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Building Inventory

June03BrewsThis weekend I brewed the 10 gallons of belgian pale that I referenced in my last post – using the out-of-date Wyest 3864 Canadian Belgian strain that Joe and Marlana from HDYB had in their fridge. I propogated the heck out of it – stepped it up using almost a gallon (4 qts) of starter wort. I should have plenty of yeast for the next 20 gallon batch of TnT Belgian Red in a couple weeks. I am really hoping for good things from this starter batch too – I went a little wacky, as I tend to do from time to time. I used Magnum for the bittering hops (which is not wacky), but used Sorachi Ace for both flavor and aroma at 10 minutes and 3 minutes (1 oz per addition). This hop is Japanese, apparently from the Sapporo brewery, and is supposed to have a lemony character – and I thought to complement the hops, I would also add 0.5 oz of bitter orange peel (no big deal – 0.25oz per 5 gallons) AND over 1 1/2 oz of fresh chopped ginger root.

As it is fermenting, the ginger aroma is definitely wafting out the airlock. I just hope there is enough ginger character left in the finished beer that you can either smell it or taste it. We recently used more than that in a Teriyaki marinade, so I am assuming 1.5oz in 10 gallons won’t overpower the beer, but rather subtlely compliment the other “summery” aromas of lemon and orange peel. I thought about zesting some lemons and throwing that in the secondary, but that is probably too much.

The 2007 Buzz Off is this coming Saturday – I am curious to see how my 3 entries do. I am not expecting any ribbons, but since this is my first time entering into the belgian styles, I am interested to see what the feedback is.

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Categories: Brew session, competitions
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