One thing I did garner from the judges sheets was this beer could be a bit darker, with some richer, more complex malt flavours and aroma. To take it in this direction I moved away from Jamil Zainasheff's lighter recipe that had been my starting point and towards Randy Mosher's darker, richer and predictably somewhat zanier beer. Instead of just using a pilsner base I substituted in some vienna malt for complexity and sweetness, upped the caramunich slightly, added some aromatic malt, and for an added touch I put in a spot of Indian jaggery.
|Splitting the batch...
After a few days, I tasted the beers, and was surprised to be thus far more impressed with the uncontrolled version, which had a bolder and more complex flavour, while the controlled version seemed a little bland at this stage. I expected the first to be too fruity, but so far that doesn't seem the case, however there is still plenty of time for the flavours to change.
After tasting I transferred the beers to secondary, splitting the controlled version into two separate carboys. One carboy I took out of the chamber, and the other went in with the temperature cranked up to 25 C. I was looking forward to seeing how the yeast would react to this change, hopefully spitting out some more intense character in the warmed beer. Unfortunately, the effect could be fairly limited as the large starter I made for this beer fermented faster than expected and the beers were close to final gravity by the time they were transferred. One day earlier would have been perfect, but you can't get everything right.
Ingredients: Belgian pilsner malt, local vienna malt, aromatic malt, caramunich 60, biscuit malt, jaggery, East Kent golding hops, Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes
|One in the chamber...
|... and two in the closet