Ramon Rojo

Greetings, fellow crafters of the brew,
This is the first beer that will be added to Barrel San Miguel, in my second attempt at a sour barrel project. Actually, Ramon will be brewed a couple times in the next month or two, and... here's why: The first portion brewed, about 5.5 gals is getting a Saison/Brettanomyces blend that I ordered from The Yeast Bay. This will be allowed to ferment and the Brett to do it's thing for about a month. Around that time I will brew the remaining volume (66%) of worth of the same recipe, ferment it for about a week with a straight saccharomyces strain (WLP002), and then blend both batches into the barrel. P1020325

If you've ever had a beer that utilizes Brettanomyces, you have probably noticed it's ability to drastically change a beers complexion. Most often we associate Brett with a musty, barnyard, hay type of flavor and aroma. Some of you may have just thrown-up in your mouths a little bit, but trust me, it tastes and smells so much better than it sounds. When I think of the characteristic "barnyard funk," I think about Saison Rue from The Bruery.  Now, there are probably close to about 600 zillion different strains of brettanomyces (slight exaggeration), each one different from the next, some will produce barnyard funk, others can produce flavors that resemble cherry pie, and yet others will produce nothing noticeable when added to wort. This wide range of flavor compounds, produced by Brett, are polyphenols. These compounds are the result of Brettanomyces breaking down other flavor and aroma compounds that were produced during fermentation with Saccharomyces (brewer's yeast).  
Here in lies my thinking behind this first batch. 33.3% of the wort will be ferment with Brett initially, the other 66.7% will be fermented with a Saccharomyces strain to produce plenty of 4-vinylguaiacol, which will then be broken down by the Brett, when blended together in the barrel,  to produce (hopefully) some interesting flavor and aromatic compounds.

If you have an interest in reading more on the awesometasticness of Brettanomyces,  Chad Yakobson knows his shit. 

Anyways, back to the beer: 

Recipe Specifications

Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal   
Estimated OG: 1.047 SG
Estimated Color: 9.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 20.2 IBUs
Est Mash Efficiency: 76.4 %

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
6 lbs                 Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM)          Grain         1        60.0 %        
2 lbs                 Vienna Malt (Great Western) (3.5 SRM)    Grain         2        20.0 %        
1 lbs                 Caramunich II (Weyermann) (63.0 SRM)     Grain         3        10.0 %        
1 lbs                 Wheat Malt, Dark (Weyermann) (7.0 SRM)   Grain         4        10.0 %        
0.70 oz               Sterling [7.50 %] - First Wort 60.0 min  Hop           5        20.2 IBUs     
1.0 pkg               Yeast Bay - Saison/Brett                 Yeast         6        -             

Mash Schedule: Double Infusion, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 10 lbs
Name              Description                                Step Temperat Step Time     
Acid Rest         Add 5.94 qt of water at 125.6 F            113.0 F       20 min        
Saccharification  Add 10.00 qt of water at 185.8 F           154.0 F       45 min        

Created with BeerSmith 2 - http://www.beersmith.com

March 8, 2014

OG - 1.049
Collected 5.5 gallons, aerated for approx 5 minutes before pitching Saison/Brettanomyces blend.

March 10, 2014

Fermented at ambient temperature (~65 F). Saw active fermentation for approx three days. 

March 20, 2014

Temperatures have been around 70 F ambient for the past few days. Hopefully this will encourage the Brettanomyces to do what it does, and make things funky like Friday night on the farm. 

Clean Portion of the same beer. 

-Over and out

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