Tasting notes on: Sailors Saison, Faux Rauch(bier) and Sessionable Weißbier.

One would think that If you brew more, you blog about it more. For me, that doesn’t seem to be true. I’ve had three beers on tap this past two months and haven’t even mentioned them here since brew day. Anyway – it’s time!

First out: Sailors Saison!

Sailors Saison – OG: 1.042 FG: 1.008 ABV: 4.4%

Appearance: Light, straw colored almost white, some haze but not out of style.

Aroma: Light esters that give you a hint of hay. Not really funky but something that tells you that this beer wasn’t brewed with a clean strain. Some spiciness but not at all of what’s expected from this strain (French Saison).Flavor: Light malt profile. It’s a bit tart but not overly so, more in a refreshing way. There are some spiciness there but way to little. Grassy and hay like notes, most likely yeast derived. The hops (Centennial) did not come through the way I would have guessed in a light beer like this.

Next time: If I would brew this recipe again I would ferment a bit warmer, around 22-23°c. I was hoping for a lot more character from this yeast even at low temperatures. I would also skip the sugar addition, there’s no need for it in this recipe. The body is light enough as it is.

After about half way through the keg I got a bit tired of the beer and dry hopped it with 50 grams of Amarillo. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not crazy about Amarillo. It has this round sweetish flavor that to me doesn’t feel fresh.

Faux Rauch(bier) aka Puff Puff Chug – OG: 1.050 FG: 1.012 ABV: 5%

Appearance: It was amazingly clear after two weeks in the keg. Deep, dark red color. It’s really a treat watching the bubbles glide to the top of the glass. It’s that feeling, I made this? I’ll never get tired of that!

Aroma: Light malty aroma with hints of tar and smoked meat.

Flavor: Medium body, crisp, balanced. Soft smoke flavor that lends to the smoked meat and wood. Not at all that smoky if you look at the malt bill (95% beechwood smoked malt).

Next time: I would probably go with a real lager yeast next time If I have the time and equipment. This beer was clean enough to pass as a lager, but there was some of the typical lager flavors that was missing. The Carafa malt I added wasn’t necessary for the color. The weyermann rauchmalt itself gives you more color than you’d expect. I think it’s kilned more in the line of a vienna or munch then a pale or pilsner.

I’m rebrewing this today (1/5-2014) with a few changes. I removed the carafa and used only the smoked malt and wheat malt. The color was not as I thought coming form both the carafa and smoked malt. This wort is much brighter which makes me believe that you need some carafa to get the right rauchbier color.

Session Weißbier – OG: 1.045 FG: 1.010 ABV: 4.6%

Appearance: Another beer that turns out brilliant clear, continental filtered lager clear! Good head nice light straw colored. Very pleasant to just watch!

Aroma: Small hints of banana and clove, not as much as classic examples.

Flavor: Surprisingly clean, some fruitiness and banana/clove. The banana/clove-balance is very tight. There is not much in this beer that screams esters or phenolics. The Munich Wheat yeast from Lallemand is not creating as much of the flavors you would expect from a Weißbier strain. The malt profile is clean, the premium pils and wheat doesn’t contribute to a lot of attitude but rather to the clean profile that goes well with the carbonation.

Next time: Since I didn’t brew this beer mainly for my own consumption but for friends and family I don’t think I will brew it anytime soon. But I’ve learned that the munich yeast would probably work very well for a hopfenweissen (Weißbier IPA) since it’s pretty clean in comparison to say the Weihenstephaner yeast. I would never use this yeast in a competition, it’s just not enough for the style. At least not the way I used it.

Here’s a pic of the Weißbier for y’all.

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