Thursday, September 13, 2007

On tap: Saison d'etre

In the past month, I've made the decision to leave my freelance existence behind and give corporate life a whirl. I'm really excited about it, but all the interviewing and thinking it over and tying up of loose ends has left little room in my head for blogging or beer.

But if you could just taste what I've got on tap--the self-same saison, or Belgian farmhouse ale I cooked up with that groovy heat-loving yeast--you'd have figured out weeks ago that there must be some huge topsy-turvy something going on, or else I'd surely be bragging about it.

Quite simply, my Saison d'etre is perfect. Thanks to two-stage fermentation, it's crystal clear and deliriously amber in color; thanks to that yeast, it's complex and peppery and fruity but still dry. Saison d'etre is also quite boozy, th'usband has pointed out, though exactly how boozy I couldn't say...I only just this week got a hydrometer. Maybe 6%-7%. I might mellow it out a little bit next time to make it a lighter, more summery beer, but for now, I'm glad for anything that keeps us from swilling it down too quickly. I've just learned that my three Brewing Uncles are paying me a collective visit in a couple of weeks, and I'd love to have some left for them to try.

What's more likely is that we'll polish it off before then, and be down to what's been a rather disappointing batch of chili beer. I modeled it on a crisp and frisky brew I'd tried last summer in Fort Collins, CO, but while mine has some appreciable heat, there's really not enough beer behind it to make that interesting. I began scrambling around last week for ingredients for a new, more conventional seasonal beer, but wound up with a kit containing liquid yeast that is taking forever--2 days and counting--to reanimate. Even if I am able to brew tomorrow, the resulting beer will still be too young to drink by the time they get here.

Ah, well. Here's a picture to remember her by.

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