Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chocolate Saison

After playing around a bit with boricha in a grain bill I was amazed at the strong dark chocolate flavor and aroma that it lent to the beer.  Unfortunately my tap leaked and I was unable to do a formal tasting of the Boricha porter, but trust me when I say it was the chocolatiest tasting beer I have ever tasted.

Now I was thinking about different styles I would really like to showcase this flavor in and while thinking about it, I realized that some of my homemade candy syrup would be a great way to highlight the chocolate flavors of both the syrup and the boricha.  I really didn't want another porter (I don't like roasty beers in the summer months) so there wasn't many styles that I felt could lend themselves to both chocolate flavors and candy syrup.

Then I had sort of an ah ha moment, where I remembered that Fantôme put out a chocolate saison (which Ive never tasted), luckily I had some saison yeast laying around from my petite raspberry saison that I brewed up recently.

The flavor combination seems to get better and better the more I think about it.  Strong dark chocolate aromas, peppery spicy yeast, and strong toasty chocolate flavors from the syrup.  Hopefully I can recreate the strong chocolate flavors I got the last time I made some syrup (having trouble with water chemistry recently - getting more dark toffee flavors now).

One thing that I learned from the boricha porter was that I think a little bit of sweetness could have really set off the chocolate flavor quite a bit.  So in this beer I decided to add some 30L crystal to add some sweetness and light caramel flavors. I'm not worried about too much sweetness in the beer, the saison yeast and the simple sugars should still leave this beer quite dry tasting even with a pound of crystal malt. One last thing that  I also decided to do was give the beer a big aroma hop charge to add some nice earthy tones that I think should pair well with chocolate (some of my favorite chocolate bars and very dark and have earthy undertones)

Chocolate Saison
Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
1.0Boricha Roasted Barley Tea
1.0C 30L
Amt (oz)TypeTime
1.0EKG (5.1%)60
2.0EKG (5.1%)KO <170F
Mash Schedule
170F1.8qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastBelgian Saison WY 3724 - Slurry
90% effIBU17
6.5gal BoilFG

Review - 1/5/2013 - Notes & Thoughts


Jeffrey Crane said...

This does sound like a neat combo of flavors. You will definitely need to post a tasting on this one.

And I'm off to go find some boricha.

Ryan said...

Im hoping that the flavors werent specific to the brand of boricha I used in the porter, only time will tell I guess.......

BTW its good stuff, I started drinking it to kick my 2pot of coffee habit each day and got hooked on its taste. It doesnt taste quite the same pre-fermentation as it does as tea, Ive also found that boiling it seems to bring out different flavors as well

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