I’d recently watched What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? and was inspired to make a beer.
Godforbid I just make a plain, simple beer to get a good start in this hobby.
My goals were to capture several flavors from the film: dead rats, cigarettes, and whiskey.
I’d had several saisons that tasted like hot dog water, so that seemed a good yeast. I would incorporate some smoked malt for cigarettes. I’d soak some wood chips in bourbon and toss those in as well. What could go wrong?
The base recipe for this beer had some corn sugar in it to thin the body and make it extra high alcohol.
- 1.44 floor malt pils
- .19 Munich I
- .25 pale wheat
- .13 caramunich
- .44 cherry smoked malt
- 1/2pkt Belle Saison yeast
- 1/2 oz French Strisselspalt
- 1oz Jim Beam
- 1oz wood chips
Mashed low around 146, again for light body and high attenuation. French strisselspalt, a light, perfumy, low-alpha, high-beta hop was added at 60, 20, 10, f/o. Half a packet of Belle Saison pitched at 70, left in the closet to ferm at 76 degrees. At some point I was reading about how saisons do well hot, especially high-alcohol ones, so I gave it a bit of heating pad (this is a bad idea with Belle Saison, though there are some other yeast that need to get ramped up at the end of their ferment). Most things I read about adding liquor to beer would have had me putting a few mere drops into the fermentor. I figured, if I were drinking like a pint of mixer, I’d expect two ounces of bourbon, so surely a gallon of beer can take a full ounce.
Made another pretty good label, two versions.
When this one was finished, the hops and smoked malt were nice. However, the addition of more bourbon than any recipe would’ve suggested combined with the super hot ferment on an already high alcohol recipe which lead to fusel alcohols, was a bit much. This beer finished with a super sharp, punchy alcoholic bite.
Not a winner, but the first beer not to finish chock full o’ phenols.