Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Le Bâtard - a Petite Belgian Golden

Originally this beer was supposed to have pear juice mixed in at a relatively high proportion (2-3 gallons), but my normal source of pear juice no longer carries/makes it, leaving me with few options.

The only thing I could find locally was Knudsen pear juice, but it was unbelievable cloudy, and the ubiquitous Vinters Reserve bases.  I've used the Vinter's pear base before and found it not only lacking in flavor, but it fermented completely dry (~1.000) which shouldn't happen if its only pear.  Pear juice contains a high level of unfermentable sugars and should finish, in my experience, in the 1014-1020 range at a bare minimum.  The dry finish left me thinking something funny is going on with their "Pear" base.

I originally wanted to add the juice to emphasize the pear esters that the yeast I picked produces (WY1388).  Instead I guess I'll just rely on the yeast.  This is a relatively simple beer, single malt, single hop, little bit of sugar to dry things out.  Not quite what I originally intended, but I already had the yeast starter made and with the pending arrival of a baby I have to be on a schedule to get my kegs filled in short order.
This beer cause me a lot of headaches during the brewing session.  The day was a double batch day, with this beer the second of the day.

I re-gapped my mill for my first brew and got great efficiency, however for some reason the mill couldn't grab the Castle barely malt (maybe its plumper?) so I had to re-re-gap my mill, then then my manifold in my MT came loose......three times........but that was after the fiasco where for some reason it didn't look like I was getting conversion and the pH was somehow only 5.1??!!?! (cloudy and full of starch - ended up adding 1# more malt) so the mash turned into a 2.5hr mess.......This beer really was a bastard to brew

Once I find another source for quality pear juice/concentrate, I plan re-brewing this beer and mixing in the juice i at a high concentration, adding a touch of vanilla and finishing the beer with a bit of a roasted almond extract that I make using my fat washing process.  That sounds like an amazing beer to me, as I write this I'm thinking I might even use Sherry flor instead of 1388. Using the flor Im thinking I might be able to pull some nougat flavors out of it again like the last time I used it........

Le Bâtard
Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
11.0Belgian Pils (Castle)
0.5Table Sugar
Hops
Amt (oz)TypeTime
1.0Nelson Sauvin  (11.4%)20
Mash Schedule
TempRatioTime
153F0.8qt/lb60
170F2qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastBelgian Strong Ale WY1388 (600mL starter)
Fermentation Temp66 ± 2°F - 7 days
Stats
5.5galOG1065
84% effIBU21
7gal BoilFG



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