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Food and Drink in Dogsland Part 3: LET’S GET EXECUTED for WHEN WE WERE EXECUTIONERS!

The 2nd Dogsland novel occurs mostly when the weather breaks, and things are dry a while, and there’s a long season with sweltering, hot weather. Yeah, people are going to get smashed because that’s the thing people do before they go home, exhausted from a day cutting meat in an abattoir. People are going to drink something that’s lighter, though, and better for really, really hot weather.

Saison yeast can take some heat, and make beers that keep a while well. But, we will have to adjust because white wheat doesn’t do well in the heat, and the imported barley and imported hops would need some local spices and fruits to add some flavor to the brew.

This is what to drink when you’ll be dancing together, late into the warm, summer evening. This is what to drink when the canal-builders come with their golden hammers to parade the streets. This is what to drink late at night, when you’re stalking the man who would be king in bear-baiting den, and you want to be quenched, but you want your wits to stay sharp.

So, what I propose, for WHEN WE WERE EXECUTIONERS, where two lovers drift together and apart, and a man finds himself, sort of, and murders a couple people, is a hybrid of witbiers and saisons, without the raw wheat of a witbier, and without the high volume of expensive barley, more appropriate to a place where such things would be imported and cut with other things available locally for consumption by the masses.

5 Gallon batch
1.046 OG
1.009 FG
About 4% ABV
2 pounds Vienna Malt
2 pounds American 6-Row Pale
2 pounds Red Wheat
1 pound of Honey
1 pound of Flaked Oats
1 ounce of Styrian Celeja @30 minutes for about 17-18 IBU
1 tablespoon of Cracked Coriander Seed
1/2 tablespoon of Cracked Black Peppercorn
2-4 bags of Chamomile Tea (adjust for strength and freshness)
Zest of 1 Valencia Orange
Wyeast Belgian Saison

Brewing with honey: Never boil the honey. The very last thing that is added, after flame-out, and as the wort cools, is honey.

Okay, I brew-in-a-bag, so there’s this thing I can do to the mash that few others can. I dough in cold, and let the fire slowly warm up the kettle to 112 Degrees over about half an hour with a low-medium flame. From there, I slowly creep up to 153 and hold that for half an hour. From there, I crank the turkey fryer to mash out at 175. This is a long, slow, stepped mash that would be challenging for others. In this case, aim for a step mesh, and an OG of 1.036 for the end of the boil, just before honey is added.

A nice, long boil of at least 75 minutes is ideal.

After flameout, the honey is added. At boiling, the honey will lose a lot of the aromatic and interesting things that make it worth adding to the brew. So, don’t add it until the wort has stopped boiling, and is only steaming a little.

Fermentation with a famously finicky yeast, like Wyeast Belgian Saison, means starting cool, at the bottom of its range, and then letting it warm up during the week to close to 90 degrees. Even with a dry yeast alternative, like Safbrew T-58, would benefit from this method. I see this as a process, in Dogsland, where they are cooling the hot liquor tank down with seawater pumps, then letting it ferment up to heat as it will, up to 90 degrees in the shade of one of those ruined factory halls.

At bottling, keep it relatively light with about 4 ounces per 5 gallons of plain, white table sugar. Just enough to make it bubbly, not enough to make it explode.

If I were Jona, this is what I would be serving Rachel in the dance halls in all those humid night.

This brew is dangerously easy to drink. Be careful you don’t get executed by it.

(Note: In honest fact, this is one of the most-requested beers I brew, and it is popular among friends and family, both that enjoy craft beer and that do not.)

I brewed this one, again, just the other day…

Now, let’s say you wanted to add a little redness to the brew… It’s a bloody book. I’d say a little ounce or two of Carafa II would impart some rich color without creating an undesirable flavor. I didn’t do it, here, but it should work just fine to redden up a nice, delicately straw-colored beer.

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