I recently got engaged to my beautiful girlfriend of four years Megan, and as we begin down the road of planning a wedding for 200+ people, one thing I know for certain is that I want to brew the beer for the wedding. My plan is to brew three batches of my favorite moderate alcohol beers and one batch of “big” beer, something over the top for all our sophisticated beer drinking friends.
I have always been interested in brewing the obscure often forgotten styles of beer of yesteryear and with Wyeast offering its Old Ale blend in its Private Yeast Collection for this quarter, I thought this would be the perfect “big” beer for the wedding. I want something that will be complex, flavorful, and different and I think the combination of a unique beer style, Brettanomyces, and extended oak aging should fit that bill. I plan on serving one 5 gallon keg of the finished beer and bottling the remaining Old Ale in 750 ml Belgian Ale bottles for long term aging. Looking forward to the future I think it will be really cool to crack open one of these beers on our 1st, 5th, 10th, etc. wedding anniversaries.
With all that being said I knew the recipe formulation would need to be big enough to support extended aging, and have a long enough time in the secondary for the Brett to work its magic. I also want the recipe to be as close to a traditional Old Ale as I could come up with. After looking into doing some research into the history of Old Ale’s and their traditional recipe formulations I came up with the following recipe.
Let’s Grow Old Together Ale
Batch Size: 9 Gallons
Original Gravity: 1.090
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.022
Color: 19.5 SRM
Boil Time: 90 Min
87.5% Golden Promise Malt
4.9% British Crystal 77L (Crisp)
3.2% Flaked Corn
3.2% Dememera Sugar
1.2% Black Patent
1.5 Oz Magnum (14.1% AA) at 60 min
3.5 Oz Eastern Kent Goldings (4.06% AA) at 20 min
1 Tbsp Irish Moss at 15 min
3.6 L Starter of Wyeast PC 9097 Old Ale
Mash at 158 for 60 minutes raise to 168 for a 10 minute mashout.
2.5 oz Heavy Toast Hungarian Oak Rod split in half for each secondary. I plan to soak one of the 1.25 oz oak rods in bourbon and the other in a liquor of Megan’s choice prior to adding it to the secondary for extended aging.