In one of our ongoing homebrewing threads I mentioned I had a wild idea to try and I would post details in the future. Well, that time has come.
Remember that old beer slogan, “The champagne of beers”? Years ago I found myself wondering what would the REAL champagne of beers taste like? I imagined it as a Standard American lager, but at champgagne strength. Or, if you prefer, a light-colored and bodied sparkling barley wine.
So I finally decided to attempt it. My homebrewing career has been pretty eclectic, I have never gotten into the full mash thing but I really enjoy using unusual ingredients like honey, molasses and maple syrup as well as different types of fruit and stuff, and also diferent yeast strains.
So here, then, is the extract recipe for Beerpagne that I started last night:
10 lbs Munton’s Extra Light unhopped malt extract
2 lbs rice syrup solids
3 oz. Cascade hops (boiling)
Boiled for 90 minutes in 4+ gallons of water,
An additional 1.5 oz. Cascade for 15 more minutes
Cooled to about 110 F, moved to glass fermenter
Brought up to 5 gallons and added 10g Red Star Pasteur champagne yeast (I often do a starter but for the sake of convenience I just pitched two packets of dried yeast this time.)
Notes: Fermentation was going full blast 9 hours later. At the end of the boil wort tasted rather bitter (I generally like bitter beers, and since this one is probably going to age awhile I wanted the hops character to hold up). Looks like it might end up darker than I would ideally hope but I have been foolded before.
I will rack it to a glass secondary fermenter when the time comes then move it to the basement for several months. I had considered doing a two-stage fermentation, first with an American lager yeast and then adding the champagne yeast at the end but decided to keep it simple this time. (I finally have a second refrigerator available though so I can lager anytime I want).