The vision behind the table ale is a sessionable (4% ABV or less), light bodied, clean blonde ale ldth noticeable hop character. Or in other words, the ideal summer beer!
The foundation for the initial recipe was built from Farmhouse Ales Grisette recipe and supplemented with information found for Tree House Eureka! (hoppy blonde ale) and Oxbow Grizacca (grisette). Since I was evaluating foraged yeast strains, I intentionally dialed back the IBUs from 40 (target) to 20, in an effort to let the yeast shine through a bit for better strain evaluation.
Besides the four different yeast strains, I also dry hopped some bottles as I filled them from the keg. The blind tasting took place on 11/22/2015 with Flynn and Tiggs. With eight beers to taste through, I skipped full tasting notes and provided 10-word highlights for each beer instead.
Foraged yeast #1 – fleeting head, dark honey color, apple juice, traditional Belgian phenols
Foraged yeast #1 with dry hop – mild head, pear juice appearance, grassy hops, fruity melon flavor
Foraged yeast #2 – minimal head, urine color, pear flavor, lightly tart, Belgian phenols
Foraged yeast #2 with dry hop – minimal head, hazy straw color, grassy hops, pear/blueberry flavor
Foraged yeast #3 – fleeting head, deep gold haze, subdued aroma, apple juice flavors
Foraged yeast #3 with dry hop – mild head, hazy pineapple juice appearance, earthy hops, melon-y flavor
Multiculture – fleeting head, golden yellow, spicy/floral aroma, farmy Belgian flavor
Multiculture with dry hop – mild head, hazy straw color, grassy hop, sweet plum flavor
All of the beers failed to reach my vision for the table ale. Collectively, they were underhopped, poorly carboanted, too thin bodied, and overall, not very delicious.
Interestingly, #1 and the multiculture, and #2 and #3, shared similar characteristics, respectively. Despite the same exact wort, the color variation between the yeast strains was incredible! Attenuation was similar between the cultures, finishing at 1.001 or 1.000. Final pH values were 4.21, 4.08, 4.33, and 4.27, respectively. There was also a noticeable difference in appearance and flavor for the dry hopped versions, and overall, they were received better than the non-dry hopped versions. Foraged yeast #2 appears to be the most promising and will be used for future iterations of the table ale and farmhouse ale. For now, this will become my house yeast.