Category Archives: French

Biere de Garde 1

Yet another new beer style for me.  I am a member of the Rare Beer Club (thanks to my wife!) and they seem to really like Biere De Garde since a few have come from them.  Also, while studying for my BJCP exam I made sure to get some legit examples (ie French) and have had Jenlain on multiple occasions.  So, I’m fairly familiar.  To me, the BJCP describes it basically as a big malty lager-esque beer that finishes nice and dry.  This seems to jive pretty well with the examples I’ve had although there are some intangibles there that get get lost in that description.   BdG is not a Doppelbock that finishes really dry.  There is a earthy/funky note that is subtle but very nice.
I re-read Brewing Classic Styles and listened to the Brew Strong episode covering BdG and wasn’t particularly inspired although I do like Jamil’s thoughts on Fuggles earthy quality so incorporated that.  I also re-read Farmhouse Ales which is extremely helpful and definitely gives the best information on this style that I could find.  That said, I didn’t find the recipes in the book all that intriguing.  They are either way too simple or way too complex and I wanted to shoot for the middle ground.  So, I just took the info from the BJCP and Farmhouse Ales and Commercial examples and took a stab at it with my own recipe.  Living dangerously!
I wanted a nice toasty, bready backbone without coming across like a Dunkel so I used Maris Otter for the bulk of the base grain (toasty) and Munich I (lightly bready).  I also wanted a nice caramel note and a nice dry finish so I thought I’d try some D-45 Belgian Candy sugar.  I really like the D-90 but it has a raisin quality to it that would be totally inappropriate.  D-45 is supposed to have a straight caramel flavor.  Fingers crossed.  Also, the sugar should help dry the beer out.  Lastly for the grain, I used some Carafa Special I to color it up a bit and Acidulated malt to get the pH right.  For the hops I used Fuggle as mentioned above to try and impart a nice earthy quality that I think really works with this beer.  For yeast, I harvest German Ale (Alt yeast) from my last beer so pitched that since it gives a very clean, lager like character but with some other nice very subtle ester character that I’m hoping will work well.

Biere de Garde 1
16-D Bière de Garde
Date: 4/1/14

Size: 7.5 gal
Efficiency: 80.0%
Attenuation: 82.0%

Original Gravity: 1.071 (1.060 – 1.080)
Terminal Gravity: 1.013 (1.008 – 1.016)
Color: 15.87 (6.0 – 19.0)
Alcohol: 7.65% (6.0% – 8.5%)
Bitterness: 24.4 (18.0 – 28.0)

Ingredients:
10 lb (57.1%) Maris Otter – added during mash
5 lb (28.6%) Munich TYPE I – added during mash
.25 lb (1.4%) Carafa Special® TYPE I – added during mash
4 oz (1.4%) Acidulated Malt – added during mash
2 lb (11.4%) Candi Sugar D-45 – added during mash
2 oz (66.7%) Fuggle (4.8%) – added during boil, boiled 60 m
1 tsp Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) – added during boil, boiled 15 m
1 oz (33.3%) Fuggle (4.8%) – added during boil, boiled 15.0 m
1 ea Wyeast 1007 German Ale™

Notes
mash salts:
1.1g Gypsum
2.8g CC

sparge salts:
2g Gypsum
5g CC

acidify sparge to below 5.8 (~10ml of 10% phosphoric in 10G of water)

should give mash pH of 5.4

15.5 lb of grain
1.5 qt/lb = 23.25 quarts = 5.8125 gallons
mash @ 151
mash in water temp 161.3 so 162 into mash tun

pitch @ 58 and ramp to 60 over first 48 hours > hold for a total of 3 weeks minimum.  rack to keg and drop 2 degrees a day to 40 then put in lagering fridge @35 and lager for 6 weeks.  rack to clean keg and force carb to 3.0 volumes or bottle condition at 3 (~6 oz  200 grams of corn sugar for 5 gallons).

BrewDay notes:
Fairly normal brewday.  Yeast was ~250ml repitch of thick slurry from NG_Alt_1.  Mash temp was off again.  Was targeting 151 but hit 154.  I’ve just been going with the thermometer in my HLT so I’ll make a point of checking the water in the mash tun before doughing in.  It has been super hot so I think it is probably just that.  Batch sparge was a bit low but that is mostly b/c I was gun shy after my last brew.  I need to be better about precalculating what my mash out water temp should be ahead of time.  Efficiency was right on after mash but the D-45 had less fermentables than I had thought (even though it is right on the label – duh!!!).  So, I went from a 60min to 90min boil and hit my OG right on.  I did use yeast nutrient in the boil since it is a repitch.

7/21/14 @ 1:30 pitched at 58F so set Brewpi to right to 60F over 24 hours
10pm thin kreusen and nice bubbling
7/22/14 @ 8am nice 1 inch kreusen and strong steady bubbling
7/23 @ 8am 2 inch kreusen and really cranking
7/24 @ 8am still big kreusen and a bit of blowoff in the tube but starting to slow a bit
7/25 @ 8am steady bubbling every 1 sec but has slowed down since yesterday
7/26 @ 8am started rise from 60-65 over 5 days.  slow steady @ ~ 4 sec
8/11 no activity for over a week and dropped fairly clear although yeast is dusty.  moving the carboy really unsettled the yeast.  transferred to keg and started 2 degree + F drop per day to 40 F
8/18 due to some lagering fridge space issues keeping in ferment chamber for extra week and dropping 2F a day to 35.  got about 1.5L sample when racked to keg which I carbed and tried.  let sit for the last week so had dropped pretty clear.  very malty nose.  rich breadcrust and toast.  faint caramel.  noticeable earthy hop aroma -> med-low.  maybe a bit higher than I would want but should drop with lagering.  similar flavor.  rich malt with bready and toasty dominant but nice caramel edge.  very clean.  very dry.  an alcohol note that should fade with lagering.  all in all, very happy with it but need to sit down with some commerical examples and compare.  forgot to test beer after transferring to fermenter so degassed this sample so reading may be off.  FG: 1.016.  pH 4.65 (a bit high).