Iron Brewer recipe, update

Weird Berries by P_Breen, on Flickr

Weird Berries by P_Breen, on Flickr


It’s now been 11 days since I brewed my Iron Brewer entry. I’ve checked the gravity the last couple of days and it’s been pretty steady, within a couple points of where I imagined it would end up (and I was hoping it would finish a bit high as I’m looking for a bigger bodied beer).  So tonight I transferred the batch to secondary fermentation where it will stay for the next 2 weeks and change, and I added some flavor elements to help it along.

First off, the recipe:

NAME: Turkish Delight EESB
STYLE: 23a. But kind of a really big ESB (hence the 2 Es) with spices but really not
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
Estimated OG: 1.065 (at 72% efficiency)
Estimated FG: 1.018
Estimated ABV: 6.2%
Estimated Color: 13 SRM
Estimated IBU: 32.2 IBU

Grains & Sugars:
Amount		Item
------		----
8 lbs		Optic Malt
1.5 lbs		Melanoidin Malt
1 lb		Victory Malt
8 oz		Honey Malt
8 oz		Caramel Malt 40L
8 oz		Flaked Oats
8 oz		Invert Sugar Syrup

Amount		Type			Alpha		Time
------		----			-----		----
.25 oz		Northern Brewer pellets	8.7%		60 min
.5 oz		Galena pellets		13.1%		30 min
.5 oz		Galena pellets		13.1%		20 min

Amount		Item			Use
-----		----			---
1tsp		Irish Moss		15 minute boil
1oz		Rose Hips		5 minute boil
1tsp		Lemon Zest		knockout
1tbsp		Toasted Fenugreek Seeds	Secondary
1oz		Rose Hips		Secondary

Mash schedule:

Single infusion mash @ 154 degrees. Mash out at 170 degrees for 15 minutes.

90 minute boil

Pitch Wyeast 1450 Denny's Favorite at 65 degrees

So tonight’s operation involved siphoning the beer from the 6 gallon carboy I used for primary fermentation and into a clean sanitized 5 gallon carboy for further aging & clarification, or what’s usually called “secondary fermentation.”  Due to the time constraints of this contest, I’m rushing things a bit more than I normally would, but still probably less than some would. I’ll often let a beer age a little longer before bottling it than I strictly need to (although my neighbor and brewing partner Bob will tell you that once it’s in the bottle, I get impatient and often drink a few before they’re fully carbonated. But I digress) so a little rush here, though counter to my normal practices, isn’t a problem.

The beer started out on target with an Original Gravity of 1.065, and yesterday and today when I measured, the gravity was about 1.021. The trub (gunk and nastiness that collects at the bottom of the fermentation vessel) in this batch was particularly funky, and I want to give the beer plenty of opportunity to clarify before bottling it, so I went ahead with the transfer. Also, I took a sample.

The flavor is pretty much on target with what I was looking for, with a big bodied mouthfeel and some candylike qualities. But the rose hip flavor was not where I wanted it. The way I used the rose hips in the initial brewing process was that I made a homemade invert sugar syrup (as called for in my recipe) and simmered the rose hips in that syrup for 5 minutes. Then the syrup was added in the last 5 minutes of the boil.

I’d intended to add more rose hips for secondary fermentation but thought I’d just put them in the carboy and rack onto them. I read up on their use and found that they really need to be boiled for around 15 minutes to draw out the flavors and aromas, so I made a tea with a cup of water and another ounce of rose hips and added that to the secondary vessel.

Also, to reinforce the Turkish and candy flavors I’m going for, I toasted some fenugreek seeds, crushed them with a  mortar and pestle, and added them to the carboy as well before racking the beer in. Fenugreek is pretty recognizable as a curry spice, but is also common in Turkish cuisine. It’s aromatic and somewhat bitter, and another common use of fenugreek is as an artificial “maple” flavor in pancake syrup. At only one tablespoon in 5 gallons of beer, I’m not looking for it to be a major presence in the beer but rather to add to the depth of flavor and to add to the character I want in this beer. My hope is that it will reinforce the impression of sweetness (with the maple flavor), the “Turkish” theme of the beer, and hopefully also the bitterness and flavor of the galena hops.

I’m pleased with the way this beer is going. The flavors I’m looking for are not overwhelming, but they are there. The beer is well balanced and drinkable, though not a summery beer.  I look forward to tasting it in a few weeks, when the rose hip flavor has developed more, and again once it’s been carbonated.


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