Monday, 5 June 2017

VPC2017: The Honourable Lady Aveline's Biere de Mars (Beer for March)

THL Aveline submits this brewing entry - a beer in the style of a Biere de Garde, or, Beer for Keeping for the category With The Grain. 

She says: 

A Biere de Garde is a traditional northern French beer style, with a dry, malty, spicy flavour and high alcohol content to act as the preservative, so that the beer may be drunk during the warmer months of the year when the farm is busy with its regular chores. There are many different recipes for this beer, but the key factors tying them together are:

- A variety of grains might be used, in a relaxed, 'What I have I got in the cupboard?' fashion. This particular brew uses a combination of flaked, unmalted barley, 'Special B' dark malt barley, and liquid Pilsner malt (a light malt and I was cheating by using this).

-  A top fermenting, low temperature ferment yeast such as Wyeast 'Farmhouse Ale' which was used in the brew. A 'saison' style yeast would also be suitable.

This brew is not quite true to the traditional Biere de Garde brewing method, which should be using only the pale malt (not toasted much) and it should be boiled for a long time, 6-9 hours according to some of what I've been reading, in order to produce caramelisation of the sugars within the wort (pre-beer liquid) instead of by using exta-toasty malt as I have done. At present, I don't have the facilities to keep a brew at boiling temperature for this long, which is a pity as I expect this would produce a softer malty/caramel flavour than this beer is likely to have.

The beer is now starting its ferment, and will be bottled as soon as that is complete and then cold cellared under my house until September (early spring). Alternately, I could have siphoned it to a secondary container and stored the bulk brew under the house for that time before bottling it, which would be more traditional, unfortunately I cannot spare the storage to do this at this time.


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