We’re very excited to introduce Gin Barrel Nocturn Chrysalis! We took our Nocturn Chrysalis Barrel Aged Sour Beer Refermented with Blackberries and aged it in a gin barrel from our friends down the road at Revolution Spirits!
Gin Barrel Nocturn Chrysalis involved a long process to make. It was brewed in 2014, aged in oak barrels for about a year, refermented with blackberries, then aged in a gin barrel for another ten months! It was bottled on April 6th, 2016. At the time of bottling, it was 7.5% alcohol by volume, 1.001 specific gravity (0.25 Plato), 7 IBU, and 3.4 pH.
Gin Barrel Nocturn Chrysalis was exclusively packaged in 330ml bottles. Only 550 bottles are available. It will go on sale at our tasting room at Noon this Memorial Day — Monday, May 30th with a limit of one bottle per customer (330ml x $14).
Earlier this week here at the brewery, I noticed that our recently released Fantôme Del Rey had become “ropy”. When I tasted it, the mouthfeel and texture had a slickness to it, and the beer poured into my glass with some viscosity. I was happy with the aroma and flavor, but the texture definitely left something to be desired.
As a result, we’re going to put sales of Fantôme Del Rey on hiatus. Our hope is that the Brettanomyces yeast contained in our mixed culture will resolve the issue over time. The slickness in the mouthfeel is most likely attributable to the lactic acid producing bacteria Pediococcus. According to the Milk the Funk Wiki (one of my favorite websites), Pediococcus may cause ropiness due to the production of exopolysaccharides, which mostly effect mouthfeel and appearance. Brettanomyces has the ability to break down exopolysaccharides over time.
It’s hard to know how long Brettanomyces may take to hopefully resolve the issue. I think it’s safe to assume we’re looking at months, not weeks. My hope is that in three or four months, the ropiness will have dissipated. But there’s no certainty to this. Only time will tell. If you have purchased Fantôme Del Rey, my recommendation is to age the bottle(s), preferably on its side in a warm spot, for at least three months. We’ll be opening bottles in-house and will provide updates on how the beer is progressing. If you find this impractical and/or undesirable, no problem at all. Please e-mail me directly at email@example.com, and I will make things right for you.
How Fantôme Del Rey ended up becoming ropy is a bit of a mystery to us. The beer went through a number of iterations on its journey to blending and bottling, and our mixed culture was given a number of opportunities to express itself. Old, barrel-aged beer brewed in August of 2014 with dark candi syrup, ground coriander, and black peppercorn, and fermented with truffle honey, was blended with young beer and bottle conditioned. Like all our beer (aside from our spontaneous fermentations), it was fermented with our mixed culture, which contains dozens of native microorganisms, many of which we don’t even know what they are. Mixed culture fermentation is always a roll of the dice. The results can be absolutely beautiful at times, but we also routinely taste beer we’re unhappy with, which we further age or discard. The fermentation is outside our direct control, and we merely create an environment for the microorganisms to express themselves in unique ways. In this case unfortunately, a fermentation issue became apparent after we had already released the beer.
I apologize that one of our beers isn’t presenting the way we want it to. While off-flavors and flaws in beer can be subjective (for instance, we enjoy the lightstruck character in beer we get from packaging in green bottles), I find ropiness to be a distraction and impediment to enjoying beer. In the end, our goal is to make beer that’s drinkable and enjoyable. Unfortunately, I think the ropiness currently found in Fantôme Del Rey causes it to dip below this standard, which is why we won’t be selling any more of the batch for the time being.
— Jeffrey Stuffings, Founder
When our tasting room opens this Friday at 4pm, we’ll be releasing Das Überkind Blend No. 4! Das Überkind is a blend of mature, barrel aged sour beer fermented with our mixed culture of brewers yeast and native microorganisms harvested from the land and air around our brewery.
Only about 1,300 bottles are available (limit 1 per customer per day, 750ml/$16).
We’re pleased to introduce Jester King 2016 Hibernal Dichotomous — a blend of young farmhouse ale brewed with rosemary and Genmaicha tea with Jester King Funk Metal.
Our motivation for 2016 Hibernal Dichotomous was to continue to experiment with the technique of bière de coupage while working with preserved goods at our brewery during a time in which fresh ingredients are less plentiful. In this case, we chose dried Genmaicha tea, which we had been experimenting with in test batches for quite some time. We also used some winter rosemary from our neighbor Pure Luck Farms in Dripping Springs. Lastly, we returned once again to the technique of bière de coupage, which involves blending mature, barrel-aged beer with young fresh beer. Bière de coupage was a method first used long ago by brewers as a way to influence the fermentation of the young beer with the microorganisms in the mature beer. It remains one of our favorite methods of creating unique flavors and aromas through fermentation.
The young beer in 2016 Hibernal Dichotomous was brewed with Hill Country well water, malted barley, raw wheat, oats, hops, rosemary, and Genmaicha tea. It was fermented with our mixed culture of brewers yeast and native yeast and bacteria harvested from the land and air around Jester King. The mature, barrel-aged beer came from our stock of Funk Metal. The blend was 100% naturally refermented in bottles, kegs, and casks. At the time of packaging, 2016 Hibernal Dichotomous was 5.9% alcohol by volume, 1.003 specific gravity, 22 IBU, and 3.2 pH.
2016 Hibernal Dichotomous will be released when our tasting room opens at 4pm on Friday, May 13th. It will be available by the glass, as well as to go in 750ml bottles ($14/no bottle limit). About 3,500 bottles are available, and at this point, we don’t know yet whether it will be distributed beyond Jester King.
Today when our tasting room opens, we’re excited to announce the Texas release of Fantôme Del Rey! The Texas version of Fantôme Del Rey was brewed and blended at Jester King, and follows up on the first beer brewed at Fantôme in 2014 with the legendary Dany Prignon. Brasserie Fantôme is one of our biggest inspirations, especially for our head brewer Garrett Crowell.
The Texas version of Fantôme Del Rey is a bière de coupage where old, barrel-aged beer is blended with young beer. The older component of the blend was brewed at Jester King in August of 2014 with malted barley, dark candi syrup, ground coriander, and black peppercorns. It was initially fermented in stainless steel with truffle honey, and then racked to oak for extended maturation. We brewed the younger version in November of 2015, and blended the old with the young. The blend was then 100% naturally refermented in bottles, kegs, and casks. At the time of packaging, Fantôme Del Rey was 8.8% alcohol by volume, 1.002 specific gravity, 19 IBU, and 3.6 pH.
Fantôme Del Rey will be released when our tasting room opens at 4pm on Friday, May 6th. It will be available by the glass, as well as to go in 750ml bottles ($14/bottle, no bottle limit). About 9,000 bottles are available, and we anticipate that some Fantôme Del Rey bottles will see distribution in Texas by our friends at Flood Distribution.