And she’s off! I got my latest brew, which I’m calling Ruby Saison, into the fermentor this morning. The recipe is based on the Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby recipe from Graham Wheeler’s Brew Your Own British Real Ale (2009. 3rd edition, p. 103), which I made previously at the start of 2016 under the moniker Feberuby. Jane liked the results of that, even though I had a little glitch with temperature control, which is why it was on my list to try again. The twist here is that I’ve got some ‘Belgian Saison’ yeast (Mangrove Jack’s M27 – I think this has now been replaced in their line by M29 French Saison) so I will be deliberately running this one quite hot.
The original recipe is the highest gravity one I’ve tried, aiming to come in at 1.058 original gravity. However, Belgian beers are often stronger, so I used some Belgian Candi sugar to boost the gravity higher, hitting 1.071 on the reading I took this morning. The yeast should be able to handle that easily. I also made some tweaks to the grain bill, using up my stocks of wheat malt and biscuit malt to replace the crystal malt from the original, and also pushing the overall volume of grain slightly higher. I mashed 1400g pale malt, 220g pale wheat malt and 220g biscuit malt in 10l of water: 30 minutes at about 62°C and then 45 minutes at 66°C (plus the time to move from one temperature to the next), in order to extract a lot of fermentable sugars. I added 9g Fuggles hop pellets and 18g of (rather old) East Kent Goldings along with the sugar (250g) at the start of the 60 minute boil and a further 6g of Fuggles and a generous pinch of Irish Moss at the end.
Now, I just need to watch and wait… and keep that temperature around about 28°C.