Sunday, March 13, 2011

Releasing the Légion!

Well Today has been 14 days in primary for my legendary (in my own mind at least) Je Suis Légion Soured Saison. I had to pitch my Belgian sour mix before there wasn't anything left in solution for the brett to work on, so today was the day. I went and got my 5 gallon glass carboy and filled it with iodophor solution, and the ale pail full of this sweet nectar, and while enjoying a glass of my house pale ale prepared everything for the big inoculation. I cracked open the ale pail and took a deep smell of the beer. Wow. It smelled tart, a little horsey, a hint of caramel baked bread. Looking down into the fermentor it looked pretty dark, but I know from experience that this view is deceiving. Once I started racking and saw the color in the racking cane I was really impressed. Beer in a glass is generally about 25% darker than what you see in a racking cane, but look at how straw yellow I was able to get this. That is the exact color I was going for at about 6 SRM.
I can't wait to see what this is going to look like in a glass. In the image above you see my glass of House Pale on the right. Beer Smith predicted 7 SRM on that and it looks more like a 10-12 to me, so I hope this one stays this brightness and clarity in order to keep true to the design.
I had taken 2 vials of my White Labs Belgian Sour Mix out of the fridge earlier in
the day and left them out to warm up. When I cracked these things open, omg... the smell can ONLY be described as the dirtiest of diapers mixed with rotten feet. They were so effervescent that the first one got on my hand, ugh, and the other took over 5 minutes to finally open all the way without a blowout.
I poured them both into the carboy with the Saison and swirled it around slightly as to not oxidize my beer. I wanted to gradually bring this thing up to 95 degrees over the next few days to really give the bugs a boost, and not having any fancy equipment capable of doing this I figured I would wrap the carboy in a flannel jacket, sit it next to a heat vent, every day covering more of the vent with the jacket to trap the heat under there. The heat from this vent comes out at 115F, I should be able to get it up near 95F with the jacket completely covering the vent (I hope). So that's where we're at with this one, over the next week or 2 I'll be looking for new airlock activity and development of a pellicle on the surface. When I see these signs I'll post again to document timeline of development. Stay tuned, this one is going to be great!

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