Searching for the line between "hobby" and "obsession"

Chasseur de Bruin

The name of this brew translates to “Hunter of the Bear” in some weird perversion of French mixed with the old term for brown bears in Eurasia, where it was common to bring strong ferocious dogs out on bear hunts. “Bruin” also has it’s ties to a style of beer brewed in the Flemish region of Belgium, Oud Bruin. My latest batch is not intended to be a sour beer like Oud Bruin, as I will not be adding brettanomyces bacteria or letting the beer age for extended periods of time. My intent with this batch was just to create a strong, sweet brown ale fermented with a Belgian yeast strain. It may actually come out most closely resembling a Dubbel.

After searching online for a while, I found this recipe, made a few modifications and here we are:

80% 15 0 Belgian Pale
5% 1 0 Belgian Candy Sugar Amber
5% 1 0 Caramel/Crystal Malt – 120L
5% 1 0 Belgian Aromatic
3% 0 8 Corn, Flaked
1% 0 4 Belgian Special B
0% 0 2 Black (Patent) Malt

Hops: 1.5 oz. Tettnang (80″), 1 oz. Styrian Goldings (45″)
Yeast: WLP500 Trappist Ale
Adjuncts: 1.0 lb. Belgian dark candi sugar (15″)
Other: 3/4th tsp yeast nutrient (13″), 1 tsp Irish Moss (10″)
Pre-boil volume: 7.25 gal – Pre-boil OG: 7 brix (1.030)
Post-boil volume: 6 gal – Post boil OG: 17 brix (1.070)

Did an 80 min. boil out of distraction, but that’s fine as I needed to get the OG up anyway. This recipe had me shooting for 1.100 OG and I really thought I’d hit at least 1.085 with 18 lbs. of grain and a pound of candi. WTF, why am I at 1.070 with that much grain? My efficiency must be pretty horrendous. I’m doing something wrong with the mash. My fly sparging method is now in question. Probably sparged fo 45 min. this time, but I’ve done it slower in the past without greatly increasing my efficiency (on the Rabid IBA brew day, for example). It’ll still come out to be 8-9% ABV, so I’m ok with that I guess. Further investigation and experimentation is warranted here…

Vigorous fermentation began 8-10 hrs. after pitching a 1600 ml yeast started. 1 c light DME and about 5 c water boiled for 15 min., cooled and aerated into beaker through a funnel.

We’re currently dog-sitting my parents’ dog while they’re on vacation. Add our two little dudes along with Cristof’s new puppy and a handful of friends, and it was quite the busy brew day at Barking Dog Brewery! Top it all off with a delicious Alfrenzo pizza from Fat Lorenzo’s, and it’s officially a good time.

The spent, wet grains weighted 32.5 lbs!


3 responses

  1. Pingback: A productive spring « Barking Dog Beer

  2. Pingback: 2011 State Fair Homebrew Competition « Barking Dog Beer

  3. Pingback: Braised chicken in dubbel with leeks « Barking Dog Beer

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