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General Category => Beer Recipes => Topic started by: unclebrazzie on March 06, 2015, 02:44:58 PM

Title: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: unclebrazzie on March 06, 2015, 02:44:58 PM
Got a bottle of re-used Wyeast 3711 French Saison in the fridge since laste January which I'd like to stretch its legs for a while before it grows old and grumpy.

SG 1.050
20 liters, est. 5.3% ABV
25 IBU calc.
13EBC exp.

4.1 kg Pale (90%)
  .5 kg flaked wheat (10%)

Single step infusion mash @ 65°C (149F) for 60' or until converted.

70' boil.

40g Centennial @ t-10' (20IBU)
40g Centennial @ t-5'  (  5IBU)
40g Centennial @ t      (whirlpool)

50g dried hibiscus flowers @ t-10'
20g home made candied ginger in secondary: chopped ginger, boiled and coated in sugar.
possibly add more hibiscus in the form of tea when bottling

Cool to 20°C, pitch starter made with reused yeast cake of Wyeast 3711.
Ferment warm (28°C-82F or higher) for 2-3 weeks or until done.
Rack to secondary onto the ginger. Leave for at least a week or until ginger is just slightly too much.
Rack off and bottle with sugar; aim for 2.5 volumes. If necessary, add hibiscus tea or macerate to bottling bucket to amp the flavour/colour.

Whatchafank?

Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: reverseapachemaster on March 06, 2015, 04:45:02 PM
I'm not a particular fan of too much floral character in beer, too much ginger, or too much centennial, so this would not be a beer I would find myself brewing. I've had some beers with hibiscus and it works well in a saison but it is easily overdone for my preferences.

I've only seen people add candied ginger at the end of the boil. I'm not sure if it needs heat to dissolve some of the sugar to release more of the flavor but that is something I would look at.
Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 06, 2015, 04:47:55 PM
Yeah, I've used hibiscus in a saison, too, and while a small amount for color and extra tartness was good (to me), it can get overdone.  Never used ginger in a beer.
Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: morticaixavier on March 06, 2015, 04:57:24 PM
I say go for it. if it's over the top next time dial it down. the ginger if fine. candied is much milder than fresh. I dont know that I would boil the hibiscus though. I'd add it at flameout.
Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 06, 2015, 05:02:20 PM
FWIW, I did with the hibiscus more or less what I do with cider -  backflavoring.  I dosed a pint of saison with a homemade steeped 'hibiscus tea' until I liked the amount and then scaled up in the keg with the tea. No guesswork.

EDIT -  I bought a bag of dried hibiscus ( jamaica) flowers online and steeped them in hot water, making a pretty strong tea, to keep the water addition to a minimum. I think they were these :

http://www.amazon.com/Hibiscus-De-El-Sol-Mexico/dp/B0000GKV6C
Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: troybinso on March 06, 2015, 05:32:34 PM
I did something similar with the hibiscus. I made a very strong tea with the dried flowers and I put some sugar in as well. Racked the saison on top of the tea in the secondary. I was really pleased with it.
Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: duboman on March 06, 2015, 05:54:45 PM
Never used ginger but I use Hibiscus in a Saison and a Gose, the flowers go in at flame out and steep like a hop stand. The results are great, nice floral notes and color contribution. The floral aroma will fade a bit. I used the bag from Jamaica as well, about 2/3rds IIRC.
Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: erockrph on March 06, 2015, 05:57:31 PM
I use hibiscus in the secondary (without making a tea) and I get plenty of character and color out of it there. I think there is a lot of variability between different brands, but I find that 2/3 ounce per gallon (which would be about 100g in a 20L batch) gives me a nice pink color and enough hibiscus character without being overwhelming.
Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 06, 2015, 05:58:26 PM
Never used ginger but I use Hibiscus in a Saison and a Gose, the flowers go in at flame out and steep like a hop stand. The results are great, nice floral notes and color contribution. The floral aroma will fade a bit. I used the bag from Jamaica as well, about 2/3rds IIRC.

