Monday, January 31, 2011

Style Series: Old Ale with Treacle, Brett C

I have been patiently waiting to make a beer like this one. This beer will be part of my annual schedule, every January/December I will make one and bottle the previous years. There are quite a few versions of Old Ale, it seems to be one of those styles that is guidelines give a good amount of wiggle room. You have the option to add any of the following Lactobacillus to sour, Oak, Brettanomyces (Funk), Brewing Sugar - Brown Sugar, Table Sugar, Molasses, Black Treacle. The gravity has a pretty wide range and so does the malt profile.

With this beer it is especially important to visualize "tastulize" the final beer. Below I list the characteristics I want and how I tried to achieve them.
Strong Dark Dried Fruit Flavor - Crystal Malts - Special B, Crystal 120 and Treacle - huge sweet raisin flavor
Vinous - High Alcohol, Mashed high, lots of unfermentables, Brett C should not attenuate too much (If it does I may add lactose at 6 months because this is only partially fermentable by Brett from what I've read), Oak should add some nice tannins
Toffee, Burnt Sugar - Treacle (this is the real deal), Turbinado sugar should help with the toffee flavors.

Recipe: Old Ale
O.G.-1.081  F.G.-TBD   IBU-39 Size -5.75 gal
SRM-20   ABV-7.5-8.5%   Cal-273

Grain Bill (76% Efficiency):
13 lb Maris Otter Malt (83.2%)
6 oz  Crystal 120L (2.4%)
6 oz Crystal 60L (2.4%)
6 oz Special B (2.4%) 
1 lb Treacle (6.4%) - Added at Day 7

8 oz Turbinado (3.2%) - Will be added around 6 months

2 oz Golding, 4.9%, pellet, 90 min 39.7 IBU
200mL of yeast slurry from Brett C Brown (WLP645, WLP023 or S04)

Brew Day:
Brewed: 1/9/11
Kegged: ???

San Diego (Alvarado) Tap Water
1 campden tablet for 5 gal.

Mash Details:
H2O/Grain Ratio: 1 qt/lb
Mash Volume: 3.5 gal
Sacc Rest. Temp/Time: 154F @ 60min
Strike Temp: 173F
Batch Sparge Volume: 6.5 gal
Sparge Temp/Time: 170F

Boil Details:
Boil Volume: 7.5gal
Boil Time: 90min
Post Boil Volume: 5.75 gal

Ferment Details:
O.G.: 1.071 (no sugar)
Ferment Temp: 66-68F
Primary Length: 7 days
Secondary Length: TBD

1/17/11 Update
Gravity 1.018 - Added 1 oz boiled American Oak cubes, Added 454g (1 lb) of black treacle that was warmed so it would pour. This is transferred to a 5 gal Stainless Steel keg with a 6.5 gal carboy cap stretched on top.

07/06/11 Update 
Gravity - 1.005 ABV - 8.75%
Slight funk, touch of sour, some booze, slight cherry pie, mild Oak with  some vanilla. And unfortunately way too thin and dry. It is actually close to a nice wine in its characteristics. Not sure if I should add anything or just let it go and make another beer to blend this with. Next year, I'm thinking no Brett and go for a thick and rich malt bomb. And make this beer much darker, I think the color contribution from treacle is not as significant as I planned.

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