Tasting Notes: Coal Miner’s Daughter (Spelt Grisette)

Recipe and Brew Log

Brewed on: 2014/06/25
Bottled on: 2014/08/06
OG: 1.043
FG: 1.008
ABV: 4.5%
IBU: 24

This appears to have gotten lost in the void – I have tasting notes are from late August, but now that I’ve opened up another and I’m in front of a keyboard, I’ll add notes of the beer with some age.

Appearance: After 3 weeks, this had a slight golden haze and fine, one-finger white head. Now (~2 months) it is perfectly clear light gold with a billowing, dense head like a hefeweizen.

Aroma: After 3 weeks, the beer had a bright hop character, balanced between citrus (Amarillo) and floral notes (Hallertauer) with lots of bready spelt. With more age, the floral character has come through a lot more, with the citrus fading. There is also the presence of an herbal and musty aroma as well, with a light touch of candy and Belgian yeast phenols. I feel like this beer is getting somewhat more complex with age, at the expense of the Amarillo.

Taste: This is pretty consistent as the beer ages. There is a touch of malty sweetness up front, quickly transitioning into firm hop bitterness and hints of bread. The flaked spelt has resulted in an interesting texture – relatively thick for a grisette, almost like a hefeweizen, but still with the hop bitterness and crisp, dry finish. This is definitely something I am going to explore further in farmhouse ales. I also think a high percentage of flaked wheat or spelt could be very welcome in a hoppier beer as well. The balance is definitely a little bit too far toward bitterness, which clashes a bit with the tartness offered by the 8% acidulated malt I used in the grist.

Overall: Nice beer, maybe not the most useful candidate for dry hopping. I’ll be using the grain bill again in farmhouse ales for sure, but likely lower the hopping level, or try a non-Belgian yeast or Brett and bump up the hops.

– Richard

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