How the Pickle Turned Out
- Monday, 14 November 2016
It’s been a bit of busy one of late, hence the lack on content.
Just over a month ago, Chas and Dr. Worm Boy made a Saison, and then things got busy with the whole crew. People were travelling, there was Sydney Craft Beer Week going, etc. etc. So not a lot of writing going on, lots of fun though.
We got so busy that we had to push the bottling of the Pickle in the Rye back by a week. This meant crashing the temperature down to 3 degrees Celsius and just letting the beer chill. None of us had done this with this yeast before (Danstar Belle Saison, just like we use in the Lemaitre’s Cosmic Egg), so weren’t sure what would happen letting it sit for the extra time.
It Started Out a Little Funky and Strong, Maybe
Pulling the sample for bottling showed a lot of funk and yeasty esters. Saisons are great for their funk factor. They’re often dirty, with a bit of hay, and other farm elements. The sample was tasting plenty dirty, with a little bit of resin and a bit of barn yard. It was great, but not something that was easy drinking. Of course that’s not a bad thing, but of course it also means it’s hard to sit back and enjoy a lot of them at home.
Unfortunately, we also didn’t get a good final gravity reading. The reading was a very low 1.002, which puts us at a 6.4% ABV according to our online ABV calculator. The beer doesn’t taste or feel like that though. Chas made the mistake of using ethanol to do a quick clean of some of the testing equipment, which we’re assuming threw off the sample. It wouldn’t have been a lot, but it was almost pure ethanol (and some other stuff that would be less dense than water), so even a little bit would change the sample.
So unfortunately, we still don’t know the strength of this brew. But that’s not always a bad thing.
Then It Mellowed Out
We waited a couple weeks letting the beer bottle conditioning and the beer really mellowed out. There’s still plenty of funk there. For good or bad, the beer didn’t taste quite as much like a farmhouse floor. While there was the charm of the farmhouse, we were really going for something a little bit softer so the fact that it got a little softer was pretty welcome. As we mentioned, we were after something not too challenging. Something to get us through the summer.
The other flavours in the beer seem to be coming out well, but we could tell it needs a little bit more time before the full profile comes out.
Even without the time, the citrus of both the Citra and Sorachi are coming out pretty well. The dill aspects of the Sorachi are subtle at the moment, but hopefully, with time, these will push out a bit more.
This beer still has a bit of a ways to go, but we’re confident it will come well! We’re going to hold onto this one for a bit more time then just work on it through the summer. That and the Pilsner we have on hand. Both great summer beers.
So until next time. Drink up.