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Homebrew #4: Antithesis

by Rob Friesel

Homebrew #4 was also as “The Misled Brewing Co-op” (thus with my friend Adam) and we brewed up Antithesis, a saison du vin:1

Antithesis

This is another kit that Adam had picked out from NorthernBrewer.com, primarily based on how unusual it sounded. Since my total investment here was in the equipment I already had, I said: “Sure thing dude, let’s go for it.”

Boy am I glad we did.

A straightforward (looking) saison recipe with New Zealand hops…

NZ Nelson Sauvin #homebrewing

…and Sauvignon Blanc must…

stirring in the sauvignon blanc extract

…well, that gave us a complex base to start with.

What we noticed — sort of last minute — was that our target original gravity was somewhere in the vicinity of 1.066. The kit’s instructions called for a yeast starter, which was a piece of gear not in our possession. We made an executive decision and decided to just pitch a double dose of the yeast we had.2

Pitching a double dose of Belle Saison. #homebrewing

The rest was a matter of patience. Two-ish weeks in primary. Then racked for two-ish weeks in secondary.

Saison du Vin racked and ready for secondary. #homebrewing

And then two weeks to bottle condition for that first sample…

However you want to cut it, it was worth it, and a rousing success. We wound up with a saison du vin that has some complex, semi-tart flavors, and an ABV right around 7.35% by our reckoning. We’re both delighted with the flavor here, and are kind of curious what it will taste like after three months… six months… a year. We’ll see, we’ll see — but in the meantime, I’m hoping my willpower will be strong enough to let those couple of set-aside bottles last that long.

Details

Antithesis, a saison du vin by Misled Brewing Co-op

Original Gravity 1.066 (16.1%Br)3
Final Gravity 1.010 (7.95%Br)
ABV 7.35%4
Attenuation 84.85%5
IBU 25.8
SRM 3.86
Links Untappd
Flickr
NorthernBrewer.com
  1. This being the name and the style indicated in the extract kit’s recipe, and on the NorthernBrewer.com site. It seemed like a good enough name that we didn’t feel compelled to get creative here. []
  2. Granted: this was a trip to the homebrew supply story anyway and/but/so we could have just grabbed what we needed for the yeast starter. But this would have pushed us back a day and (logistics being what they were) this wouldn’t have worked out as well. []
  3. Full disclosure: the % Brix here is us reverse estimating it from the hydrometer’s gravity reading at the beginning there. []
  4. We calculated a range here between 7.14% and/or 7.35% ABV — again, this being the first brew where we used the refractometer in addition to the hydrometer, and so there’s some learning and guess work happening here. One thing going on here is that we don’t know the wort refraction index (WRI) for this particular refractometer, and also that we didn’t get the final gravity reading until after we’d mixed in the priming sugar (oops!) — BUT the five readings that we took were all the same, right on the nose, so let’s just go with 7.35%. []
  5. Similar notes here as with the ABV estimate: we’re working with a brand new refractometer and we don’t know the WRI &c. And/but/so: taking those readings in good faith, and knowing what we know about this yeast strain, it does seem a bit on the high side, but I don’t think it’s unreasonably high. []

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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