Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Oktoberfest vs. Biere de Garde

Just finished transferring the two beers made from the Fest wort. The O-fest is down around 5.5P. The BdG is still up at 10P. Either may seem a little high but I'm not worried. At this point in the program the O-fest will come out of the chillbox into the mid 60Fs for a diacetyl rest through the weekend or so. I'm pretty confident I can expect a drop of at least 1.5P. Top end of the range for Terminal Gravity but I'm fine with that. I like a firm sweetness in a finished beer as long as it's clean and attenuated. There's a big difference between a well attenuated beer with a higher TG and a less well attenuated beer with a higher TG. The former can be full bodied, luscious and smooth. The later can be oversweet and taste like canned fruit. Now the BdG on the other hand is interesting. Gravity is still quite high but the beer is sound. Except for some flavor compounds I expect to clean up as the ferment progresses there are no significant off-flavors. The very slightest hint of both green apple and diacetyl but no spoilage apparent. The ferment so far has been on the cool side but stable, I'll warm it up a little and see how it progresses. One thing I've thought of though; this is an authentic French BdG strain. The other yeast strain from the Farmhouse beer region that I've used (the Wyeast Saison) takes a looong time to reach TG. I wonder if this strain will end up sharing that characteristic. I'll zap it in two weeks with the 'thief and check the gravity. We'll have a better idea then. I'll need to make an effort for the lowest TG possible with this beer maybe pitching more yeast. Since it'll be bottle conditioning I'd like to avoid any untoward complications (like exploding bottles or geysers of finished beer).

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