Life’s been unpredictable lately, so I’ve been slacking with the posts. Let’s get caught up.
Finally bottled the Belgian Saison on Saturday. Pretty uneventful. Used 5 oz of cane sugar aiming for 2.75 CO2 volumes level of carbonation. Typically for my ales I aim for 2.25-2.5 volumes. I would have tried for even higher, but regular 12 oz beer bottles aren’t really intended to handle anything over 3 volumes, and 3 might be pushing it. Plus, if the bottles have been refilled many times, the cleaning and heat applied (the heat dry setting on the dishwasher helps sanitize the bottles prior to filling and capping) could weaken the glass over time. Don’t need any “bottle bombs” exploding and sending beer and glass all over.
I was sure to go through my bottle stash and use as many “new” bottles as possible. New meaning they still had labels and were never reused, only filled once by a commercial brewery and consumed by moi. Felt a little better knowing they hadn’t gone through the dishwasher multiple times as I was aiming higher than normal on the carbonation level. Also, the 4 or 5 22 oz bomber bottles I had were used. I had gotten away from bombers as by the time you tip it to pour the second glass, you’ve already disturbed the sediment and it’s more likely to be mixed back into the beer for glass #2. However, with this Belgian Saison, I don’t think the yeast will offer a negative impact if it gets mixed in (like a German Hefe, which is purposefully NOT filtered commercially as the yeast is part of the beer’s flavor profile). Wish I hadn’t recylced all the 22 oz bottle I originally had started keeping several months ago. So, I filled 4 bombers, plus one 16 oz bottle (Maine Brewing uses this odd sized bottle).
The Saison was in the secondary longer than I intended (2 weeks), but getting around to bottling just took a while. 10 days in the primary, 14 in the secondary. 6.7% abv thanks to the pound of cane sugar added late in the boil. 2 lb of rye in the grain bill. Can’t wait to try this in a few weeks. Should need 2 weeks to carb up, then I’ll start chilling and tasting.