On Memorial Day this year I'm brewing a big brown ale inspired by the many barbecue's that are taking place today. To turn this brown ale into a barbecue inspired batch I'll be brewing with Smoke Malt, Molasses, and Ancho Chilies. Lending the delicious flavors of well done barbecue. Brown ales are the best style to pair with grilled and barbecued foods. This is because of the Maillard Reaction. Think toasting bread, searing a steak, the browning action of your favorite foods. The flavor of toasted bread, biscuits, seared and roasted meats, and dark beers are made from "a chemical reaction between amino acid and a reducing sugar, usually requiring heat. It is vitally important in the preparation or presentation of many types of food." Going to be aging this beer on house charred either mesquite, hickory, or oak chips soaked with Bourbon. Nothing like a Bourbon infused Barbecue sauce. The boiled wort has nice chocolate, toffee and caramel, with a ripe dark fruit pepper flavor from the Ancho chilies. Should be interesting.
An 'End of Spring' Saison. I've brewed a few different spin-offs of the 'Saison' style of beer this last year, a Black Saison, and most recently a Saison with red peppercorns and sumac berries. I've been very pleased with results. Today's will have no spices and be a more 'traditional' style Saison. I will be doing a step mash for extra added more traditional, time consuming, dividend paying, and multiple step taking process that is a step mash. This mash procedure will insure conversion and more importantly break down extra proteins that are in the flaked rye, wheat malt, flaked maize and flaked oats that will be in the mash along with malted barley. These other grains have a much higher protein content and these proteins can be broken down by performing a step mash.
One of my favorite styles of beer is Saison. Drinking them, brewing them, and cooking with them. Whether brewed in France, Belgium, America, or by some other independent spirited brewer they can be delicious. Thirsty quenching when either strong or 'sessionable'. Brewed with spices, fruit and can get better with funk. The possibilities are endless with this traditional farm hand field beverage.
Brewing up a Cream Ale today with fresh local strawberries and bananas. Brewing a somewhat traditional style cream ale by using flaked maize in the mash. The somewhat will be the addition of 6 pounds of whole strawberries and 3 bananas into the primary fermenter. Now, I recommend and prefer fermenting in glass for a couple reasons, plastic scratches much easier and never smells 'clean'. Regardless I've purchased a 7 gallon plastic FV for a 'Farm Fresh Fermentation Series'. The plan is to brew with whatever fresh local fruit's and vegetables that are available throughout this year's season at my local farmers market. First batch of series will be a Strawberry Cream ale. My friend Jon Talkington, Master Meadmaker of Brimming Horn Meadery makes a strawberry mead and has found that the addition of bananas to fermentation doesn't add much banana flavor but does seem to enhance the strawberry flavor. The flavor of strawberry is delicate and often difficult to brew with, probably a reason there are not many commercial examples (compared to blueberry for instance). I'm especially excited to brew something with cantaloupe, honey dew melons, and carrots later this year. Of course the randoms will be most fun, kohlrabi ale anyone?
Simple grist bill of pale two row, flaked maize, and honey malt. Barely hopped with Celeia variety and fermented with White Labs WLP009 Australian Ale yeast. White Labs claims this yeast "can ferment successfully, and clean, at higher temperatures."