Homebrew: Quorum Sensing

Submitted by DM on Sat, 29/10/2016 - 20:03

I usually brew session strength American IPAs for their drinkability & becasue I like the grapefruit, citrus & tropical fruit hop flavour you don't get from traditional Goldings or Fuggles hops in the UK.   Every now & then I brew a stout or porter for a change, but they last me a while as they aren't as sinkable as a 3.5% AIPA.   This time I wanted to brew something different, but keep it pale & drinkable so a Saison came to mind - even though Saison has very loose guidelines for typical characteristics.

Quorum Sensing is a mechanism by which organisms (usually bacteria) sense the population density around them & prepare for a change in activity based on that density.   A bacterial species may well exist inside a host organism in a benign fashion until they sense that there is enough of them to mount a successful attack on the host & then they change behaviour to the hosts detriment.   It also is used by some social insects to enter their swarm behavior.   Swarm robots are envisaged communicating through short range radio waves locally to pass messages along to a base station which co-ordinates them.Quorum Sensing bottle

Mash: 1 hour starting at 70°C & allowed to fall to 62°C over the hour.

2 Kg of Marris Otter pale malt

1 Kg of wheat malt

460g Acid malt

50g pale crystal malt

120g honey

Boil: for 1 hour

25g Saaz hops (2.2% alpha acid) added at 30 mins from the end

50g Saaz hops added at 15 minutes from the end

10g Irish Moss added 10 minutes from the end

The hot wort was crash cooled with a wort chiller & cascaded through 2 catering sized colanders to airate it.   Mangrove Jack's French Saison yeast (hydrated for a few hours with a little sugar added) was added to the cooled wort & 25g of Saaz hops were added as dry hops.

The OG was 1.042 & FG 1.004, which - using the Brewer's Friend ABV calculator - gives an alcohol level of 5.0%. The calculated bitterness is 15 IBU.

Bottled after 13 days.

This is a very pale beer, with just a little acidity & wheat taste. I think this will be a drinking beer rather than a sipping beer - so true to style then.

I am so proud of this super beer!   You can feel that the FG was 1.000, but it doesn't make it watery at all.   The honey, sourness from the acid malt & spiciness from the yeast really go well with the gentle Noble hoppiness from the Saaz.

Will definitely brew a version of this again.

Finished my stash of this with a group of friends in Manchester.   As mentioned before: it is a dry, tart, refreshing beer that's easily sinkable.   Will definitely brew something very similar again.