Kaberne Fran Rye Saison

Cab Franc SaisonBack in March of 2014 Gregory & I collaborated on a Ginger Kumquat Saison that turned out great and received an honorable mention at our first homebrew competition, the 2014 Aroma of Tacoma competition (I’ll eventually get it posted up here).  Based on the success of that brew, we began kicking around ideas for other Saisons we’d like to someday brew.  In late September we decided on a dark rye Saison suitable for the winter months which would incorporate the other half (12-13 lbs.) of the Cabernet Franc grapes we bought from the grape crush.

We brewed this beer a week after our Kaberne Fran Sour Pale Ale and it should be ready to keg or bottle around December 17th 2014, along with our 100% Brett. IPA, and the Chanterelle Belgian Strong Ale detailed in earlier posts.  Here is our recipe:

Kaberne Fran Rye Saison

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 11.38
Anticipated OG: 1.055
Anticipated SRM: 17.0
Anticipated IBU: 37.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

39% – 4.5 Lbs. Belgian 2-Row Pilsner
17% – 2.0 Lbs. Rye Malt
13% – 1.5 Lbs. CaraRed
13% – 1.5 Lbs. Flaked Rye
04% – 0.5 Lbs. Caramel/Crystal 40L
04% – 0.5 Lbs. Brown Malt
04% – 0.5 Lbs. Flaked Wheat
01% – 0.19 Lbs. Carafa III
01% – 0.18 Lbs. Rice Hulls

Hops

0.75 oz. Perle (Pellet, 8.5% AA) @ 60 min.
0.75 0z. Perle (Pellet, 8.5% AA) @ 30 min.
1.00 0z. Perle (Pellet, 8.5% AA) @ 1 min.
0.50 oz. Perle (Pellet, 8.5% AA) @ 0 min.

Extras

1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
12.50 Lbs. Cabernet Franc grapes

Yeast

White Labs WLP072 French Ale (starter)
White Labs WLP644 Brettanomyces Bruxellensis Trois

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 tsp Calcium Chloride
1.00 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 75 min @ 152F

Notes

10.06.14 – Made a stir-plate 2L starter with 1 White Labs WLP072 vial.  Brewtoad suggests 210 billion cells to ferment 5.5 gal.  Cold crashed and decanted morning of brew day.

Brewed 10.08.14 with Gregory

10.08.14 – Chilled wort to 70F before pitching yeast starter.

10.08.14 –  Put fermentor onto brewbelt and holding steady at 70-75F.

10.18.14 – Transferred to secondary fermentor and added the Cabernet Franc grapes.

11.19.14 – After 32 days in secondary on the grapes, we transferred to a tertiary fermentor and put it back onto the brewbelt.

12.29.14 – Brewed a second batch of the base saison to blend with the grape version.

01.16.15 – Transferred the second rye saison to secondary after 18 day primary fermentation.

01.28.15 — Blended the two saisons to taste (roughly half and half, leaning a tad more heavy on the regular version).

02.18.15 — Bottled the finished beer in 750ml cork and cage bottles.

Tasting Notes — 01.27.16 (bottle pour)

Slightly over carbonated with a reddish-brown color and billowy white head.  Nose is reminiscent of minerals and cherry pits with some fruit still left on them.  An initial sharp carbonic bite requires the imbiber to let the brew warm on the tongue where juicy vinous notes are revealed, followed by some light rye spice.  There are some astringent phenolic notes from the French Saison yeast that aren’t unpleasant.  It finishes very dry and akin to mineral water due to the brett., with a slight alcohol note and a faint fruitiness that makes me think of dried fruit leather.

