Thursday, May 2, 2013

“Sharpe's Rifles" Biere de Garde

Brew date: April 21, 2013
#17 - 4 gal BIAB

It's been a busy few weeks. My wife and I are preparing to buy our first house, and so everything else has taken a backseat -- even brewing. I'm only now catching up on my blog. Sorry to keep y'all hanging!

With plans to move by the end of July, I made the decision to brew one last beer before packing. Something that could take advantage of the cool spring we are having and sit for awhile before bottling. A Biere de Garde seemed the natural choice. I love a good Belgian saison, and this is a similar style I've been meaning to try. Plus, I just finished watching the Sharpe's Rifles series, and so was inspired to brew something French. (Note: I realize it would have made more sense to brew an English bitter to salute Sean Bean's characterization of Richard Sharpe (badass) and his compatriots in the South Essex regiment, but I wanted something more "continental" with that cellar-y flavor. Sharpe's Bitter will have to wait.)

The recipe comes from the AHA's Beer Recipe of the Week: Grain d'Orge.
2nd gen yeast. Still active upon opening, carbonation.

  • 6.25 lb 6-Row Brewers Malt
  • 0.33 lb Vienna Malt
  • 0.33 lb Caramel 20
  • 0.33 lb Caramel 40
  • 3.25 lb Flaked Corn
  • 0.5 lb Candi Sugar (white) (60 min)
  • 0.25 oz Hallertau (leaf) (4.1%) (60 min)
  • 0.25 oz Brewers Gold (10.5%) (60 min)
  • 0.25 oz Brewers Gold (10.5%) (20 min)
  • 0.25 oz Styrian Goldings (3.8%) 10 min)
  • 0.5 t Irish Moss (20 min)
  • Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale (2nd gen)*
*1600 mL starter made on 4/19 from washed yeast.

Grist before mashing.
  • 5 gal water
  • Dough in @ 128 'F
  • Rest @ 122 'F for 30 min
  • Heat to 155 'F, rest for 60 min
  • Mash out @ 168 'F for 10 min
  • Boil 60 min
  • Add 0.5 gal cold water to bring to ~4 gal
  • Chill to 66 'F and pitch decanted yeast.
  • Ferment 68-72 'F for 4-6 days
  • Chill to 60 'F for 2-3 weeks

OG: 1.075
Gravity readings: 1.060 after 60 min rest, 1.068 after mash out, 1.085 after boil.
Taste: Sweet, bready
Aroma: Malt, biscuit, some spicy hop
Appearance: Bright gold, yellow

  • Leave mash water out overnight to evaporate chlorine, bring to room temperature.
  • Keep carboy in cooler environment when fermenting a higher gravity wort. The fermentation temp was up around 73 'F when I checked it the next morning. Leave carboy unwrapped during the first day or two. Not sure how the high temps for the first day or so will affect the finished beer. The fermentor cooled quickly by leaving it uncovered.

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