Nothing says fall in the Pacific Northwest like the chanterelle mushroom. Easily identifiable and among the most popular of the edible mushrooms, the golden chanterelle is prized by amateurs and restauranteurs alike for its fruity, earthy, sometimes spicy fragrance and flavor. Some of my friends enjoy foraging for these fungi in and around Seattle and Eric The Barter offered to trade me and Gregory some in exchange for a home-brewed beer that would incorporate the chanties.
We did some research and decided that we’d brew a clone of Randy Mosher’s Nirvana Chanterelle Ale (found in his book Radical Brewing) but made some adjustments to the basic recipe. We also researched different methods of adding the mushrooms to the beer and chose to follow Denny Conn’s advice in chopping up the chanties, vacuum sealing them, and freezing them until primary fermentation is complete. We will then transfer the beer into a secondary fermentor and add the thawed mushrooms, conditioning for about two months before bottling. We brewed the base beer on Wednesday 11.05.14 and will give it a two week primary fermentation on the brewbelt. Our revamped recipe is as follows:
Chanterelle Belgian Strong Ale
Batch Size (Gal): 5.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 15
Anticipated OG: 1.065
Anticipated SRM: 5.0
Anticipated IBU: 22.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes
63% – 9.5 Lbs. Belgian 2-Row Pilsner
13% – 2 Lbs. American 2-Row Pale
10% – 1.5 Lbs. Munich 6°
10% – 1.5 Lbs. White Wheat
3% – 0.5 Lbs. American Aromatic
0.75 oz. Czech Saaz (Pellet, 3.2% AA) @ 90 min.
1.50 0z. Czech Saaz (Pellet, 3.2% AA) @ 30 min.
1.50 oz. Czech Saaz (Pellet, 3.2% AA) @ 10 min.
0.50 oz. US Cascade (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes (starter)
1.00 tsp Calcium Chloride
1.00 tsp Gypsum
Protein Rest – 30 min @ 113F
Step Infusion – 30 min @ 145F
Sacch Rest – 45 min @ 156F
11.03.14 – Made a stir-plate 2L starter with 1 Wyeast 3522 smack pack. Brewtoad suggests 284 billion cells to ferment 5 gal. Cold crashed and decanted morning of brew day.
Brewed 11.05.14 with Gregory
11.05.14 – Chilled wort to 65F before pitching yeast starter and put it onto brewbelt.
11.06.14 – Vigorous fermentation and holding steady at 75-78F.
11.09.14 – Fermentation has slowed and krausen has dissipated. Holding steady at 74-76F. Replaced blow-off tube with airlock.
11.20.14 – Transferred base beer into secondary fermentor and added the thawed chanterelle mushrooms and their liquid; brewbelt no longer used.
12.17.14 – Transferred off of mushrooms into tertiary fermentor to condition.
01.07.15 – Bottled chanterelle beer with 3.5 oz corn sugar @ 2.2 volumes of CO2.
Tasting Notes 04.05.15
Cracked a bottle tonight nearly three months after bottling; the beer is perfectly carbonated and has a slight haze to its russet brown color. It has a lovely aroma featuring a sweetish apricot-like fruitiness from the chanterelles, underlying spicy phenolics from the Belgian yeast, and hints of alcohol. The beer starts out fairly malty with a round honey-like sweetness on the palate which gives way to fruity yeast esters and the fruity, earthy qualities of the chanterelle mushrooms. It finishes on the dry side with moderate warming from the alcohol which also balances the initial sweetness. A lovely beer.
Calculated OG: 1.089
Calculated FG: 1.010
Approx. ABV: 10.3%