Calculated OG: 1.056
Calculated FG: 1.004
Approx. ABV: 6.83%

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Kaberne Fran Sour Pale Ale

Cab Franc SourIn late September Gregory and I started talking about doing a new sour ale.  Based on the success of his Chenin Blanc grape sour pale and with the annual Mountain Homebrew & Wine Supply grape crush on the horizon, we started discussing brewing a sour to showcase a red wine grape.  Lately I have been gravitating toward the firm tannins and notes of leather, tobacco, pepper and earth found in many French and American Cabernet Francs (if you stumble upon a bottle of Watermill’s 2010 Cab Franc snatch it up, it’s impeccable).  It may come as a surprise to those who know me well (since I’m usually imbibing a beer of some style), but I am also a fan of great wine and worked intensively around Italian wine for three years shortly after I moved to Seattle.  So with little deliberation, we put in our order for 25 Lbs. of eastern Washington Cabernet Franc grapes.

We split the grapes in half and used 12-13 Lbs. in the creation of this sour and we used the remaining grapes in our Kaberne Fran Rye Saison.  This beer is almost two months into an approximately year long process, so check back as I will be updating this post periodically and documenting the progress.  Below is our recipe and process:

Cab Franc GrapesKaberne Fran Sour Pale Ale

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 13.75
Anticipated OG: 1.069
Anticipated SRM: 4.0
Anticipated IBU: 14.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

80% – 11.0 Lbs. Belgian 2-Row Pilsner
07% – 1.0 Lbs. U.S. Vienna
05% – .75 Lbs. U.S. Munich – Dark 20L
07% – 1.0 Lbs. U.S. Wheat

Hops

0.35 oz. Magnum (Pellet, 13.0% AA) @ 90 min.

Extras

1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
12.50 Lbs. Cabernet Franc grapes

Yeast

Wyeast 3763 Roeselare Ale Blend (starter)
Yeast cake from homebrew Framboise (Roeselare + The Lost Abbey Red Poppy bottle dregs)
The Ale Apothecary Rum Barrel & White Peach La Tache bottle dregs

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 tsp Calcium Chloride
1.00 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 60 min @ 155F

Notes

09.29.14 – Made a stir-plate 2L starter with 1 Wyeast 3763 smack pack.  Brewtoad suggests 260 billion cells to ferment 5.5 gal.  Cold crashed and decanted morning of brew day.

Brewed 10.01.14 with Gregory

10.01.14 – Chilled wort to 65F before pitching yeast starter.

10.03.14 –  Steady fermentation and holding steady at 63-65F.

10.18.14 — Transferred to secondary fermentor and added yeast cake from Gregory’s Framboise.

11.19.14 — After 32 days in secondary on the grapes, we transferred to a tertiary fermentor and added the bottle dregs from The Ale Apothecary’s Rum Barrel & White Peach La Tache.

04.??.15 — At some point in April 2015 we pulled a sample and noticed some diacetyl notes present so we pitched the brett slurry from a funky pale ale we brewed with The Yeast Bay’s Funktown Pale blend with the hopes that the brett would clean up the beer.

02.11.16 — Sampled from carboy and happy to note that the brett devoured the diacetyl.  Very sour and big acidity.  Grape juice and cherry notes.  Took final gravity reading, transferred to bottling bucket, added champagne yeast and corn sugar for 2.2 volumes of CO2 and bottled the entire batch.

Tasting Notes — 02.18.17 (bottle pour)

Lovely burnished red-orange color and well clarified.  Perfect spritz of carbonation with a white head that dissipates quickly.  Great horse blanket-funk brettanomyces esters dominate the nose with hints of straw, red fruit, and tobacco in the background.  No diacetyl detected.  Deep red grape juice and cherry notes on the front of the palate with a hint of alcohol.  Delicious, assertive black pepper flavor from the Cab Franc grapes in the middle with a round, velvety acidity and gripping tannins bringing this beer to a drying, leathery finish.  Moderate brettanomyces funk melds with notes of oranges and firm lactic acid tartness akin to citric acid which lingers and dries out with delicate notes of booze.  Very red wine-like!

Calculated OG: 1.074
Calculated FG: 1.006
Approx. ABV: 8.9%