The Pretend Prince

IMG_20171206_190305.jpg

I had a day off this week so got my friend Si over to brew a clone of one of his favourite beers, Jester King’s Le Petit Prince.

Thankfully Jester King have put the basic recipe up on their website so I didn’t have to think too much about it.  I drank a bottle a few weeks before and grew the dregs up for a starter.

Recipe

25% Wheat
75% Pilsner
11 IBUs Goldings at 60 mins
3 IBUs Fuggles at 10 mins

I mashed in low at 63oC. OG should be between 1.021-1.024 , I forgot to do a gravity reading but I’m confident we got within that range.  Beersmith predicted 1.023 and that’s usually accurate to what I end up with.  After 2 days the fermentation has started, very exciting about producing my first low ABV mixed ferm beer.

Updates

IMG_20171213_084938.jpg

I added 3kg of apricots (1kg puree, 2kg whole) to All the Bretts last week. They sank to the bottle but a week later started to rise like a lava lamp.  It now has a pretty gnarly pellicle.

IMG_20171112_183444.jpg

I entered my first homebrew competition recently which also happened to be the first Brew Con in the UK. I came 2nd in my category with Saisons in the Abyss which I was over the moon about. Big thanks to Simon and everyone else that was involved in organising the event, I had a great time and will be back next year, if any of my beers are ready, that is!

I’ve made a small experimental batch of mead with Greek thyme honey and bruxellensis. No idea how that is going to turn out, just going to leave it for a loooooong time and wait.

JK at Marble has been lovely and sent me some pedio from a 3 Fonteinen bottle to play with. Not decided what to do with it yet.  It’s so gunky and weird, I did taste it and I won’t be tasting pedio again!

Spontanpeckham is still fermenting away. I am going to do a batch this year and next year and blend them.

I’ve done a lot of scouting in my local area for fruits I can forage and now have some plans for later next year which include a crab apple beer (I was lucky to taste The Kernel’s from the tank recently and it’s divine). It’s pretty amazing the produce you can find on your doorstep in London.

Advertisements

Won’t you take me to Funkytown

sour5

I’ve been wanting to brew a proper sour beer for ages now.  Having binge listened (or gang listened as they say) to The Sour Hour I’ve finally plucked up the courage to step into the funk.

I’ve played with a bretted saison and used the Funktown Pale Ale yeast but I really want to delve into it properly.

I’ve been a fan of Belgian Lambics for a while now.  I was very lucky to have some friends who lived in Brussels who took me to Cantillon when I stayed with them back in 2013 and have recently got into American sours since they have become more readily available to buy over here.

A huge thanks to my Boyfriend’s brother Mark for buying me Michael Tonsmeire’s American Sour Beers book.  It has been an invaluable resource, I highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about trying to brew a sour beer.

I also been very lucky in that I still have a brett strain from Chorlton Brewery to use.

I decided to do a strong Belgian style brown. I got a but merry one night and decided to grow the dregs of a bottle of Cascade Sang Noir which are raging with lactobacillus.

sour3

My malt bill was as follows

3kg Pale malt
1.2kg Munich malt
1kg Pilsner
340g Biscuit
340g Crystal
60g Acid malt
60g Midnight Wheat
400g dark candi sugar
15g Hallertauer at 60 mins

sour4

I’ve made sure I have a separate set of equipment to use for any sour brewing I do and it is kept in a completely separate room to my clean stuff.  I mashed at 68c and stepped up to 75c at the end. I mashed high to get as much dextrose out of the grain for the bugs to feed on. I also kept the IBU low as anything over 8 will start to inhibit the lacto. I couldn’t find any Belgian yeast that I wanted in stock but my local homebrew shop, Water into Beer in Brockley, had some Mangrove Jack Belgian Ale Yeast so I went with that.

sour2

It fermented rapidly and went down to 1.010 very quickly.  I moved it to secondary (glass demijohns) and pitched the Cascade Sang Noir dregs and the Chorlton Brett.

I pitched some dregs from a bottle of Boon Black label into one of the demi-johns, can you guess which one?

sour1

I’m quite patient when it comes to brewing so I have no problem waiting around for this to develop. Plus I find the whole process of the pellicle development fascinating.  I plan to add some more brett to layer up the flavour profile later on.

I am planning to do a spontaneous fermentation in the near future. I have a shed with windows that open onto a cherry tree so hoping there are some good yeasts and bacteria floating around. I may cheat a little by spiking my shed with bugs. If anyone has any advice on doing a turbid mash on a Braumeister,  I’m all ears.