Wow, that title sounds too serous…. Forget the title, lets talk Bière de Garde!
So I was thinking about food (obviously), and my mind wondered to Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving could use some special brew. Nothing makes me think of celebration more than cork and caged bottles of something special. Bière de Garde! The original recipe idea for this was closer to an abby dubbel, but you know how things can go off the tracks. The Recipe!
Bière de Garde
Batch Size: 4 Gal.
OG – 1.077
FG – 1.008 (That 87% attenuation! More on this later)
ABV – 9% (A touch more than originally intended)
63% – Weyerman Floor Malted Pilsner Malt
35% – Great Western Munich Malt (I estimate around 15°L)
2% – Carafa II
Mashed at what I thought was 150°F, but while brewing I ran some calibrations on my equipment (remember I haven’t brewed beer for a while) and found after mashout that it was more like a 145°F single saccharification rest, thankfully I let it run for 100 minutes or I probably would have had efficiency issues…. oh well, it’s highly ferment-able!
20 IBUs worth of beautiful whole cone Saaz
I still had quite a few packs of Safale T-58 in the old fridge. They were old, but they worked like a champ!
Weeks in the future-
It has fermented and half is in cork and cage bottles. Why only half you ask? Because the other half is going into a 3 gallon carboy with somewhere in the neighborhood of 9 lbs of bittersweet pie cherries from the tree at the brew-shop.
They’ve been in the freezer for a year now (maybe two if we’re honest), time to use ’em!
I’ll bottle this half in maybe a month away from cherry addition, we’ll see. If the straight Bière de Garde is for Thanksgiving me thinks the cherried half will be for Christmas. Merry x-mas to me.