Halting State

D-45 Syrup

I get the ideas for my beers from a pretty wide range of sources; commercial beers, blogs, books, and of course from the mysterious depths of my mind. This particular beer is one of two that I decided to brew after having read Farmhouse Ales by Phil Markowski, the other will be a funky, sour Saison that I've yet to formulate in any great detail. Farmhouse Ales takes a pretty detailed look at two beer styles, the Saison and the Bière de Garde, and is full of interesting stuff on the two styles. Halting state then, is my take on a Bière de Garde.

I've never had much interest in copying beers, be they commercial ones or recipes formulated by other homebrewers. Thus my approach to recipes is to form a vague idea of what I'm aiming for and perhaps read up on how others approach brewing similar beers, before sitting down in front of my brewing app and writing up a recipe. I also mostly ignore style guidelines except when I'm brewing a style I feel unfamiliar with. I've brewed a few beers that go in a direction similar to this, so I felt quite happy to just go with my gut. Having said that, the recipe for this beer turned out fairly close to what one might expect from a French beer.

For this beer the key component of the Bière de Garde that I'm particulary interested in is the "garde" portion of the name. "Bière de Garde" translates from French as roughly "beer for keeping", as opposed, I guess, to beer to be drunk immediately. Thus "garde" is somewhat equivalent to the German "lager". My hope therefore is that the current cold(ish) weather will allow me to condition this beer at near-freezing temperatures for a few weeks. The result should be a clean flavoured beer with a clearly malt-forward profile. I used a range of flavourful, slightly darker malts to give me that malty backbone I want, as well as some D-45 candy syrup to lighten up the body a bit.

For hops I went with some pellets I had in the freezer, a bittering addition of Magnum, followed by a flavour addition of Saphir. I'll probably dry-hop with another bit of Saphir, just to provide a hint of hop aroma up-front. I just need to decide when to do the dry-hopping.

Book and Yeast

The yeast I used was the appropriately named '3726 PC Farmhouse' from Wyeast. I'm giving the beer about a week at room temperature to finish primary fermentation before I take it down to the cellar (now at 13°C) for a week or two to allow the yeast a bit of time to clean up. Then, hoping that the weather remains fairly cold, I will condition it for a further 2-4 weeks. I can only hope that the gods of weather like beer.

Vital Details

Batch size: 20l
Expected OG: 1.062
Expected FG: 1.015
Expected ABV: 6.2%
Colour (SRM): 15.3
IBU: 30

81.1% (4.00 kg) Vienna Malt
10.1% (1.50 kg) Munich Malt
4.7% (0.23 kg) Special B
4.1% (0.20 kg) CaraBelge

D-45 Candi Syrup (460g)

Magnum (15g / 23 IBU) @ 60 min
Saphir (30g / 7 IBU) @ 30 min
Saphir (20g / 0 IBU) dry-hop 3 days

Wyeast 3726 PC Farmhouse