Friday, September 2, 2011

En Garde!

Last Friday I wrote a post asking for suggestions as to what to brew. The plan had been to do said brewing on Sunday, but when I crawled out of bed that day I simply couldn't be bothered to do anything. However, tomorrow Mrs V is off doing some running for charity thing and I will have the flat to myself for a few hours, so brewing will commence nice and early tomorrow morning, by which I mean about 7 o'clock.

There were a few interesting suggestions made in the comments for last week's post and taking some inspiration from them, I have decided to brew a peat smoked Bière de Garde. The recipe is as follows:
  • 4.5lbs Vienna Malt
  • 12oz light brown sugar
  • 2oz Caramel 120
  • 2oz Caramel 80
  • 2oz Peated Malt
  • 1oz Chocolate Wheat
  • 0.4oz 3.9% Saaz for 90 minutes
  • 0.5oz 3.9% Saaz for 15 minutes
  • Wyeast 3725 Biere de Garde
I decided to go with Vienna malt as the base rather than Maris Otter or a Pale Ale malt pretty much on a whim, and because I wanted the biscuity flavours that comes with it. The sugar is there to add a dry finish, and the Saaz hops because I have plenty of them and they are the greatest hop in the history of humanity without question.

Based on past experience and the wonderful Beer Calculus, I am expecting the following numbers with this beer:
  • OG: 1.063 (15.4 Plato)
  • FG: 1.013 (3.3 Plato)
  • ABV: 6.7%
  • SRM: 12 - copper to red
  • IBU: 19.7
Primary fermentation will be 14 days at about 72°F followed by a couple of months in the cellar. Just in time to take to France for Christmas and hopefully try some alongside some of my favourite beers in the world, such as 3 Monts and anything else I can find from La Brasserie de St-Sylvestre. Quick side comment, the French make some wonderful beers, but they don't get out much, which is a good thing in my world.

I haven't thought of a name yet for the beer, not for a want of trying, though with the Vienna malt, Czech hops and French beer style I am tempted to name it after Marie Antoinette, sister of Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor (the one from Amadeus), though naturally I am hoping the beer keeps its head.

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