I kegged my Cabernet Saison last weekend. See the previous post about why on earth anyone would use Cabernet grape juice in beer, as well as how I went about doing it. Though it still needs to finish carbonating and clearing a bit, it tastes awesome.
The Whitelabs Belgian Saison II yeast turned out to give off some very complex flavors. There are absolute spice tones of clove and maybe a little pepper. Surprising how a yeast can give off those flavors. I used no spices in the beer. The Cabernet grapes left very little actual grape flavor, but I do think gave the beer a bit of extra tartness.
I'm not exactly sure what the alcohol (ABV) ended up at, since I'm not sure if I did the calculation right. The problem is after I add the Cabernet juice to secondary, the gravity of course jumps back up and then continues to ferment for a couple weeks until complete. So that throws off the calculations. But I think I figured it out. Maybe a reader can check my work here:
My Original Gravity (OG): 1.058
Final Gravity after Primary Fermentation (Before adding Cabernet juice): 1.012
After adding Cabernet juice, gravity of beer = 1.018
Final gravity after fermentation with Cabernet juice= 1.011
So to calculate alcohol, I figured I should add the ABV resulting from the added juice to the first OG.
That would mean that the Cabernet juice contributed an extra .91% of ABV. Added to the ABV from primary fermentation (6.0%) would equal total ABV of 6.91% Right?? If anyone thinks different. Please leave a comment.
Also, on a side note, I thought I was being real adventurous here with using the grapes in the beer. I knew that there was a Sam Adams Longshot winner a couple years ago that did a Grape Pale Ale, and I've had Dogfish Head Midas Touch which I think also has grapes. But then last week I had Stone Brewing's Vertical Epic 10.10.10. It is made with Muscat, Sauvingon blanc, and Gewurtztraminer. And now I think I remember seeing a tweet that The Bruery got a shipment of Syrah grapes recently, so I'm assuming there should be a tasty ale with grapes coming from them soon too!!