Did you use the whole bag, Gary? I'd thought of doing that, too, but wasn't sure how much flavor it would bring.
Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: duboman on March 06, 2015, 06:45:21 PM
Never used ginger but I use Hibiscus in a Saison and a Gose, the flowers go in at flame out and steep like a hop stand. The results are great, nice floral notes and color contribution. The floral aroma will fade a bit. I used the bag from Jamaica as well, about 2/3rds IIRC.

Did you use the whole bag, Gary? I'd thought of doing that, too, but wasn't sure how much flavor it would bring.

Hey Jon,
No, I used 45 grams which if I remember was a bit less than the entire bag. They steeped for about 30 minutes before I began chilling. This is reminding me to order some more so I can get my Gose on for the warmer weather which I hope is coming soon!
Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: unclebrazzie on March 09, 2015, 10:46:40 AM
Yeah, I hear tea would work better than boiling or even "hopstand" timing.
I think I'll decide when I get to brewing, which is scheduled for next Sunday.

Candied ginger will likely become fresh ginger seeing as how I probably won't have time to candy some.

Any thoughts on the "only late" hopping schedule? While I want the beer to be hoppy to a certain extent, I don't want it to become a farmhouse IPA either.
My Citra saison seems to be about hoppy enough and was hopped thusly (comparable stats otherwise):
70' boil.
0.5 ounces of Citra @70' (26 IBU)
1.0 ounces of Citra @ 10' (6 IBU)
1.5 ounces of Citra @ flameout (0 IBU)

The main difference being the omission of early hops, in favour of late. Which was just an idea, really.
Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: duboman on March 09, 2015, 12:01:16 PM
IMO, if you plan on using the Hibiscus, dry hopping would offer competition to the floral aroma and might not compliment. I'd opt for one or the other, not both
Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: unclebrazzie on March 15, 2015, 08:42:58 PM
It's done.
Swapped the flameout/hop stand addition for 30g during mash.
Boiled 30g of dried hibiscus flowers during the last 5', together with the peel of a lemon and the peel of an orange. Dirty pink color, which I'll prolly end up boosting with more hibiscus tea later.
Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: unclebrazzie on April 21, 2015, 01:46:27 PM
Update.
Bottling tonight if all goes well, tomorrow if it doesn't.

I prepared a strong and intensely red tea from 80g of dried hibiscus flowers. It's tart bordering on acidic and will boost both color and flavour of the beer, rendering it more tart that it is now.
Once I get the color and hibisucus level right, I'll pimp it with fresh ginger juice: fruity/spiciness adna bit of fire. Then into the bottle it goes.

Priming to 2.5 volumes (108g of sugar in 20 liters) to which I may add the zest of an orange as I dissolve it in a bit of boiling water just prior to bottling.
Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: unclebrazzie on April 22, 2015, 07:43:44 PM
It is done.

Bottled 16 liters, blended with half a liter of very concentrated hibiscus tea (200g of dried flowers), juice of a freshly squeezed big (hand-sized) ginger root, zest of one orange, and sugar calculated to yield 2.45 volumes of CO2.
Light tartness from the hibiscus, as well as deep pink, light red color.
Refreshing but fiery ginger pairs well, ad gives it a lemonadey touch without becoming wimpy.

Looking forward to seeing how this will turn out.
Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: unclebrazzie on May 04, 2015, 09:38:48 AM
Update. Because honesty compels, dammit.

Beer's fully carbed now and I had a taste the other day.

Two things.

Some of the bottles have a s***load of debris in them. First time that's ever happened to me, and I put it down to
 a) ginger pulp
 b) orange zest
 c) which I should have made sure would not end up in the bottling bucket

Most bottles are unaffected so yay.

However...ginger contains a lot of essential oils, it seems. Plus, it acts as a degreasing agent (which si why you'll find it accompanying fatty fish and oriental dishes so often).
In other words: it kills any head retention of the beer, making my beer look like Marie Antoinette in many ways: red and headless. But, thankfully, not dead.

