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Monday, April 20, 2009

Homebrew (Belgian Grand Cru) via cultured De Dolle yeast

9 bottles - 1 goal

(Taking a quick break from reviewing my "foodie" hobby to throw on some homebrew stuff to those that may find it interesting)

In hopes of recreating De Dolle's Stille Nacht Reserva on a 3 gallon level...

From left to right:
Teve, Teve Reserva '03, Oerbier, Oerbier Reserva '05, Oerbier Reserva '06, Stille Nacht '05, Stille Nacht '06, Stille Nacht '08, Stille Nacht Reserva '05

Below, the Teve had some foam from shaking the bottle a bit before taking the picture. The Teve Reserva had a tiny pellicle formation from the brettanomyces and bacteria cultures.

While the Oerbier had the most potent, and active fermentation among the 9 bottles, the Oerbier Reservas developed a thick pellicle atop their liquid surface.

The Stille Nacht '08 kicked off quicker than any of the Stille Nacht bottles but the '06 soon found some life in the bottles, as did the '05, albeit only a little bit and certainly a late bloomer.

Below, you can see a pellicle development atop the Stille Nacht Reserva bottle.
I made a very big, sugary starter from Liquid Malt Extract, Dried Pils Malt Extract, a little bit of honey, a touch of natural apple juice, and some yeast nutrient. Big, indeed...over 1.100 OG.

The regular(non-Reservas) went into 1 growler. The Reservas went into another. Primary fermentation will be done with the regular mix. For Secondary (aging), I will add the Reserva mix, along with 2.5 ounces of medium toasted French Oak chips that have been soaking in a Cabernet/Merlot mix since early December of 2008. Secondary will last at least 1 year before bottling.

28 hours after adding the active cultures to the sugary yeast starter (nevermind my daughter watching A Bug's Life in the background)...

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