Posts Tagged ‘albatross saison’

Albatross Saison Tasting

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

home brew albatros saison

This has been a long time coming: a review of Albatross Saison. I brewed it back in February, yet have never found the time to give this beer the respect I owe it.

This was one of my early attempts at Belgians, more specifically Saisons, one of my favorite styles of craft beer. The first time I tasted this beer I was disappointed. It was only 10 days in the bottle but I assumed that was the final product. I was wrong. Thankfully. Ten days or say later this beer rounded into a great drinking beer, much more than I expected.

Look: Straw color with a couple of inches of pristine white, thick, tightly packed, small bubbled foam. Retention lasts as should be expected with a Saison. Effervescent. Lacing thick, coating the sides sporadically.

Aroma: Pepper and fruity esters are the focus from the yeast (pear and banana). The esters are a touch bigger than the pepper, which is joined by a slight spicy scent.

Taste: More of the same form the nose. Touches of vegetal can be found from the Fuggle hop but I am a hop fan, maybe others might find a distraction (although this went over well at the brew club). Clean bitterness in the finish that is just enough to let you know it is there.

Drinkability: This a really nice drinking beer. Great for the summer. The alcohol level makes it a tough sell for sessioning but is ridiculously well hidden.

Overall: From a beer that was almost dumped after the first taste due to frustration to one of my favorite beers I have brewed; not bad. This will be in my normal summer lineup. The fact that it isn’t hoppy, can age, and get better make this the perfect fit.

I am very happy with this beer and will be having this again (after I try a bunch of different Saison combinations). I have a rye Saison and a rye Saison on brett coming up soon. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: There are 1,525,000,000 miles of telephone wire strung across America.

Albatross Saison

Sunday, February 26th, 2012
mash tun manifold

Only brew day picture and of my mash tun manifold????

Home brewing is always more fun when a friend or three is around to share the experience, talk about brewing, and, most importantly, share a few home brews. Steve was in for the entire day as he wants to learn how to home brew. His wife purchased him a brew kit a while back and he wanted to experience a brew day before taking to the task himself. Rich made it over for a couple of hours to share a few home brews. Finally, Chuck meandered over towards the end of the day. He reminded me how his system doesn’t need to be stirred by hand while chilling, which is my least favorite task of the brewing day.

I started brewing much later than normal as Steve couldn’t make it over in the morning. Since this beer was scheduled for a 90 minute mash and boil, I knew this was going to be a long afternoon/early evening. The process went by quickly as the down time was filled with conversation.

I overshot my mash water temperature (since I was conversing) so I had to mix the mash for ten minutes to bring the temperature down to 148 degrees. The only other issue was final volume of wort being about 5.1 gallons and a gravity of 1.058. This is caused by a subpar burner which I don’t have much control over, burns dirty leaving soot on the burner and pot, and is just an overall pitfall of my system. Chilling (stirring) took about 25 minutes with Steve helping out to give a sore arm rest.

The yeast was pitched with the wort at 69 degrees. The plan is to raise the temperature up to about 82 degrees (give or take) to help finish the fermentation process.

General Information:
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: White Labs WLP566
Yeast Starter: 1.5 Liter
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50 (5.10 actual)
Original Gravity: 1.054 (1.056 actual)
Final Gravity: 1.006 (1.002 actual)
IBU: 35.4
Color: 4.1 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Primary Fermentation: 30 days @ 70*F, ramp up to low 80s with heat blanket and controller

Grain Bill:
10.0# Pilsner
1.00# Wheat
0.50# Munich

Hop Bill:
2.00oz Fuggles (4.5%) @ 90 min (30.3 IBUs)
1.00oz Fuggles (4.5%) @ 10 min (5.1 IBUs)

Saccharification Rest @ 148*F for 90 minutes.

The next home brewing session will be a batch of Honey Pot Pale Ale as my wife has been requesting for quite some time. Enjoy!

2012-03-04 – Gravity at 1.002 after a fermentation in which I hit highs of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Yeast was a beast. Placed in the basement which is about 55F.

2012-07-14 – Finally tasted and reviewed.

Useless Fact: A flea can jump 200 times the length of its own body. This is equivalent to a person jumping almost a quarter of a mile.