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Friday, March 23, 2012

SNB can be CynicAle

Back in Dec
One of the other beers I might donate to SCHF depending on how my latest plan works out is SNB can be CynicAle.  Marshall helped me brew this beer way back in September.  It was based on a Northern Brewer Pro Series Kit for Cynic and was my first full all grain beer.  Instead of using the recommended yeast I subbed in my favorite farmhouse yeast American Farmhouse Blend (White Labs #WLP670) to guide it from saison to farmhouse.

Unfortunately the beer has been on a journey all its own.  When kegged it 4 months ago it had a pretty decent flavor but an odd slickness to it.  Shawn suggested that it might not be done yet and to set it aside for a while, which I did.  I would occasionally taste it and while the slickness seemed to fad the Brettanomyces really started to dominate.  While the exact strain of Brettanomyces used in WLP670 is not released in a beer Daniel did with it he says the flavors that have started to shine through are very reminiscent of Brettanomyces bruxellensis.

The pink foam
When I last checked it, it had turned very dark and almost muddy in clarity - a great departure from when I'd had it back in December while waxing Imperial Rhino Stout 2011. It was also very carbonated, despite not having been hooked up to a CO2 tank in months.  The flavor was completely different and while not bad, I think Daniel used the word interesting when he tasted it, it was missing something. One trick I've seen used here and there to add flavor dimensions to beer is to add fruit and give the yeast additional time to ferment.  I decided why not and asked my wife to pick up a bag of frozen fruit blend from the store.

Improvised blow-off
When I brewed the split batch porter I pulled out the frozen fruit and dropped it into some warm sanitizer. I then grabbed the keg of SNB can be CynicAle out of the cellar to cleaned and sanitize the top.  I also start the process of releasing the pressure from the keg.  Once it was ready opened the top to find a pretty sizable and fully head on the top.  I then dropped in the fruit... The fruit must have released some additional carbonation as about 3 seconds after I dropped it in the head turned pink and started rising out of the keg.  I quickly put the sanitized top back on and cleaned off the surface with some sanitizer.  Knowing that it would be fermenting for a while I fashioned a blow off tube out of a party tap attached to an air quick disconnect and a flask of sanitized water.   It was fun to watch it continue to degas while I continued on the porter.  I'll check in its progress in about a month or two to see it's worthy of representing SNB Brewing in public.



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