So I've a carbed (almost spritzy) red saison with plenty of ginger flavours (but none of the heat). And no head.
I think I'll call it a radler to avoid the disappointment that often accompanies preconceptional expectation.

That being said, this was a fun beer to brew, and it's taught me a few things about adding ingredients and blending.
Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: unclebrazzie on May 29, 2015, 09:12:43 AM
More updates: this beer got me Honourable Mentions at the Leuven Innovation Beer Festival last weekend.
Jury notes are due someday soon, I was told, but I talked to a couple of brewer-jurymen and the general consensus seemed to be that it was definitely the most innovative beer of the competition, but didn't take prizes because of balance issues. I can relate.

That being said: I've not yet come across anyone who said they didn't like it. No one's going for seconds, but overall, whoever gets a taste seems to be in favour of the whole idea.

I think it needs a better hibiscus/ginger balance. Now, all the hibiscus seems to do is contribute flavour and thin the body, with the ginger hogging all the limelight. I'm wondering if maybe Belle Saison wouldn't be better for this type of brew; I think it's fruitier than 3711. OTOH, I think Belle Saison needs a LOT of time to mellow out. Young and raw, I think it's pretty vile. 3711 seems to be more forgiving to being consumed young but in this beer, maybe it's too much of a distraction.

Definitely going back to this recipe at a later time.
Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: HoosierBrew on May 29, 2015, 12:03:16 PM
More updates: this beer got me Honourable Mentions at the Leuven Innovation Beer Festival last weekend.
Jury notes are due someday soon, I was told, but I talked to a couple of brewer-jurymen and the general consensus seemed to be that it was definitely the most innovative beer of the competition, but didn't take prizes because of balance issues. I can relate.

That being said: I've not yet come across anyone who said they didn't like it. No one's going for seconds, but overall, whoever gets a taste seems to be in favour of the whole idea.

I think it needs a better hibiscus/ginger balance. Now, all the hibiscus seems to do is contribute flavour and thin the body, with the ginger hogging all the limelight. I'm wondering if maybe Belle Saison wouldn't be better for this type of brew; I think it's fruitier than 3711. OTOH, I think Belle Saison needs a LOT of time to mellow out. Young and raw, I think it's pretty vile. 3711 seems to be more forgiving to being consumed young but in this beer, maybe it's too much of a distraction.

Definitely going back to this recipe at a later time.

Sounds like you did a nice job ! Before making other changes I would just back off on the ginger a bit, since it tended to dominate.
Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: unclebrazzie on May 29, 2015, 12:09:11 PM
Before making other changes I would just back off on the ginger a bit, since it tended to dominate.

Thing is, I think it could use even more ginger, provided there's something to prop it up. The ginger provides a soda-drink character which is quite refreshing, but perhaps not complex enough to make the beer really shine. More Hibiscus would provide more zip, more tartness, which would freshen up the ginger. Also, the ginger isn't hot, not the way eating a piece of ginger is. Perhaps I should have used candied ginger after all...

I think the balancing act here is not so much one of toning down, but more of getting percentages right. The idea that the beer tastes like half-beer-half-ginger-soda is, I think, what set it apart.
Title: Re: Hibiscus - ginger saison
Post by: HoosierBrew on May 29, 2015, 12:10:57 PM
Before making other changes I would just back off on the ginger a bit, since it tended to dominate.

Thing is, I think it could use even more ginger, provided there's something to prop it up. The ginger provides a soda-drink character which is quite refreshing, but perhaps not complex enough to make the beer really shine. More Hibiscus would provide more zip, more tartness, which would freshen up the ginger. Also, the ginger isn't hot, not the way eating a piece of ginger is. Perhaps I should have used candied ginger after all...

I think the balancing act here is not so much one of toning down, but more of getting percentages right. The idea that the beer tastes like half-beer-half-ginger-soda is, I think, what set it apart.

Gotcha. Yeah, hibiscus definitely brings a nice tartness. Nice color, too.