considering how well the oaked bourbon aged one turned out, we'll likely be fine.

We snuck in this brew day amidst some wet weather but did have the luxury of being joined by a homebrew and chef extraordinaire.  He shared his super-spiced (anise, clove amongst other things) amber ale, which was excellent.  And we returned the favor with our Aged Belgian Rye.

He also dropped off three strains of Brett that he's had for over a year.  We're currently mulling over how to best use them in a collaborative effort.  So far we're leaning towards a dark sour.  Cascade's Sang Noir is an awesome inspiration.  We'll report back on whatever comes of this.

Back to details of Annapurna:

Batch size 5.5 gal (increased a bit to account for trub loss in the primary, this also lowered the OG by a little less than a point)
OG:  1.073

Update 04/04:  Just bottled this guy and the smoked malt comes through very nicely.  It's on the subtle side but it is definitely there.  Pretty close to perfect, which is a happy accident since we didn't know how big to go.  The whole series will be ready in about a month. Can't wait.