Friday, 22 August 2014

Tasting Notes: Lochristi Grisette

Inspired by this excellent write up at Ale of the Riverwards, I thought I'd come back to one of the beers I hadn't written about from my first order from The Yeast Bay.  It is a grisette fermented with Wyeast 3522, with half a vial of the Lochristi blend added in secondary; I also added some oak cubes that were fresh from a beer fermented with lactobacillus and White Labs brett trois.

I called it a Grisette for no better reason than that it had a high percentage of wheat and oats (see recipe below).  This ended up giving the beer a slightly creamy body that I'm not too keen on, which is exacerbated by the low carbonation and light hopping. I deliberately aimed for this low carbonation, expecting the brettanomyces to eat through the last remaining gravity points---but there's been little change since bottling. Its developed a light but definite tartness during secondary, which might mean that some lactobacillus survived on the oak cubes---though this could also be from the brettanomyces, since the website blurb says it can "impart a pleasant acidity over time".

The blend itself doesn't really shine in this beer, but I think that's a problem with the recipe more than anything else.  The second beer I fermented with this blend was a golden sour.  I transferred this onto 3 lbs of peaches a few weeks ago, at which point it had a similar flavour profile to this beer, but with more sourness and funk to back it up.  Hopefully the peaches will elevate it further.

Appearance: Hazy golden colour.  Head dissipates to a thin cap leaving some lacing.

Smell: There's a distinctive aroma profile I've found in both beers brewed with this blend, but its hard to find words to describe it beyond generic descriptions like "fruity".  The blurb on the website mentions strawberries, and I think I can see that, but to me its more of a green unripe strawberry than a luscious fresh berry.  There's perhaps some yellow citrus fruit too, and as I swirl up the glass I get more musty and earthy funk beneath the fruit.

Taste: Lightly sour, slightly lemony, and maybe a touch of orange peel.  Its comes together nicely, but its hard to pick out individual flavours.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is low, and the mouthfeel fairly creamy.  For me, this detracts from the beer: I think if it were more spritzy it would be very refreshing, and the flavours might pop out more.

Drinkability & Notes: Not a bad beer by any means, but not particularly memorable either.  The contribution from the Lochristi blend is pleasant but subtle, and not enough to carry the beer by itself.  The light lactic tartness helps, but really it needs higher carbonation and maybe a dry hop to liven it up a bit.


Measured O.G.1.041
Measured F.G.1.002
64% 2-Row
18.3% Wheat Malt
9.1% Vienna
5.4% Golden Naked Oats
3.2% Table Sugar
Hallertau (US)60 min23.9 IBUs(25g@ 5.4%)
Styrian Goldings15 min5.8 IBUs(20g@ 3.29%)
Fuggles (US)2 min0.9 IBUs(15g@ 4.1%)

WY3522; Lochristi Blend 

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