Monday, August 07, 2006

Brewlog: Bachelor Party Porter & Saison #3 Update

My recent excustion to Siskiyou County allowed me to tend to the Porter and Saison I'd brewed back in early June. Thankfully, I've ended up very pleased with both beers...

Bachelor Party Porter, brewed for a friends bachelor party, was kegged, force-carbonated, and chilled on Thursday, July 20, then tapped at approximately 6:00 PM on Friday, July 21, at our rented cabin on Elk Lake near Bend, Oregon. After a fierce battle against that and other forces, the keg was finally drained on the morning of Sunday, July 23rd, as we dined on a breakfast of bratwurst and attempted to figure out how the heck to make the cabin look like anything other than the warzone we had turned it into over the course of the weekend.

The beer had a finishing gravity of approximately 1.015, making for an abv of around 5.5%. The beer was exceedingly dark with a tan head. There was a bit of mint in the aroma and flavor due to the Eroica hops, and that was not unwelcome. There was an appropriately medium mouthfeel, and a considerable residual sweetness. The round, estery flavors of the London Ale yeast worked perfectly. The hopping was substantial, more so than I'd expected, making the overall impression of the beer similar to that of Rogue's Shakespeare Stout. Overall, I'd say I was damned pleased with it, and I'd say the rest of the folks at the festivites were too... I can't say that I'd make any tweaks to the recipe, I think it's damned-near perfect as is. The only concievable change I can see would be to up the gravity of the whole thing and turn it into a Baltic Porter. Mmmm....

As for Saison #3, that was bottled on Tuesday, July 25th. The final gravity was 1.012, which though higher than the WLP 565 has the potential to ferment to, is right where my Saison #1 settled out, and both batches were brewed & fermented under damn-near identical conditions. Whatever the case, the beer still yielded an abv of about 7.5%, though with a bit more substantial of a body than I'd find ideal. The spicing is perfectly subdued and just barely noticable. The hopping is mild - I'd still like to beef-up both the hop bitterness and hop flavor in future batches, though what I have here is certainly acceptable. The yeast didn't produce as much funkiness as it can yield at higher temperatures, but I still did get a moderate level of funk, a good level of fruit, and a nice spiciness out of it. Right now I'm still letting the bottles condition, though a bottle opened this Sunday did show a good level of carbonation.


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