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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hope I Still Remember

After my forced layoff, I get back to brewing today.

My original plan, and my original recipe, was for a pumpkin ale. I had just planned for a partial mash with some canned pumpkin, and ferment that with some light extract and ale yeast.

But then, my daughter-in-law suggested a pumpkin saison, a Belgian farmhouse style. I was intrigued by the idea, but I had ingredients already on order. Was there any way to do this without spending extra money, or delaying my brewing even further?

That's what makes the internet such a great tool. I poked around a bit, and read up on the style. Like many Belgian styles, a lot more is going on than just your standard fermentation. Besides Saccharomyces, there's Brett, and Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. That started the germ of an idea.

I had a bit of roasted barley lying around. Why not use that to "infect" the beer with some souring bacteria, after the initial fermentation had finished?

I think it'll work. By waiting, I can allow the ale yeast to do most of the work, lessening the chance I'll actually ruin my beer, Roasted grain is generally rich in the kinds of fauna you want in a Belgian beer, so should introduce the requisite flavors.

Lastly, and almost always my favorite reason, it'll be a fun experiment.