Friday, January 10, 2014

Brew #1: Crabapple Lambicky Ale

The first batch of beer I decided to brew in 2014 is Randy Mosher's Crabapple Lambicky Ale.  Mosher's book Radical Brewing blew my mind when I read it so it seemed right to pay homage to him to start off the adventure.  His twelve beers of Christmas is also something that always seems to draw me in.  Since I'm brewing fifty two batches why not brew all twelve this year.

The recipe for this brew is available here on the AHA website.  There are a few things that seemed strange to me but I followed them anyways.  Mosher mashes this at 145 for two hours which seems really low for a beer that will have Roselare added to it.  I'm thinking it's because he wanted this beer ready quick and/or maybe the wheat provides more for the bugs to munch on than the O.G. shows.

I made a couple ingredient substitutions since I'm trying to clear out my hop stash in the freezer.  I subbed out the Cascade at bittering for some Warrior and subbed out the Tettnang for El Dorado (thought I had some Saaz but was mistaken).  Hopefully the El Dorado will provide some soft cherry notes that blend with the Roselare otherwise this may have been a bad decision.  I also pitched a clean ale yeast Safale 05 so that the majority of the yeast character is created by the Roselare blend.

 I'm going to rack the base Pale Wheat recipe onto around a 1lb of cranberries (or crabapples if available) and add some yeast from a 5 gallon sour that is ready to bottle that used the Roselare blend from The Brewing Science Institute.

My goal for this batch is to get a whopping 6 bottles since the fruit cuts down on the yield.  This will have plenty of time to age before Christmas and I can even save a couple bottles for the next year or two.

2/13/2014 - Racked onto 1/2 lb of chopped frozen (and thawed) cranberries since crabapples were nowhere to be found.  Pitched the dregs from a bottle of Russian River Consecration.  The base beer tasted somewhat boring during racking.

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