Saturday, March 13, 2010

Solera: La Fontaine du Sang

In the brewpot right now. The plan is to ferment clean then blend with a pull off the solera. The pre-hopped wort is sweet and almondy.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

From the Cellar:* Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale

After absolutely adoring this one on tap last summer, I went out and bought several bottles (for a reasonable price as Smutty tends to be). Unfortunately, the bottled product did notmatch what was on tap. It had an overpowering fruity sweet - syrup that stuck out. Things have changed.

It certainly looks the part of a saison, orange-straw under a big white cap of foam. The aroma got lotsa fruit: bosch pear, a hint of peach, and fragrant apples (Macoun or Roxbury Russett). Like a farmstand in late August. There's also a straw and earthy smell, presumably hops, that hints at balance. The sweetness has left, thankfully, leaving a refreshing dryness along with all that fruit. Moreish. Indeed I will buy more next summer and not open any for at least six months.

*A box in the back of the pantry

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tasting: Tweaked Saison

It's always fun to split a batch at some point in the brewing process then compare the final results. In the case of this beer I split the Tweaked Saison at bottling. Half plain and half with 1.5 gallons of some low gravity beer that has been aging, getting funky and sour.

Pours a very light copper with big, slightly off-white foam. The beer is almost as clear as if I had proper wort chiller. Aroma from the yeast is melons and clove that mingle with the oranges and grass of noble hops. The mouthfeel is soft with a very fine carbonation. Appropriately thing for a beer that is somewhere between a Saison and a Belgian pale ale. The taste is a lovely balance of sweet malt, fruity yeast, and refined bitterness, which lingers unobtrusively. I do prefer the saison made with Dupont yeast but wouldn't mind this beer any time.

The bugs from the funky brew seems to have done some work and created higher carbonation. That extra CO2 caused the yeast to get stirred up when opened and poured so it ended up cloudy in the glass. Not a problem for me though. The fine hop aroma plays second fiddle to the funk. Yogurt and tropical fruit, mango mostly. There is also the smell and taste of Flemish sour beers that I'm not sure what to call it. There is certainly a slight acetic component, albeit subdued, thankfully. The taste lacks the hops bitterness from the plain portion. Replaced by bit of tartness that doesn't overpower allows for savoring of the fruitiness and funk from each part of the blend. This turned out about as good as I could have hoped for.