Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Season Opener at Gillette: Patriot Oatmeal Stout sold out before halftime!

Oh, and the Patriots beat the Bills, 25-24!  What a game! 

My friend Craig was chiding me all evening (including the 2.5 hour ride down in miserable traffic) about how this season going to Gillette is less about the Pats than the Stout, and I guess to some degree it is true.  At any rate, my arrival routine has changed so that instead of heading left up the ramp toward my seats, I now head right, and up the stairs for my beer!  So it is a good thing, because Craig and I got our Patriot Oatmeal Stout just as the game started.  JL from the Patriots organization told me Max Lane was going to be at the Sam Adams Brewhouse at the half, so I figured I'd get his autograph and another Stout, but NO!  When we got there, there were no white tap handles to be seen!  The guy in front of me was looking for Stout too, but the woman behind the counter told us they had sold out!

OK, Boston Beer Co., the gauntlet is thrown!  Let's see how much Patriot Oatmeal Stout we thirsty Patriots fans will drink at a game!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Brewing a Saison

Last Saturday I brewed a Saison, which is a nice, refreshing summer beer. I started thinking about this in early August, when summer finally arrived in Boston this year, and it was HOT!!! Ironically, it has gotten much cooler here, starting the day I brewed. Oh well.

I followed Jamil's recipe for the Saison, pretty faithfully. The biggest change was that I replaced 1.4 oz of one malt with a slight lighter version of the same malt. In a grain bill of about 12lbs, it shouldn't make much difference.

Anyway, it was a really interesting brew session because I was using a lower than normal mash temperature, and per Jamil, mashed for 90 minutes rather than the usual 60 to make sure I extracted all the fermentable sugars. I guess I did it right because I hit the appropriate gravity in the fermenter when all was said and done, and there was a fairly short lag before fermentation really kicked off. I used a Saison blend yeast, rather than a straight Saison yeast--so White Labs says it will ferment more completely than the standard Saison yeast.

Right now (Thursday afternoon, 5 days later) it is still fermenting away, with the airlock bubbling out about every 7 seconds. That's a pretty long fermentation, but it bodes well with regard to hitting the appropriate FG. If it doesn't hit, then I would have to pitch some Champaign yeast to dry it out the rest of the way. I think I'll know in a few days when it slows down significantly and I check the gravity (that's the amount of sugar left).

More on this as it develops. In the meantime, bottoms up!

Note, if you want to try a Saison, look for Saison DuPont, which is fantastic. If you can't find that, there are some other commercial examples that are quite good, but that's my favorite.