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06/05/08 12:47 PM  
temptation-like beer w/grape must
Hey everyone,

I have a jar of russian river bugs hanging out right now getting funky. I would like to make a temptation-esque beer with these bugs but I have a few questions. I live in the finger lakes region of NY state, which is home to many wineries. I have access, in season, to fresh grape juice of many different varieties. I was thinking instead of doing a belgian blonde and throwing wine soaked oak into it, I could use my local fresh juice and add some of that to it. But how much? I definitely want to add oak to it as well. How will this impact the beer? What can I expect? What variety? The obvious answer is to go with chardonnay, but the finger lakes is really known for its rieslings, how does that sound? There are also other lesser known varieties that do really well here, Cayuga, Niagara, gewurtzramiener (sp?), seyval, etc. Any wine guys or home winemakers on the board have input here?

If I go this route, does the belgian blonde sound like the best base beer, or should I go with something a little heftier to balance the acidity and high degree of fermentability of the grapes? A triple maybe, or a more traditional lambic base.

Sorry for the barrage of questions. My first thought is to go with a belgian blonde, but omit the simple sugar, and maybe mash high to give the bugs more food to work on after secondary. Then add 10% or less (by volume) grape juice along with the bugs and some oak. Age and age some more, then taste and decide if blending is necessary. What do you guys think, I appreciate the help.

Seanywonton (Sean White)
06/05/08 02:09 PM  
Re: temptation-like beer w/grape must
I had the Ommegang Hennepin fermented with Gerwurtztraminer grapes at the Extreme Beer Fest in Boston last year. I thought it was one of the best beers there.
tripel beam
06/05/08 06:20 PM  
re: temptation-like beer w/grape must
I've been thinking about something along these lines too. I haven't tried Tempation (yet). Make sure the juice quality is good (ie good fruit source and not the heavy-press fraction that is too phenolic and astringent to do any good). As for oak chips I would want to limit some variables in order to hone in on the quality of your product. Oak will add phenolics as well and sometimes can mask good fruit charecteristics. What are your reasons for wanting to use oak?

Sugars for picking riesling or gewurtz are in the area of 22-24.5 brix 1.09-1.1 S. G., so make sure you do a Hydrometer reading and figure your final alohols accordingly. Might want to have some workhorse wine yeast ready if it sticks at higher alc. (D254, assmanhausen)

Also depending on the nutrient levels and the percent grapes added to your ferment you may want to add nutrients ask the winemaker/vineyard manager. If it is estate they will probably know a lot about there fruit. With the concoction you're doing you may want to SO2 after you get to a good point so you don't get anything too funky coming out, or if you want to inhibit ML favoring a higher acid level.

I'll be curious to here your recipe, when you work out the kinks.

Seanywonton (Sean White)
06/05/08 06:35 PM  
Re: temptation-like beer w/grape must
Be careful with the oak chips in lighter beers...I just did a bretted blonde belgian ale and I thought the oak (3/4 oz medium toast french oak chips, sanitized in a half cup of simmering water and all tossed in the carboy) was way heavy, totally dominating the other flavors, at least for now.

I've had beers made with Chardonnay, Gewurtz, and Muscat grapes, and although I don't know much about the actual difference in varietals, they were all very good. I've never made a beer with grape juice, but I would guess maybe a half gallon of juice for 5 gallons of beer? Like I said, just a guess.

06/05/08 09:16 PM  
Re: temptation-like beer w/grape must
My reason for oak was only because temptation is aged in oak barrels, but you are probably right that it may be a bit much. I'll have to look into getting good juice around here.
06/09/08 02:15 PM  
Re: temptation-like beer w/grape must
In reading BLAM last week, I read that VinnieC adds 60 lbs of chardonnay grapes to his sour with grape beer (Depuration I think).

having tasted it, you can notice the chardonnay like notes.


06/09/08 03:10 PM  
Re: temptation-like beer w/grape must
Thanks for the tips everyone,

I am now leaning towards gewurtz for this beer. The spiciness of the grape intrigues me. I won't be doing this for a while, since I want to wait for fresh juice, I guess that is in the fall or late summer. I'll find out. I will probably heed advice above and avoid the oak in this one.

The talk in the other thread about all brett fermented grape juice is now making me think I will brew up an all brett beer, or maybe a saison, with some of the gewurtz juice too,

07/03/08 06:55 PM  
Re: temptation-like beer w/grape must
here's an interesting braggot/pyment


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