Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rasperry Sasion - Brew Day - Sunday June 23

It didn't take me long to start my next beer, in fact I started it a few days before tasting the first! I selected a Belgian Saison Brewer's Best Kit and decided to was going to go a bit off the grid and start tweaking the recipes slightly. I am still trying to get a handle on the brewing process, so I thought continuing with the kits and putting my personal twist on them was the best route until I was comfortable to breakaway from kits in general. This beer was going to get 6 pounds of raspberries puree added to a 5 gallon batch.  I couldn't wait to taste it, even before the water started to steep the grains.

I wasn't my initial intention to make a fruit beer, but it is Summer and it sounded refreshing and super tasty. I didn't know when exactly to add the fruit in the process, so I went online to do some research and discovered that most fruit is added in a second fermentation process. There are also different ways to approach adding a fruit flavor. You can add real fruit or you can add a chemical extract of the fruit. I personally have always been a fan of the real thing, I try to eat organics and I passionately against GMO's. I plan on making all my beers with real ingredients real fruits, spices, meats, and sweets. (Yup, I said meats... a bacon beer is in the recipe hopper).

FRUIT BEERS: A general rule of thumb is that if you want a incredibly fruity beer, you need to do a 2/1 ratio. That being 2 pounds of fruit to 1 gallon of beer. With my recipe I was only going to use 1.2 pounds of raspberries per gallon. Adding fruit can be expensive and I wasn't even sure how this would turn out, so I decided this was enough to get started. I also decided not to attempt buying fresh raspberries from the grocery store and just preparing them myself, however in the future when I become more adventurous and comfortable with the process, I may take this route. For this batch however I used Vintner's Harvest Raspberry Puree, which is GMO free and made specifically for home brewing and wine making. It's already pureed and sold in a 3 lb can ready to go when you need it. OK, so let's get started!

Saison Kit with ingredients listed in order of adding to pot or bucket. Another thing that I started doing after the first batch is going through all the ingredients that your using and then numbering them. I don't like to scramble, re-read things or try to find an item in a flurry, especially when you have a time and temperature sensitive process. It's so easy when you're just looking for the item labeled 3 rather than German Hallertau hops packet. Like I said there is an vocabulary shift with brewing, I'm still learning all the names of things, this helps me become familiar, remember the step in the process, and streamlines efficiencies.

The brew day process is very similar to my second post so I won't reiterate that, but some of the ingredients change pending the kind of beer your making.


The Basic Steps of Home Brewing:
- Steep Grains
- Boil ingredients specific to your beer style
- Kill boil (bring beer temp down to 70 degrees)
- Rack and strain brew
- Add water and yeast
- Ferment in bucket or carboy
- 2nd Ferment (optional)
- Bottle/keg

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