This is my fourth iteration of a bière de garde style ale. Having learned what I like (and don’t like) from the past three versions, I feel confident in this grist, however I am trying a different yeast this batch – WYeast’s bière de garde specific strain, 3725. Previous batches have used WLP515 Antwerp, which worked very well in my opinion, and Imperial’s B51 Workhorse, which didn’t work as well for me.
My first choice of hop is Strisselspalt, but because of spotty availability I have been using Tettnang instead. Tettnang’s flavour profile is well suited to bière de garde and besides, it’s a background role anyway.
Small amounts of rosemary and sage are being added for additional complexity, since this is a fairly “plain” beer. I was fortunate enough to be gifted some of Mecca Grade’s caramel malt, Opal 44, which I am substituting into this recipe in place of Caramunich II.
Brew Date: Aug 6th, 2017
Bottle Date: Sep 2nd, 2017
Batch size: 4.20 gal
Boil Length: 120 minutes
Mash Profile: 145F for 60 min, 155F for 30 min, 170F for 10 min
35% Bohemian Pilsner malt [1.81 kg]
35% Vienna malt [1.81 kg]
12% Munich II malt [1.00 kg]
8% Flaked wheat [0.44 kg]
6% Dextrose [0.33 kg]
4% Caramunich II [0.22 kg]
0.5 oz Cascade at 75 min (14 AAU)
0.5 oz Tettnang at 75 min (7 AAU)
0.5 oz Tettnang at 30 min (4 AAU)
WY3725 – Biere de Garde, 68F pitch temp with free rise to 75F.
Pitch Rate 0.7 B cells / L / Deg Plato
1L starter of 1.040 wort w. shaking [Est. 165B cells]
Pitched at 71F, fermented at 78F ambient.
1/2 tsp CaCl in mash water
1/2 tsp Gypsum in sparge water
2 x 10″ branches of rosemary in mash
5x sage leaves at 10 min left in boil
Brew Day Notes:
What I thought was 3 oz of Tettnang was in fact 1 oz, so the first addition was supplemented with Cascade to get up to target IBUs. Otherwise a pretty seamless brew day. Added sugar early (about 40 min left in boil) in order to see where gravity was at. Forgot to add a Whirfloc tablet. Boiled about 130 mins. Mash took a bit longer than usual to clear up (45 min?) due to low temp. Scooped more protein out of the boil than I usually bother with. Chilled to 71F into 7 gallon Brew Bucket, transfer took about 25 min. Used up the last of my O2, hard to say what got in there but definitely some.
Activity at 12h, never saw really aggressive CO2 activity but remained steady for several days.
The beer turned out well. The photo below is from Nov 23, 2018 – quite some time after brew day. The herb level was pretty spot-on and matched the malt profile pretty well. I would ditch the Caramunich going forward, as I think it was clashing a little with the dry finish of the beer.