Tag Archives: Petite Saison d’Ete

Pre-Disney Beer Thoughts

I am less than two weeks away from spending a week in Orlando at Walt Disney World.  The sacrifices I make for my daughter…

Scottish 60 Shilling and Dry Irish Stout

I have two batches of beer in carboys right now: a Scottish 60 Shilling and a Dry Irish Stout.  Nothing to really say about either of these two right now except for the fact that the Dry Irish Stout went crazy the first couple of days of fermentation.  How crazy?  The krausen blew the bubbler airlock off the rubber bung.  Wow!  Everything appears normal.

Apparently, there is some urban myth going on with regard to porter and stout as styles of beer.  This is one of the things that I dig about beer.  There is little if any consensus about the history of beer that it makes for fun bar discussions.

Petitie Saison d’Ete

Damn.  This beer really turned out well:

I could easily call this a smooth drinking beer, but that would be selling it short.  The description from the good folks at Northern Brewer said that it would have pungent hop aroma, but I get none of that.  Maybe that is a side effect of hitting the Surly Coffee Bender a little heavily lately.  It might also have something to do with the slightly understated hop profile of Saaz and Styrian Goldings hops.

Unlike some of the stronger beers I have been drinking lately, this saison has a relatively mild level of alcohol and the bitterness is really restrained.  As I develop my homebrewing skills and hone my palate, I have come to a few conclusions about my personal preferences:

  • Restrained alcohol (< ~6% ABV) is better than the stronger beers (> ~8% ABV)
  • Hops are a good thing, but the impact needs to be used with a judicious hand
  • Color is irrelevant

Those are my beer truths.  I am sure things are going to evolve as I continue to push myself as a homebrewer.

 

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Fall Beer Thoughts

It’s fall and with the colder weather I really begin to focus on beer—drinking it, making it, and talking about it.  If I did not always bring a growler or two to share most people would just cringe to see me coming.

Dawson’s Multigrain Red

The first bottles of my Dawson’s Multigrain Red have been cracked:

I do not know how to classify this beer.  The official description from the good folks at Northern Brewer says that it’s a “a smooth, vaguely Irish-style, polyglot session beer that incorporates domestic and German malts, American hops, and British yeast.”  Basically, it’s a mutt.

The beer leans heavily on Willamette hops, but it does not come across as an ale from the Pacific Northwest.  Maybe it’s because Willamette’s best friend Cascade is not present in this beer.  Regardless of the classification this is a great beer to drink.  No one is going to spend hours discussing its relative merits or compare it to other beers.  A person is going to drink the beer and be happy to be doing so.  What more can you ask of a beer?

BTW, I cannot help but almost say Dawson’s Creek every time I talk about this beer.  I also keep seeing James VanDerBeek crying every time as well.  I won’t even think about brewing Dawson’s Kriek.

Bottled and in the Carboy

The latest beer is in bottles as of tonight.  It’s a Petite Saison d’Ete.  It’s usually considered more of summertime beer yielding to the stouts and heartier beer as the temperatures fall.  I had actually hoped to brew this beer for the late summer months—nothing like refreshing beer at the height of the dog days of August in Iowa.  However, I chose to brew some other beers for various reasons.

In the carboy is a Scottish 60 Shilling.  I am hoping that this mild beer can be a real crowd pleaser when I crack open the case of bottles at a get together I have scheduled toward the end of October.  Niche beers are nice to sample, but you want crowd pleasers when everyone has very different tastes.

Does Corn Get a Bad Rap as an Adjunct?

Corn in beer is basically the equivalent of bringing a can of Natural Light to a gathering of craft brewers.  It’s viewed as the ultimate compromise in brewing beer.  The folks over at Guys Drinking Beer have looked at the issue from various angles and come up with a reasoned point of view.

If you use the infamous German purity law as your basis, a lot American beers from the craft movement would be disqualified because of adjuncts.  In beer, an adjunct is not a bad thing on its own.  It’s just a departure from the strict interpretation of the essential ingredients that the Germans have codified.  You put raspberries or coffee or smoked oak chips in your carboy?  Sorry, it’s an adjunct.  Verboten!

Sure, when corn is used to brew Pabst Blue Ribbon or rice is used to brew Bud Light it’s a bad thing.  It’s also a bad thing that water was used because those beers are swill.  Corn and any other “adjunct” for that matter has a place on the potential ingredient list of people looking to make great beer.  If it can make the beer better, it’s allowed.  Pure and simple.

Beer for Backpackers

Why do I fear this creation?  Pat’s Backcountry Beverages is trying to make it possible for you to acquire some clean water, pour a flavor pack in, and end up with a bottle of carbonated beer.  No lugging bottles up the side of a mountain.

I appreciate the effort, but I have the greatest of reservations about the flavor and quality of this concoction.